- Rich Cimini, ESPN Staff Writer
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Mike Rodak, Buffalo Bills: Revis makes it close, but former Jets coach Rex Ryan makes all the difference in this race. With one of the weakest personnel groups at secondary in recent memory, the Jets finished 29th in opposing QBR (69.6) last season, but I have little doubt they would have finished dead last if it wasn't for Ryan. Adding one of the NFL's best defensive minds to a Bills defense that was among the NFL's best last season tips the scales in favor of Buffalo, even with the Jets' addition of Revis. For Jets coach Todd Bowles, his group will have a lot to prove before it can be considered the best.
James Walker, Miami Dolphins: On paper, the Jets have the best defense in the AFC East -- but not the conference. New York has the most defensive talent in the division on all three levels, whereas the Dolphins (linebacker), Patriots (cornerback) and Bills (safety) have clear holes. But it's not always easy implementing a new scheme. There will be a learning curve under Bowles. I expect New York to have some rough patches early. Many also underrate how important a good offense is to a defense. New York's sluggish offense and deficiency at quarterback won't do the Jets' defense many favors. Quarterback Geno Smith, if he wins the starting job, has 44 career turnovers in 30 games. That's going to put a ton of pressure on the Jets' defense.
Mike Reiss, New England Patriots: After watching first-hand the type of difference that Revis made with the Patriots last season, it's hard for me to say otherwise. His presence alone changed everything for the Patriots in the secondary, so it's reasonable to expect it do the same for the Jets. Their defensive line was already one of the best in the NFL with Muhammad Wilkerson, Sheldon Richardson and Damon Harrison, and now they have Williams, too. That will be stacked group when Richardson returns from his suspension. Assuming the linebackers hold up, and the safeties benefit from the presence of Revis, this looks like the best overall defense in the division, with the potential to contend for the title as best in the AFC.
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