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Behind Enemy Lines: New York Jets

The Bengals make their home debut in week 2 of the preseason and welcome Rex Ryan and the Jets to the Jungle. We here at Cincy Jungle welcome Gang Green Nation editor, Scott Salmon, for a look at the 2014 Jets.

Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

Q: In 2013, many were surprised by the Jets finishing 8-8. Was this a surprise to Jets fans? How was the 2013 season viewed by Jets fans?

A: I'd say it's half and half - better than what fans expected and exactly what they expected. Around 8-8 or just below seemed to be the majority expectation. Most fans were pretty satisfied with the season, although the three game losing stretch after the bye hurt and probably shouldn't have happened and could have gotten the Jets into the playoffs.

Q: Statistically, Geno Smith struggled his rookie season. But, he did start all 16 games and ended up 8-8. Is the organization sold on Geno Smith? Are the Jets fans sold on Geno Smith?

A: The team isn't sold on him, but they really like his potential and growth. His last quarter of the season, he made marked improvements and seemingly continues to do so, so the team is very hopeful. Jets fans are very much split. Roughly half think he's can be great and the other half think he will be trash. There are only a few who take a more moderate approach.

Q: Speaking of Smith, the Jets added Michael Vick in the offseason. Is there a QB competition? If so, who is winning?

A: No, there isn't really a competition. Vick is really only going to start if Smith collapses, which he hasn't done so far. Their performances have been mostly neck-and-neck, and in my book, tie goes to the younger player.

Q: From an organizational standpoint, who should the Jets start? From a "win now" standpoint, who should the Jets start?

A: Smith. They need to see what he is, and if they need to get a new quarterback next year. Vick is 34, and although he may be better from a win now perspective, he isn't the long term solution. Smith has the potential to be, so they need to see what he's got.

Q: Where do the fans stand on Geno Smith vs Michael Vick?

A: Like I alluded to above, it's a very deep divide. Those that want to win now want Vick to start. Those that aren't are as focused on this season but the next, want Smith.

Q: What is the deepest/strongest position on this 2014 Jets team?

A: Definitely defensive line. Muhammad Wilkerson, Sheldon Richardson, Damon Harrison, Quinton Coples, Jason Babin, Kenrick Ellis, Leger Douzable, the list goes on. All of these guys would start on most teams.

Q: The Jets added some big names via free agency - Decker, Johnson, Vick, etc. How have they looked?

A: Decker has looked good in particular. He has been Smith's safety blanket and looks like the real deal. Johnson has looked decent but not spectacular. Vick looks like he's about five years younger, and is running like a much younger man.

Q: What is the most intriguing roster battle in Jets camp this year?

A: For me personally, left guard. Oday Aboushi has come out of nowhere to challenge Brian Winters for the starting role. However, fans would probably say cornerback, especially with the top three CBs all being injured.

Q: Who is a player most Bengals fans won't know, but should know, or should look for Saturday night?

A: They should watch Demario Davis. The inside linebacker has made a stunning push to be the leader of the defense and looks vastly improved from last year. Fans will see him flying all over the field.

They should also watch Antonio Allen. Although he's normally a strong safety, Rex Ryan wants to try him out as a cornerback... covering A.J. Green. It should get interesting.

Q: What is the strength of the 2014 Jets? And, what areas of this Jets team concern you?

A: The defensive line is the strength, for the depth I mentioned above. They can stuff the run as well as anybody, and look for them to get better at rushing the passer.

Cornerback is the biggest concern, with injuries to the top three guys.

Q: How do you see the Jets stacking up in the AFC East?

A: As they have for the past few years, most likely in second place. Unless Brady declines, the Patriots still have a chokehold on the division.

Q: How secure is Rex Ryan's job?

A: Pretty secure. Woody Johnson and the team love him and it will probably take a meltdown for him to lose his job.

Q: What is your prediction for the Jets 2014 season?

A: 9-7, fringe Wild Card team.

Q: Were this a regular season game, what would your prediction be?

A: 34-17, Bengals. High flying attack is too much for a weakened cornerback group.