Sheldon Rankins: Expectation has to be for Jets to have best defense in the league

The Jets gave up the most points and yards in the NFL last season, so there’s nowhere for the team to go but up once they take the field for the 2022 season.

Defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins said that the goal is for the team to go way up. Rankins told reporters on Wednesday that “the expectations, to a man, have to be to be the best defense in the league” this year.

Rankins said that the team would be “selling ourselves short” to set any other goal for the year to come.

“For us, we want that target on our back,” Rankins said, via Brian Costello of the New York Post. “We want that challenge. We want to put that out there, because it gives us something to go out there and chase every day. It’s easy to say you just want to be good. That’s relative. What are you comparing it to? What is your barometer that you’re trying to judge that against? To say you want to be the best, everybody knows what that means. Going into it with any other mindset would just be flawed thinking. You’d be selling yourself short.”

Finishing in the top spot may not be in the cards for the Jets, but a more modest improvement would be a big step forward from 2021 and would have the team moving in the right direction in head coach Robert Saleh’s second season.