New York Jets cornerback D.J. Reed was a quality starter in his brief time with the Seattle Seahawks, and has since formed one of the league’s top cornerback duos alongside Sauce Gardner. There are high hopes for the Jets this season now that Aaron Rodgers is on the team, and the talent level on that roster is as good as it’s been in a long time.
Reed believes that the Jets defense not only has potential to be the league’s best this year, but mentioned among the greatest defensive teams in NFL history.
“I’m very confident,” Reed said Monday on a Zoom call with reporters (via ESPN’s Rich Cimini). “I think we have the potential to be the best defense in the NFL. Honestly, I think we can be historical, not just the best defense in the league, but I think we can be a historical defense like the ‘85-’86 Bears and the LOB [Seahawks’ Legion of Boom] in 2013. I think we can be that dominant if we just put all the things together.”
The Jets were 5th in defensive DVOA last season and 4th in points allowed, which is a tremendous improvement considering they were dead last in both categories last season. Obviously the New York defense was also put under tremendous strain by an offense that, in the middle of a playoff push, scored no touchdowns in the final three weeks of the regular season. We know the 2013 Seahawks were best in points allowed, led the league in interceptions, and had the best pass defense while sporting a pretty good but not great run defense.
There is no denying the Jets have serious quality on defense. Both Reed and Gardner had double digit passes defensed, which is the first time that’s happened for the Jets since Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie back in 2011. Quinnen Williams is one of the league’s top interior linemen, and obviously they added some more ex-Seahawks by signing Al Woods and Quinton Jefferson. In the first round of this year’s NFL Draft, the Jets added to their edge rushing depth by taking Iowa State’s Will McDonald IV.
I think it’s going to be hard for any defense under the current rule set to be 2013 Seahawks of 1985 Bears or 2002 Buccaneers great, so that’s not to slight D.J. Reed who has every reason to hype up his group. Of course, I remember the last defense to get LOB comparisons and that was the 2017 Jacksonville Jaguars, who were elite but ultimately they didn’t even finish that year #1 in DVOA and certainly cracked in the playoffs.
Reed has set some lofty aspirations for his defense, and the team will be under a microscope on a weekly basis. Maybe Seahawks fans as a whole don’t care for Sauce Gardner, but I’m still gonna pull for Reed and wish he was still here.