Fact or Fiction: Week 7

ESPN NFL experts debate the issues heading into Week 7 of the NFL season.

Updated: October 21, 2004, 10:14 AM ET
ESPN.com

Everyone has opinions about what will happen during the NFL season. And the predictions will either prove to be true or false.

So we've made four bold statements and asked our ESPN experts -- former NFL players Merril Hoge and Mark Schlereth -- to find out whether or not they believe the statements will eventually become fact or fiction.

On which side of the fence do they sit? Click on the links below for their answers.

The Jets are a legitimate AFC contender
Mark Schlereth
Fact: This team went out in the offseason and did the things necessary to improve. They upgraded a slow, old defense with youth and speed this season. The offseason additions of Jonathan Vilma and Eric Barton to the linebacking corps have reinvigorated the defense. Last year the 'backers couldn't cover from sideline to sideline and this season they are doing a great job making plays. Offensively, the Jets are playing excellent football. Chad Pennington is blossoming into one of the best QBs in the league and has a great offensive line to support him. The line has been a true surprise this season. It's done a great job run and pass blocking and keeping pressure off Pennington. Also, RB Curtis Martin is experiencing a rebirth of sorts. The Jets are helped by a schedule that isn't that difficult, but is highlighted by two tough division games against the Patriots. Those games will show the toughness of this team.
Merril Hoge
Fact: The Jets are a definite AFC contender this season. They have a strong offensive line and that's key to their chances. This line has played better than any other in the league through the first six weeks of the season. It's fast and dominant and is doing a great job in run and pass protection. Because of the line's success, the Jets are able to run and pass equally well, which takes advantage of two of their best players -- QB Chad Pennington and RB Curtis Martin. Also, the Jets have an easy schedule that should allow them to coast to a playoff spot in the AFC.