New York Jets: Bold predictions for 2015


Aug 29, 2015; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets running back Chris Ivory (33) runs with the ball while being pursued by New York Giants defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins (95) during the first half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

With the final preseason game in the books, it will quickly become prediction season for the New York Jets.

Writers of every shape and form will be coming out with predictions for the upcoming season. Most will predict the final season record while others will break down the season game by game.

This time, however, I would get a jump on the season and do one of my own. I’ve already gone on the record in earlier articles, predicting a 7-9 season for this team. I’ve already noted the potential is there to improve that mark to 9-7 if the Jets avoid injury, and everything goes right for them in 2015.

So, with that being said, I’d like to make some predictions concerning individual players on both offense and defense. A bit of a different approach than I’ve taken in years past, but change is always good.

My predictions won’t be made off of stat sheets, or any site’s analysis. They are simply my feel for the player, and what I think they bring to the table. I wrote it for fun and to get a discussion going, I’m not a scout just a Jet football fan. I hope you enjoy the read.

Next: Offensive Backfield Predictions

Aug 29, 2015; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) throws a pass during the first half of their game against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

Offensive Predictions

Ryan Fitzpatrick is the new starting quarterback, so let us start there. My prediction for Fitzpatrick? I think he remains the Jet’ starter through the season unless of course the Jets find the need to evaluate Geno Smith further. I believe Fitzpatrick has the skills to play adequately for the Jets this season.

We know he can run a Gailey system, and there are plenty of weapons to go around for him to be successful. In the end, I think he proves to be the better QB and ends the season with a 60% completion rate. As long as he avoids turnovers, the Jets should be in good shape with Fitzpatrick at the helm.

Chris Ivory will have the breakout year fans have been waiting for from him. With the offensive line remaining healthy and a good campaign up front, I see Ivory topping the 1,000-yard rushing mark this season.

To stick my neck out there a bit further, I’m going to predict a 1,500 yard all-purpose yard season for Ivory this season. It might seem a big stretch to predict 500 yards through the air, but Gailey likes to get his backs in space, and Ivory is a big package to bring down in the open field. I fully expect some big plays from the big guy this year.

Devin Smith is the new deep threat receiver this year for the Jets. Smith, however, is just a rookie and is starting the season already injured. I don’t expect a lot from Smith this season. My thinking is he will struggle through his rookie campaign as his routes are limited, and it will take time to adjust to the NFL.

He’ll make some big plays for the Jets, but his contributions won’t be consistent. The talent is there, but Smith will have to mature and overcome the rookie growing pains.

Next: More Offense

May 27, 2015; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Devin Smith (84) catches a pass during organized team activities at Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

More Offense

Willie Colon will return to form and have another putrid season at right guard. Colon has had a solid camp and has won the starting spot, but the wear and tear of the regular season will end all of that.

Colon is 32 years old and the years have seen his contributions decline. I’d expect Colon to garner the most penalties along the Jets’ offensive line this season. Easy prediction: It is Colon’s last season in Green and White.

Quincy Enunwa will prove to be a valuable weapon on this Jets’ offense. Enunwa is versatile, and Gailey loves these type of guys. He can line up almost anywhere, and with his 6’2″/225-pound frame, that can create some mismatches the Jets should be able to take advantage of.

He’s good after the catch and Gailey will exploit the mismatches Enunwa’s size can create. My prediction, Enunwa comes in shortly behind Decker in yards and is second in yards after the catch, coming in just behind Brandon Marshall.

Eric Decker spends a majority of his year playing from the slot. Decker’s crisp routes make him ideal for the role and Fitzpatrick will quickly make him one of his favorite receivers.

Decker will remain a big contributor for this offense, but I wouldn’t expect him to improve over last season’s production. Gailey likes to spread the ball around, and as a result, Decker falls significantly short of 1,000 yards.

Next: Defensive Predictions

August 11, 2015; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets defensive Muhammad Wilkerson during practice at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. Mandatory Credit: John Munson/THE STAR-LEDGER via USA TODAY Sports

Defensive Predictions

Muhammad Wilkerson has a huge year that backs up my bold prediction for the Jets’ star defensive end. I fully expect Wilkerson to have double-digit sacks this season. I’m also predicting he breaks his own season high sack mark of 10.5 sacks set in 2013.

With the addition of Leonard Williams and the continued high level of play of Damon Harrison, teams will not so easily double team Wilkerson this year.

He will remain solid in the run game as well, Wilkerson is a smart football player and reads offensive plays very well. This season, without a contract extension, Wilkerson will be out to have a monstrous season. Sticking my neck on the line, Wilkerson finishes with 15 sacks to his credit.

Williams has already proven he can be a contributor on this defense. The fact that he was remaining on the board when the Jets drafted him this spring was amazing to me. Williams is going to be a Pro Bowl caliber player someday, and his inaugural season in the NFL promises to be an effective one.

I’m thinking he produces 9.5 sacks for the season and blows up the run game of opposing teams as well. Going way out on a limb, Williams wins the Defensive Rookie of the Year honors. If he doesn’t win it, I think he will be a serious contender.

Antonio Cromartie finishes the year with three interceptions and riding the bench. Cromartie is an injury concern in my opinion, at the age of 31, trying to play through 16 games will just be a bit too much for the veteran.

I expect injury or the development of Dexter McDougle to end his season. Cromartie will play hard early in the season, but I can see him wearing thin by the final stretch. Milliner and McDougle’s development may make Cromartie a one and done signing.

Next: More Defense

Aug 29, 2015; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets defensive back Antonio Cromartie (31) runs to the end zone after intercepting a pass from New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) during the first half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

More Defense

Demario Davis steps up and leads the Jets’ linebacker corps. With youth and an aging Calvin Pace to play with, this is Davis’s year. The Jets will rely on Davis heavily to be the leader of this group. The Bowles’ system lends itself to Davis’ strengths and, as a result, his contributions should be significant. My prediction, 3.5 sacks and improved skills in coverage.

Buster Skrine is going to make fans quickly forget the horrors of Kyle Wilson. I’m not high on Skrine’s play on the outside, but Bowles will use his skill set in the nickel to shut down opposing tight ends and slot receivers. Skrine has skills and I’m going to predict he leads all cornerbacks in interceptions this season. I believe he can bring down four interceptions by seasons end.

Rontez Miles makes a name for himself during the regular season. Miles has had a phenomenal camp; the development is apparent and opposing offenses would be wise to take notice. Miles is a big thumper and tackles well plus he has the makings of a solid safety for the Jets.

With improvement in his pass coverage, he will see a lot of time on defense this year. Miles will have a breakout campaign and become one of the top safeties of the future for the Jets.

Sheldon Richardson sits this one out on suspension. Richardson was suspended for the first four games of the 2015 season due to another failed drug test. The involvement of a gun, marijuana, and a minor all at the same time in a bizarre high-speed traffic stop is not likely to go over well with the NFL commissioner. I don’t think we’ll get to see Richardson in green and white this year.

Those are some of my thoughts on individual players heading into the 2015 season. With any luck, my predictions are on the low side. For the guys I’m doubting I hope I’m dead wrong. Here’s hoping for a successful year for the entire Jet football team!

Have a thought on an individual player? Find my predictions ludicrous? Have a favorite guy I missed? Please leave us a comment and Let’s Talk Jet Football!!

Next: New York Jets: Matt Flynn discusses debut

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