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Top 3 reasons why 2016 is the year of the Jets

Dec 6, 2015; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles (left) celebrates after New York Giants kicker Josh Brown (not pictured) misses a field goal during overtime at MetLife Stadium. The Jets defeated the Giants 23-20 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 6, 2015; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles (left) celebrates after New York Giants kicker Josh Brown (not pictured) misses a field goal during overtime at MetLife Stadium. The Jets defeated the Giants 23-20 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
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As the New York Jets prepare for the upcoming season, this could very well be the year that everything comes together in achieving major results.

new york jets
new york jets

Dec 6, 2015; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles (left) celebrates after New York Giants kicker Josh Brown (not pictured) misses a field goal during overtime at MetLife Stadium. The Jets defeated the Giants 23-20 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

It feels like just yesterday that the New York Jets didn’t have much of an identity. As a matter of fact, just two years ago Gang Green was considered a non-factor in the National Football League.

Related Story: Top 25 Bold Predictions For New York Jets In 2016

Talk about a fall from grace, too.

Remember in 2009 and 2010 when the Jets were red hot, making back-to-back AFC championship appearances? Our boys were knocking on Vince Lombardi’s door.

If only he had answered.

What followed was a steady decline. Head coach Rex Ryan lost his spark, and starting quarterback Mark Sanchez fizzled out.

Year by year, the culture was changing in the “Big Apple.” Not for the better, either.

Sure, true fans stood by the team through thick and thin, but the 2014 season still wasn’t easy to watch. A stagnant offense, coupled with a 4-12 record, was a far cry from the AFC championships.

However, this isn’t 2014 or 2009. This is 2016.

Ryan is coaching the Buffalo Bills, and Sanchez is being passed around the league like a hot potato. Fortunately, quarterback Geno Smith will be riding the pine, too.

Sifting through cancerous personalities and poor on-field performers, Gang Green, in 2015, was finally able to regain what they lacked since 2010: chemistry. Now, in 2016, they look to follow up an impressive 10-6 effort.

Here are three reasons why 2016 will be the Jets’ year.

Next: 3. A familiar face under center

Dec 19, 2015; Arlington, TX, USA; New York Jets quarterback
Dec 19, 2015; Arlington, TX, USA; New York Jets quarterback

3. Ryan Fitzpatrick

It seems easy in this day and age for a journeyman quarterback to be entirely overlooked. Either that or nobody expected the next Rich Gannon or Kurt Warner to be a Harvard grad.

In 2015, quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick replaced the unimpressive Smith. That ended up being just what the doctor ordered.

Fitzpatrick led the Jets to a 10-6 record. So close to a playoff appearance that the fans could practically taste it.

Heading into 2016, it’s doubtful that Fitz won’t be as confident as ever. He is, after all, coming off of the best statistical season of his career.

Next: 2. The dynamic duo at wide receiver

new york jets
new york jets

oDec 27, 2015; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Eric Decker (87) and New York Jets wide receiver Brandon Marshall (15) celebrate Marshall

2. Brandon Marshall & Eric Decker

The one-two punch that nearly fell into the Denver Broncos’ lap is here. Except on the East Coast.

While wide receiver Eric Decker was a standout from the Jets’ 2014 squad, he topped a receiving core that lacked depth. This automatically made his role much more difficult. Big fish tend to draw a lot of attention in a small pond.

With the acquisition of wide receiver Brandon Marshall, Fitzpatrick gained a shiny, new toy to play with. A target that took some of the weight off of Decker’s shoulders.

If 2015 were any indication, these two have just begun lighting up scoreboards. Look out for the one-two punch combo in 2016.

Next: 1. A true workhorse in the backfield

new york jets
new york jets

Aug 27, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets running back Matt Forte (22) rushes the ball against the New York Giants during the first quarter of the preseason game at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

1. Running Back Matt Forte

Yeah, Gang Green does boast a highly touted passing game. However, this offense is not a one-trick pony.

In 2015, halfback Chris Ivory was the Jets’ go-to rusher. However, he is now a Jacksonville Jaguar.

To replace the solid output of Ivory, the Jets signed Pro Bowl-caliber running back Matt Forte to bolster their backfield. Seriously.

It’s not very often that youth is replaced by age, which is why many are questioning this decision.

But, let’s not forget Forte’s track record. Since 2008, he has been considered one of the most consistent, talented dual-threat backs in the NFL.

Welcome to the Jets, Mr. Forte. Feel free to prove analysts wrong.

Next: A bold prediction

Jan 3, 2016; Orchard Park, NY, USA; A general view of a New York Jets helmet and an NFL football during the game between the Buffalo Bills and the New York Jets at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 3, 2016; Orchard Park, NY, USA; A general view of a New York Jets helmet and an NFL football during the game between the Buffalo Bills and the New York Jets at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Jan 3, 2016; Orchard Park, NY, USA; A general view of a New York Jets helmet and an NFL football during the game between the Buffalo Bills and the New York Jets at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

The Jets will make NFL Playoffs

Of course, there is a reason why they play the games. Looking good on paper doesn’t guarantee postseason contention.

Fitzpatrick will need poise. Decker and Marshall will need hands. Forte will need health.

Yet, if all four do their part, the New York Jets will possess one of the scariest offenses in the NFL.

And what is the one thing that has held Gang Green back in the past? A lack of cohesion, chemistry.

must read: Gang Green must rely on defense in Week 1

Even though the season is still so fresh, that doesn’t mean that bold predictions are off the table. In 2016, the Jets will qualify for the NFL Playoffs if their offensive playmakers can excel together.

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