It’s no surprise the New York Jets lack standout play-makers, mostly on the offensive part of the team. The last time the Jets had a 1,000+ yard receiver was Jerricho Cotchery and it seems as if Curtis Martin was their last elite running back. For the last four seasons, the Jets have failed to make the playoffs and the overall offensive rankings have sat in the middle to last in the league. Last season the Jets showed promise offensively with the signings of wide receiver Eric Decker and former 2,000 yard rusher Chris Johnson.
As time passed and the 2014 season unveiled, it became clear Johnson was not the player he once was and Decker failed to put up the big numbers he posted previously for the Denver Broncos. Not surprising when Geno Smith is your quarterback instead of Peyton Manning. But regardless, despite the teams overall record and rankings of last year, the Jets are a talented bunch.
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With the newest additions made to the team via free agency and the 2015 NFL Draft such as Brandon Marshall, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Zac Stacy, Leonard Williams, Devin Smith and many more, it’s almost far fetched to say the Jets lack talent.
We will see how far that talent actually takes the Jets this season. Let’s not forget whose still sitting at starter in the quarterback spot. Despite the weakness in certain spots, the Jets are loaded with talent capable of making big plays when needed. Some players are over looked by most and seen as an average player.
You can make an argument saying Decker is the most underrated player on the Jets despite playing just one season with the team so far. Let’s not forget once again who is throwing the football to him, Manning is no longer Decker’s quarterback so finishing a season where you were just shy of 1,000 receiving yards and Smith is your quarterback is pretty impressive in my opinion.
With the addition of Marshall via trade during the off-season, the pressure of becoming an immediate number one receiver has been lifted off Decker’s shoulders. Going into his second season in Gotham, I wouldn’t be surprised if Decker became the Jets first 1,000 yard receiver since 2007.
Another possible forgotten player is linebacker David Harris. While the Jets’ offense has been nothing short of mediocre, their defense has remained as one of the best in the league mainly against stopping the run. When fans reflect on the Jets’ defense they think of key players such as Sheldon Richardson, Muhammad Wilkerson and others such as Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie, many forget Harris is the heart and soul of that defensive unit.
Nov 24, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; New York Jets inside linebacker David Harris (52) against the Buffalo Bills at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
Harris is one of the most consistent linebackers in the league, no matter the situation, he can make game changing plays against stopping the run or dropping back into coverage. The Michigan product has led the Jets in tackles for the majority of his career with them and recorded six sacks in 2014, increasing his career total to 30.
Harris also has nine forced fumbles, six interceptions and 24 pass deflections in his career. Despite his impressive career numbers, Harris has yet to make a NFL Pro Bowl appearance. Perhaps this upcoming season will be his ticket in if he continues his consistency.
2015 has the potential of being the year of the Jets, while that seems hard to believe, on paper its almost a given. There’s no reason why the Jets cant make a strong push this coming season, especially with the offense stronger than its been in years and the defense tougher than it was last season, there is no reason why the Jets aren’t due for another playoff run.