There are several reasons why the New York Jets missed the NFL Playoffs in 2016. One major reason was they had trouble scoring after the team forced turnovers.
The New York Jets are coming off one of the best offensive seasons in team history. Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick set the single season record for passing touchdowns and finished second in passing yards. In addition to that, wide receiver Brandon Marshall set records for receptions and yards, tied the touchdown record and with fellow wide receiver Eric Decker, became the first pair of teammates in franchise history to each have 10+ touchdowns in one season.
The Jets’ defense forced 30 turnovers and achieved 18 interceptions with 12 forced fumbles in 2015. Unfortunately, according Sporting Charts, they only scored 91 points off of those turnovers.
The 30 turnovers tied for third in the NFL, and the 91 total points off of turnovers ranked sixth. However, the average of three points off of turnovers ranked 16th. Seven playoff teams had a higher average than the Jets 3.03:
Their problems scoring off of turnovers was evident early. Against the Browns and Colts, they forced ten turnovers and only scored 24 points off of those turnovers.
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Part of the reason the Jets only scored 91 points off of turnovers is because Fitzpatrick doesn’t have a great arm and can’t attack the defenses early to make them pay for their turnovers.
Smith has a much bigger arm than Fitzpatrick.
The Jets also didn’t have a deep threat either.
According to his NFL.com draft profile Smith:
"Possesses a quick delivery, can get the ball downfield or move a team methodically by making quick decisions."
In their final analysis:
"NFL general managers appreciate his ultra-competitive nature, athleticism, and quick delivery. arm strength"
Wide receiver Charone Peake helps the Jets with that as well. Peake ran a 4.37 40-yard dash and is a prototypical speed threat.
NFL.com says this about him:
"Possesses outstanding combination of size, length and deep speed"
The Jets probably won’t get 30 takeaways again in 2016. So, they will have to take better advantage of the turnovers they actually do get.
The combination of Smith and Peake will be dangerous on offense with offensive coordinator Chan Gailey, who has a history of getting the best out of his quarterbacks. They will need to get more out of the turnovers created, even if they get fewer this season.