A power shift in the AFC East coming?

SAN DIEGO — I don’t want to overreact to the Jets’ win over the Chargers yesterday.

But I also don’t think it takes Ron Wolf to spot why New York keeps advancing, and why it could mean trouble for the Patriots in 2010 and going forward.

The Jets have playmakers. Everywhere. Darrelle Revis. Jim Leonhard. Kerry Rhodes (who’s bouncing back nicely). David Harris. Bart Scott. Dustin Keller. Now, you can probably add Shonn Greene to the list. Further illuminating all of it is that there are enough of them there to absorb the losses of Leon Washington and Kris Jenkins.

And at least on paper, New York appears to be on an upward arc.

“I can go to war with this group of guys,” Scott said yesterday. “These guys are special. I think we’ve come together. We haven’t even cracked the seal on how good we can be. This is just one year in the system. What are you gonna do next year, when we’re able to add to these packages, to do more things, and get Kris Jenkins back?”

Remember, this is a team that was being laughed at in midseason, when all that chatter started to come up hollow. Therein is the Jets’ strength — In not wavering off their original belief that it would all work out in their favor.

“We had a loud-mouthed coach, a couple loud-mouthed players, speaking their mind and people don’t like that,” said linebacker Calvin Pace. “We live in a society where everybody wants everything politically correct. And that’s fine. But I think it’s a situation where people talk, and you have to back up the talk.

“Rex came out and put our Super Bowl schedule up. I’m sure people hate
that. But we got back that up, and we thrive on those opportunities.
We’re just rolling, right now, man. Seriously. We really believe in the
plan that Rex has laid out for us, and we’re riding the wave and
seizing the moment.”

Pace added that watching the Patriots game in September while serving his four-game suspension gave him plenty of hope for what was to come. The team made it out to be a big one, and delivered: “they’re not going to beat themselves, you have to beat them and we did that.”


That doesn’t necessarily mean the Jets want another shot at the Patriots — Pace said “it might be a plus for us, not having to see them, it’s always a knock-down, drag-out fight … Probably good to go play Indy, change of scenery” — but it does mean that the AFC East race is no longer academic, the way it had been in the past.

The Jets will be there, and I believe the Dolphins are on their way too. Should make those six games each year more important and compelling.

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