2016 NFL Season Preview: New York Jets
*takes a deep breath*
The Jets enter the 2016 season fresh off of an offseason that saw the most ridiculous contract dispute of all time. The dispute ended with Ryan Fitzpatrick signing back with the team for 12 million dollars on a one-year deal much to my chagrin. There’s still a bitter taste in the mouths of many with how the Jets ended last season. After taking advantage of a weak schedule on the way to 10-5, the aforementioned Fitzpatrick and his teammates had a colossal meltdown in Buffalo, which cost them a trip to the postseason.
I think the Jets quarterback spot somehow managed to get worse from last year to this year but I won’t delve too deep into that. Matt Forte is a solid player who gives the Jets another pass catching option. He should see quite a bit of time split out wide, and gives Fitzpatrick a decent option to check down to assuming he ever actually comes off his first read. Bilal Powell provides some of the same things Forte does and is a little more explosive at this point in their respective career. I do think that the Jets will miss Chris Ivory because his power, speed and ability to create something in dire situations helped what isn’t a particularly good offensive line.
Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker should continue doing what they do as they are arguably the best WR duo in the sport. Quincy Enunwa is a really good player who I would be more excited about in an offense with a QB who would be more apt to find him. Either way, he’s an excellent role player and making him an H-back might be the best thing Chan Gailey has done as the Jets offensive coordinator. The Jets have a lot of speed after those guys with Robby Anderson and Jalin Marshall. I don’t think they fit with the water soaker armed QB but I like the idea of stocking up on athletically gifted young wide receivers. That is smart team building.
The offensive line is 3/5s good and 2/5s somewhat terrifying. Ryan Clady provides an upgrade over D’Brickashaw Ferguson. James Carpenter was a really savvy, low key signing for GM Mike McCagnan that turned out well. Nick Mangold is going to continue doing what he does. Brian Winters isn’t good and the Jets currently have a rotating door at RT. Ben Ijalana and Brent Qvale are in an ongoing competition (?) for the starting job? I don’t even know what to refer to it as but it’s not good. Now, it’s very possible that either is better than Breno Giacomini who did nothing but get beat and do unnecessary shit after plays.
I can’t believe an NFL GM really thought “Man, let’s take my alleged win now team and throw a second round pick on Christian Hackenberg”. Anyway, the Jets offense probably will take a step back but it should still be competent with one of the best playcallers in the business and a stable of good pass catchers.
Muhammad Wilkerson signed a five year, 86 million-dollar deal in July and he leads a defensive line that has the ability to be the league’s best. Wilkerson, Sheldon Richardson, and Leonard Williams are all, athletic, use their hands well, have excellent short area quickness and can line up all across the formation.
The linebackers boast youth, some athleticism and speed and question marks. David Harris, although he is as fast as my grandfather, is still a good player. I’m not sure he should be playing the amount of snaps he currently does given the climate of the league but he is still good. 3rd round pick Jarvis Jenkins, or young Calvin Pace, probably will start the season on the shelf, and it will be interesting to see what Lorenzo Mauldin does in his second year. He didn’t show a thing during the preseason and how he adjusts to the pounds of muscle he added remains to be seen. Rookie Darron Lee should play behind Erin Henderson as he adjusts to the game. He will probably be used in sub packages to start. He can fly so it will be interesting to see what he can do.
The secondary kind of speaks for itself. Any unit led by Darrelle Revis is going to be a strong one, even if Revis is not DPOY caliber Revis anymore. There has been some slippage in Revis’ play but he still had the best completion percentage against of any CB in the sport last year. Marcus Williams is a gambler and that might come back to bite the team in the ass a few times when he guesses wrong. Calvin Pryor is going to become one of the best safeties in the game and watching his progression from year two to year three will be fun.
All in all, a lot of my excitement for this season is somewhat sapped because Mike McCagnan continues to do dumb shit with his QB spot. That said, watching Marshall, Revis, Decker, Enunwa, Pryor and others still provide fun amongst the nonsense. The schedule this year is quite a bit more difficult than it was last year barring a rash of season changing injuries. If they didn’t make the playoffs last year and didn’t get significantly better in the offseason, I don’t see them making it this year. I hope I’m wrong and Ryan Fitzpatrick shocks me into a coma by actually not fuckin up a team’s playoff chances but I don’t see it.
Prediction: 9-7, 2nd in the AFC East, and a lot of Pepto Bismol.