In his first NFL Preview season, the former Crimson Tide star totaled 56 tackles and three interceptions. He battled injuries and it will be affected his play significantly. However, he did finish the summer season strong, winning AFC Defensive Player of the Week in Week 17 and the Defensive Rookie of the Month. Milliner had to go through the typical rookie growing pains, but now could be his time to step up. He’s currently the most effective corner on the roster and I’m sure Rex Ryan expects him to play like it.
The New York Jets have finally gotten back again to a respectable state. That is no further a group as you are able to take lightly. While they finished a .500 football team, they’ve taken some steps in the best direction.
There’s not surprising that the potency of a Rex Ryan coached team is its defense, in particular, the run defense. The Jets ranked third against the run last season. They’re led by ends Muhammad Wilkerson and 2013 Defensive Rookie of the Year Sheldon Richardson. These two guys are beasts and will continue to terrorize opposing offenses. The big question for New York is how they’ll stop the pass. They lost Darrelle Revis two seasons ago and now they lost Antonio Cromartie this offseason. The projected starters at corner are Milliner and Dimitri Patterson. That’s not really gonna scare quarterbacks. They did draft safety Calvin Pryor out of Louisville, who had been arguably the most effective safety in the draft. They ranked 22nd against the pass last season and you can expect similar numbers, unless they create a more consistent pass rush.
On offense, there were some highs and lows. The Jets ranked 31st in passing last season. Let’s let them have the advantage of the doubt. Geno Smith was a rookie and he didn’t have much to work with. They ran the ball well, however, finishing sixth in rushing. The additions of Eric Decker and Chris Johnson should help this offense a lot. In Decker, Geno finally features a reliable weapon. I’m not obsessed about Decker being a No. 1 receiver, considering he’d Peyton Manning throwing to him and had other big name receivers playing close to him. For Johnson, many people think he’s fallen off. He’s only 28 years old. He really needs that burst still and I’m expecting a large year from him in 2014. If he is able to stay healthy, he’ll prove lots of people wrong.
While the Jets really are a better team than they were a year ago, I’m not expecting a huge jump for them. It will depend on Geno Smith’s development. Even if he features a solid year, the Jets would have been a Wild-Card team at best.