Dec 6, 2015; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles before the game against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports
The New York Jets surprised many last season and will continue their momentum heading into the regular season. They had a solid offseason and are ready to make some noise.
The New York Jets are built to win and win now, despite the uproar over their current quarterback issue. Despite Ryan Fitzpatrick not signing yet, the Jets will do well and make a playoff run in 2016.
There are several reasons why the Jets are good enough to contend in the AFC, and maybe even qualify for the NFL Playoffs. Yes their schedule is a tough one, but they can handle it.
The Jets bolstered their defense, drafted another quarterback to develop and addressed their overall pass rush nicely. They have the roster to make a serious run and once again, surprise the football world in 2016.
Without further ado, here are the top five reasons why the Jets will once again be successful this upcoming season.
Next: 5. Tom Brady's four-game suspension
5. Tom Brady‘s four-game suspension
Brady’s suspension is a blessing in disguise for the entire AFC East. It will give the teams an opportunity to open up a lead on New England.
The Jets open up at home versus Cincinnati, at Buffalo (Thursday Night) and Kansas City, then round out their first four games against Seattle. It’s a tough first four, but a doable 3-1, with the team they will field.
The toughest game will be at Arrowhead Stadium, because it’s one of the loudest stadiums in the NFL. With that said, MetLife Stadium will be raucous for their home opener on September 11, and Seattle added fuel to the fire with their cupcake video posted on Twitter below:
While, it will be a tough go, it’s not impossible for the Jets to conceive being in first place after the quarter-pole of the season. All they need to do is find ways to score when they get turnovers and defensive stops and not turn the ball over foolishly.
Next: 4. Jace Amaro's return from injury
4. Jace Amaro‘s return from injury
The tight ends did absolutely nothing last season. They combined for eight catches, 95 yards and one touchdown all season long.
Tight end Jace Amaro was injured and couldn’t contribute and his return can only help wide receivers Eric Decker and Brandon Marshall. He can provide quarterback Geno Smith (if Fitzpatrick doesn’t return) with the security blanket he needs when Decker and Marshall don’t get open.
The combination of Matt Forte (or Bilal Powell) out of the backfield, Decker, Marshall and Amaro will be a tough group to cover. It will be a pick your poison kind of offense, which is good for the team.
It may take some time in camp, but if they can come together cohesively like last season, adding another weapon can only strengthen this offense.
Next: 3. A potent offensive system
Jan 3, 2016; Orchard Park, NY, USA; New York Jets offensive coordinator Chan Gailey on the field before the game against the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports
3. A potent offensive system
With former quarterback Mark Sanchez at the helm, the Jets went 8-7 (9-7 overall) and 11-5 in 2009 and 2010, respectively, and they went to consecutive AFC Championship Games. Things fell apart when the Jets shifted the offense to try to make it high flying, and subsequently ruined Sanchez’s career.
There is no way anyone can say Rex Ryan is a better head coach than Chan Gailey is an offensive coordinator, and the Jets were 8-8 with Geno Smith in his rookie season. If Gailey can mold an offense that an take a journeyman 33-55-1 quarterback to make him 10-6 and a career high in touchdowns, he certainly can do the same with Smith.
If Fitzpatick doesn’t re-sign, Gailey will build an offense that can take the talent of Smith and highlight his strengths rather than expose his weaknesses. So, in the end, it’s not who is or isn’t the quarterback.
Before overreacting and saying we need Fitzpatrick, here are his won-loss records with Gailey as either head coach or offensive coordinator vs. not:
Like the saying goes, in Gailey we trust.
Next: 2. Major weapons at running back
Jan 3, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte (22) celebrates after scoring a touchdown against the Detroit Lions during the second half at Soldier Field. The Lions won 24-20. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
2. Major weapons at running back
The additions of Forte and Khiry Robinson and the re-signing of Powell are the most impactful additions of the offensive side of the ball. Robinson gives them the power back they need for tough yards, Forte gives them the every down back and Powell gives them the pass catcher.
This three-headed monster will be a tough threat to stop, especially if the Jets use Forte in the slot and Powell out of the backfield simultaneously on occasion. The signing of Forte does bring consistency to the Jets’ offense by giving them a pass catcher and runner on downs that can be a dual-threat option.
Also, the addition of Robinson will give the Jets an added dimension in the red zone, especially on play action plays. The combination of Amaro and Robinson in the red zone will be great to watch, also in short down-and-distance plays.
The threat of play action can open up holes for Robinson, while the threat of Robinson pounding the rock in order to keep the drive alive also can open up the middle of the field for Amaro. So, it’s another pick your poison aspect for the Jets to exploit just on their ground game alone.
Next: 1. A revamped defense
Apr 28, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Darron Lee (Ohio State) after being selected by the New York Jets as the number twenty overall pick in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft at Auditorium Theatre. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
1. A revamped defense
The Jets needed to add youth, speed and quickness to the second level of their defense during this offseason, and they did that by drafting linebacker Darron Lee out of Ohio State and Jordan Jenkins out of Georgia. Their front seven now has great pass rushing and run stuffing capabilities, which will in turn help the back end of the defense.
The Jets forced 12 fumbles, had 18 interceptions in 2015 and totaled a +6 turnover differential. They also tied for first in run defense allowing 83.4 yards per game, 11th in the league in pass defense (235.2), and 5th in total defense.
In 2016, expect similar numbers, because defensive end Leonard Williams will be in his second season, the Jets still have defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson and now they have youth in the middle. The combination of the rotation in the front three, Jenkins and Lee will be formidable for any offense to stop.
You win championships on defense, and if the Jets want to make a championship run in 2016, it won’t be different for Gang Green. It doesn’t matter who the quarterback is as they will win plenty of games thanks to their stout defense.