2013 RECORD: 8-8 (Missed playoffs)
HEAD COACH: Rex Ryan (sixth year)
GENERAL MANAGER: John Idzik (second year)
It is an interesting season we are entering for the New York Jets. The Jets performed far better than their talent in 2013, and Rex Ryan earned a brief contract extension. However, he is just as much on the hot seat as he was in 2013. Woody Johnson is becoming impatient, and a fourth straight season without a playoff appearance may spell the end of Rex Ran here in New York. Can the Jets continue their upswing from the end of 2013? Or will this spell the end of an era in New York?
WHY THE JETS WILL WIN: Geno Smith has improved greatly in his second season. In the 2014 preseason, Geno completed nearly 70% of his passes, and his shown a greater grasp of the Jets’ offense than last year. He understands how to lead and is ready to take the next step. Michael Vick has been the perfect mentor, and still can step in and take the reigns should Geno Smith get injured or the Jets’ offense falters. Geno’s development will be a game changer for the Jets.
It doesn’t hurt to have a set of weapons that includes Chris Johnson, Eric Decker, and the up and coming Jace Amaro either. The Jets’ offense should definitely put up some points in 2014.
The Jets defensive front seven is one of the best in the business, and only going to get better. This group, led by Muhammad Wilkerson, has always been stout against the run, and has improved as a group of pass rushers as well. Adding established pass rusher Jason Babin to the mix gives the Jets’ pass rush the potential to be absolutely scary.
WHY THE JETS WILL LOSE: The Jets’ secondary has picked up right where they left off last season. Unfortunately, that is not a good thing at all. They consistently were beaten down the field last year, and again this preseason. You could argue that they have acquired no real replacement for Antonio Cromartie. Dee Milliner sustained a high ankle sprain that might affect him all year long. For Rex’s defense to work, you need good defensive back play, especially from the cornerbacks.
There will be a lot of pressure on the front seven to create a pass rush that makes up for the problems in the Jets’ secondary.
Combine that with the Jets’ schedule in the first half of the year, and it could get rough. In weeks 2-7, the Jets face the following quarterbacks: Aaron Rodgers, Jay Cutler, Matthew Stafford, Phillip Rivers, Peyton Manning, and Tom Brady. That would be a tall order for any team. The Jets could be 1-6 at the end of that stretch, but not have played badly at all.
SEASON PREDICTION: In the end, the Jets’ offense will score far more points than they did in 2014. They will scrap and claw through the opening stretch at or near .500. The defense will play well, the backfield will benefit from the improved pass rush, and they will play better than expected. Ultimately, the progression will continue and the Jets will finish 9-7, and be in the hunt for a playoff spot until the very end.
To see the previews of the other AFC East teams, check out the links below:
Tags: New York Jets