NY Jets: What to expect after the bye week


The NY Jets are ready to get back to work and continue proving they are indeed a playoff-contending team this season.

The NY Jets have been taking it easy, resting and getting healthy since defeating the Miami Dolphins 27-14 in Week 4. The team met for film review upon their return from London, before Todd Bowles sent them on their way for the bye week. Practices resumed this week as the Jets’ coaching staff prepares the team to face off against Kirk Cousins and the Washington Redskins in Week 6. 

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The bye week came early for the Jets this season and now begins a long twelve week grind for the team.

The timing of the bye may not be ideal for breaking up the season for the players, but it was well timed, for the Jets to get healthy. The first four games saw the Jets suffer a series of injuries that sidelined some of its key contributors, so today I want to look at what fans can expect from this team after the bye.

Easily the biggest news for Jet fans is the return of Sheldon Richardson on defense. Richardson has fallen out of favor with many Jet fans over his off field issues, and will need to redeem himself. A healthy Richardson has been a huge factor for the Jets’ defense since he arrived on the scene as a rookie, and his return only makes an already stout front line, that much better.

It is unclear exactly how much playing time Richardson will see this week, but his availability gives Todd Bowles yet another weapon to utilize. Bowles has already shown a willingness to experiment with four man fronts, and a line of Muhammad Wilkerson, Damon Harrison, Leonard Williams and Richardson might prove to be a devastating option. I expect Richardson to come out on a tear, he has a lot to put behind him and the quickest way to do that is to do it with his play.

Eric Decker could very well be back after the break. Being hobbled with a knee ailment in the early going this season, Decker has been missed in the Jets’ offense undoubtedly. Going into the bye, Decker has only 14 receptions in three games, for just 180 yards. He has accounted for 3 touchdowns this year, but those stats fall way short of what a healthy Decker brings to the offense. Decker is out there practicing, and if he is even close to being 100% again, the Jets’ offense will get a boost.

Oct 4, 2015; London, United Kingdom; New York Jets receiver Eric Decker (87) is defended by Miami Dolphins linebacker Koa Misi (55) in Game 12 of the NFL International Series at Wembley Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Jets will also have a healthy Devin Smith and Chris Owusu for the first time this year. While both are still developing their NFL game, both possess speed that is hard to deny. As we have seen in the early part of this season, offensive coordinator Chan Gailey likes to spread the ball around, and he utilizes all his personnel to keep opposing defenses off balance.

Owusu and Smith are another two options at wide receiver that you can expect Gailey to make the most of. I wouldn’t be surprised if fans saw quite a bit of these two on the field at the same time, streaking down the sidelines deep. As we’ve seen already, Fitzpatrick will load up and take the deep shot down field when the opportunity arises.

Defensively the Jets have been formidable leading up to the bye. The secondary has lived up to its hype and the results have been seen in the turnover department. Darrelle Revis has been slowed a bit by a nagging hamstring, but the week off has given him the time needed to rest.

Other defensive players that were on the mend during the bye week were Antonio Cromartie (hip), Trevor Reilly (finger), Darrin Walls (hamstring), Jaiquawn Jarrett (knee), Quinton Coples (elbow) and David Harris (finger). Most of these were minor bumps and bruises and a week off has a way of getting things feeling better.

Chris Ivory also had a chance to rest his quadriceps, which has slowed him in the early going. Ivory powered through the injury for the most part, running hard and with his normal violent streak, the bye week provided a respite for the talented back. A healthy Ivory is key to this team’s success, so a healthy Ivory after the bye is a huge plus for the Jets’ offense.

The offense has been adequate this season to this point, Ryan Fitzpatrick and company have scored points, but it has faulted at ties as well. Injuries to the wide receiver corps has limited Gailey’s offensive options and as a result we’ve seen a sputtering of the Jets’ offense. With players getting healthy, and more options available to Gailey, I’m expecting the Jets’ offense to become a bit more potent after the bye week.

Defensively, the Jets have been stout against the run and the pass. This defensive unit is a good one, and Mike Maccagnan continues to tweak its personnel. Adding safety Dion Bailey at the end of September showed the Jets are still willing to improve this roster as opportunities arise. With the return of Richardson to the mix up front, I’m expecting the Jets to get to the quarterback on a more consistent basis.

The Jets’ defense has brought plenty of pressure in the opening weeks of this season, but I’m certain Bowles would like to see his defensive lineman at the quarterback position a bit more regularly. Richardson should provide a spark, and the resulting sacks should come.

Oct 2, 2015; Sunbury-on-Thames, United Kingdom; New York Jets coach Todd Bowles at press conference after practice at the Hazelwood in advance of the NFL International Series game against the Miami Dolphins. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Overall, I’m looking for a much more explosive offense after the bye. Fitzpatrick will again have a full contingents of weapons to throw to, and Ivory should continue to dominate the running game. I expect the Jets’ offense to come out with a chip on its shoulders, it is a talented group that hasn’t quite lived up to expectations just yet. Fitzpatrick and company have something to prove, and I expect them to bring their “A” game right from the start.

Defensively, I’m expecting this team to take the next step as a unit. They have held their own in the trenches to this point, but they have the talent to dominate offensive lines, I’d expect them to come out and put the league on notice. The secondary will continue to benefit from turnovers created up front, and with a bit of luck our linebackers will join in on the action. I fully expect this defense to develop into a dominant force as the season progresses.

The Washington Redskins are this week’s opponent. The Jets will hit the field on Sunday, fired up and looking to make a statement. The talent is there on this roster, expect them to be motivated, hungry and loud. Fans can rest assured that Gailey, Bowles and the rest of the Jets’ coaching staff will have this team ready to play. I expect some really good football coming from this team in the coming weeks.

How do you see the Jets coming out of the gate following the bye week? Do you see them firing out of the gate as I do on Sunday? Or maybe you are expecting a drop off, with the Jets coming out flat? We here at The Jet Press would like to hear your thoughts on the Jets. Please leave us a comment and Let’s Talk Jet Football!!

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