The New York Jets are hoping to replicate similar results like last season but unfortunately, they won’t be making the NFL Playoffs for another consecutive year.
In 2015, the New York Jets had a very successful season in the first year of the Todd Bowles-Mike Maccagnan regime. They posted a 10-6 record, despite missing the NFL Playoffs. Journeyman quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick had his best season as a pro, and wide receiver Brandon Marshall posted monster numbers at age 31. The Jets hope to improve on their record in 2016 and finally end their playoff drought since 2010.
While the Jets made improvements on both sides of the football, they also lost some productive players. 1,000 yard running back Chris Ivory departed as well as nose tackle Damon Harrison. As of now, Fitzpatrick remains unsigned, which would force turnover-prone incumbent quarterback Geno Smith to take over as the starting quarterback. While Smith certainly has the physical tools to be a starting quarterback, he has not proven that he has the intangibles to succeed as a starting quarterback in the NFL.
The biggest failure of the Jets this offseason were the moves they didn’t make. They failed to upgrade the offensive line, only replacing the retiring D’Brickashaw Ferguson with injury prone Ryan Clady. The Jets still have major depth issues, as well as two average-below average starters in guard Brian Winters and tackle Breno Giacomini. They also failed to add, with their limited budget, a proven edge pass rusher. The Jets will put all their eggs in one basket, that is Lorenzo Mauldin. He seems poised to have a breakout year, given the interior stars of the Jets, but if he doesn’t they will pay the price.
The Jets also will rely on an aging cornerback in Darrelle Revis to cover No. 1 receivers such as A.J. Green and Sammy Watkins, after struggling to do so at times last season. Revis is still a top five corner in the NFL, but does not have the speed needed to cover the game’s best receivers by himself. Buster Skrine will need to step up, or he will be picked on by opposing offenses. Skrine had an up and down season in 2015 on the inside, but did have success on the outside for Cleveland in 2014.
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The biggest problem the Jets have is their age.
If Fitzpatrick does indeed return in 2016, it is highly unlikely he is able to produce the season he had last year, ditto for Marshall.
The AFC will be stacked in 2016, and the Jets will be playing the AFC’s best.
They play the Cincinnati Bengals, Pittsburgh Steelers, Kansas City Chiefs and of course the New England Patriots twice. Not to mention the NFC West.
The Jets will have a disadvantage in most of these games from the start, due to their quarterback situation, whether Smith or Fitzparick is the quarterback. The Jets’ age, quarterback position and inferior offensive line talent/depth will prevent them from making the playoffs in 2016.