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2016 will finally bring breakout season

Dec 14, 2014; Nashville, TN, USA; New York Jets logo prior to the game against the Tennessee Titans at LP Field. Mandatory Credit: Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 14, 2014; Nashville, TN, USA; New York Jets logo prior to the game against the Tennessee Titans at LP Field. Mandatory Credit: Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports
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As the New York Jets prepare for the 2016 NFL regular season, there’s plenty to be excited about in the city that never sleeps.

It feels like just yesterday that the New York Jets didn’t have much of an identity. Sure, true fans would stand by the team through thick and thin, but how did outsiders perceive Gang Green? Word around the water cooler was that a stagnant offense, coupled with a 4-12 record, wasn’t going to raise any eyebrows. Hence, the Jets became just another team passed over in Madden.

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However, this isn’t 2014. Quarterback Geno Smith is on the sidelines, the receiving core is no longer carried by wide receiver Eric Decker, and the running game will not be spearheaded by running back Chris Ivory. In just two years, the Jets’ offensive lineup has been molded into a powder keg, ready to explode.

In 2015, quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick replaced the unimpressive Smith, which ended up being just what the doctor ordered. Fitzpatrick led the Jets to a 10-6 record, so close to a playoff appearance that fans could taste it. Heading into 2016, it’s doubtful that the Harvard graduate won’t be as confident as ever. Especially following the best statistical season of his career: over 4,000 total yards, 33 touchdowns.

While Decker was a standout from the Jets’ 2014 squad, he topped a receiving core that lacked depth.

With the acquisition of wide receiver Brandon Marshall, Fitzpatrick gained a shiny, new toy to play with. In the same vein, by taking some of the weight off of Decker’s shoulders, the duo made for a very effective one-two punch that will no doubt look to carry over their 2015 numbers into the 2016 season: over 2,500 yards, 26 touchdowns total.

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Despite boasting a highly touted passing game, Gang Green is not a one-trick pony.

In 2015, Ivory rushed for just over 1,000 yards, seven touchdowns.

To replace this production, the Jets signed Pro Bowl-caliber running back Matt Forte to bolster the backfield.

Forte, since 2008, has been considered one of the most consistent, talented dual-threat backs in the NFL. He is a welcomed addition to an already stacked offensive lineup.

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Of course, there is a reason why they play the games, as looking good on paper doesn’t guarantee postseason contention; however, heading into the regular season, the Jets are much more likely to raise some eyebrows. Especially around the water cooler and among the Madden community. This year, the Jets will do what they couldn’t in 2015: qualify for the NFL Playoffs.

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