After a crushing 1-4 start, the New York Jets have nobody to blame but themselves. However, self-awareness alone doesn’t win football games.
Oct 9, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports
So, with five games in the books, the New York Jets are currently 1-4. A record that, well, just isn’t gonna cut it. This is a franchise that came into the 2016 NFL regular season with all the tools to be a playoff contender.
So, what happened? How does a 10-6 team fall off the deep end so quickly? Let’s take a look under the hood. Despite how painful that may be.
Here are the top three reasons why 2016 has been such a mess for the Jets. This time around, the organization’s managerial and coaching staff is off limits. Head coach Todd Bowles and his crew deserve their own separate article.
Next: 3. A wide receiver not getting the job done
Oct 2, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Brandon Marshall (15) looks on in the second half against the Seattle Seahawks at MetLife Stadium. Seattle Seahawks defeat the New York Jets 27-17. Mandatory Credit: William Hauser-USA TODAY Sports
3. Wide Receiver Brandon Marshall
In 2015, Jets wide receiver Brandon Marshall racked up the fourth most receiving yards in the NFL at 1,502. He also tied for the most receiving touchdowns with 14.
Going by those numbers, it’s apparent that Marshall is capable of being a dominant on-field force. Just not this year, apparently.
No, in 2016, he has averaged a little under five receptions per game as the team’s go-to threat at wideout. That’s underwhelming, to say the least.
Nothing says playmaker like dropping key passes, averaging only about 73 yards per game, and scoring just two touchdowns after five weeks.
Maybe it’s about time you start earning your $9.5 million, Mr. Marshall.
Next: 2. An inconsistent cornerback and friends
Sep 11, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets corner back Darrelle Revis (24) warms up wearing a special t-shirt commemorating 9/11 before a game against the Cincinnati Bengals at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
2. Cornerback Darrelle Revis and the defense
This one shouldn’t come as much of a shock. Due to memes alone, the property value of “Revis Island” has plummeted.
Honestly, it’s sad to see the once great cornerback Darrelle Revis reduced to a punch line. Especially after being the focal point of the Jets defense for so many years.
Although Revis catches the most flack, this entire defensive unit has been just as disappointing.
Our passing defense has been swiss cheese. Our rushing defense has been sporadic. Even our special teams have been lacking. But, that discussion is for another day.
It’s difficult to pull out a victory while giving up an average of over 27 points per game.
Next: 1. The main problem of it all
Oct 2, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) during a time out against the Seattle Seahawks in the first half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: William Hauser-USA TODAY Sports
1. Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick
Yep, it’s officially time to discuss “Fitzmagic.” Recently re-dubbed “Fitztragic.”
Where does one begin?
In 2015, Jets starting quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick recorded the best statistical season of his career. The former Harvard scholar accounted for 4,175 total yards and 33 touchdowns.
Hopes were high heading into 2016. And they remained high until Week 3.
I’m sure that nobody will soon forget Fitz’s six-interception outing against the Kansas City Chiefs.
From then on, Gang Green’s fan base has been forced to watch their 10-6 squad fall from grace. Hard.
Thanks to a 1-4 start and a crippling 1:2 touchdown-to-interception ratio, Fitzpatrick has lost the respect of those in the “Big Apple.” It’s almost guaranteed that he will be kicked to the curb following this season.
Rumor has it that he’ll be replaced by the revered Tony Romo. A desperation move, indeed.
When Jets fans are calling for the return of Mark Sanchez, you know things are nuclear in the city that never sleeps.
Next: Can it get worse?
Can it get worse?
The 2016 NFL regular season has not been pretty for the New York Jets. In fact, so far, it has been disastrous.
So much so that it’s difficult to see things improving. Lackluster efforts by the defense, quarterback, and receiving core cannot merely be overcome by a decent running game. Sorry, Matt Forte.
A tough schedule moving forward also won’t help matters. Sure, there still is hope, but it’ll require one hell of a turnaround.
Maybe “Fitzmagic” could randomly kick in and rally the troops. Who knows.
Otherwise, these losses will keep adding up.
Even though the season is still only a quarter of the way through, that doesn’t mean those bold predictions are off the table. In 2016, the Jets will finish with a 4-12 record.
That may even be a bit generous at this point.