The New York Jets bandwagon is starting to get crowded as the 2019 NFL season approaches, and it looks like a No. 1 overall draft pick has hopped on board.
NFL.com released Wednesday its staff predictions for each division winner and the two wild card teams in both conferences. In the AFC East, 27 of 28 experts picked the New England Patriots to win their 11th consecutive division championship.
The one person who didn't? Former Houston Texans quarterback David Carr.
Here's the voting breakdown:
1. New England Patriots (27 votes: Baldinger, Battista, Bergman, Bhanpuri, Blair, Brandt, Casserly, Cersosimo, Chadiha, Dameshek, Filice, Gbajabiamila, Grant, Hall, Jones, Jones-Drew, Mariucci, O'Hara, Parr, Patra, Rank, Reece, Rosenthal, Schein, Sessler, Thomas, Trotter)
2. New York Jets (1 vote: Carr)
Why Gregg Rosenthal chose the Patriots: This is the deepest, most versatile defense Bill Belichick has had in years. With a strong offensive line and the deepest backfield of the Brady era, the Pats can figure out the offense as they go (like they did a year ago).
If we had to guess what Carr likes about the Jets it's probably the upgrades they made over the offseason.
Adam Gase replaced Todd Bowles as head coach. Gase is considered a very good offensive coach and should be able to help young quarterback Sam Darnold reach his potential.
The Jets signed running back Le'Veon Bell and linebacker C.J. Mosley in free agency, adding an elite player on both sides of the ball. Veteran wide receiver Jamison Crowder also was signed in free agency to give Darnold another reliable target in the passing attack. Alabama star Quinnen Williams was selected by the Jets with the No. 3 pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, and he should improve the team's pass rush.
Will these additions be enough to supplant the Patriots atop the AFC East? We wouldn't bet on it.
The Patriots probably will have a better team this season than they did in 2018, and they just won the Super Bowl. New England's defense is deeper and more talented than it's been in a long time. The running back group might be the deepest in the league. The wide receiver corps figures to be much-improved with the return of Josh Gordon and the additions of Demaryius Thomas and N'Keal Harry. Oh, and they also have a guy named Tom Brady, who's still a pretty good quarterback.
Jets fans should be excited about their team, but winning the division is an unrealistic expectation for New York entering the 2019 campaign.
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