Top 10 worst moments of the Jets in 2016
By Hillary Garza
Nov 27, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New England Patriots linebacker Jonathan Freeny (55) causes New York Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) to fumble during the fourth quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
2016 will go down as one of the worst seasons in the history of the New York Jets. Here are the top 10 worst moments of the regular season.
This latest New York Jets season may go down as one of the most depressing for fans, which is saying a lot since there have been some real stinkers in the past. But it was supposed to be different this year—how could the Jets not make the playoffs after a surprising 10-6 record the year before?
General manager Mike Maccagnan did a great job in keeping the team mostly intact. So what happened? Wasn’t momentum on the Jets’ side? Well, momentum is a funny thing; when it flows in your direction it’s great, but when momentum reverses, then things start spiraling out of control, and quickly.
This is what happened to the 2016 Jets—not only did the momentum trend in the wrong direction, but it did so from the outset. In what follows is my assessment of the season that started out bad right from the beginning. I call it the “domino effect” where one negative thing led to another, and another… you get the point.
Next: 10. Nick Folk is no hero in Week 1
Aug. 18, 2013; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets kicker Nick Folk (2) kicks a field goal against the Jacksonville Jaguars during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Jets win 37-13. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports
10. Nick Folk is no hero in Week 1
With a stadium packed with enthusiastic fans, and emotions running high to commemorate the victims of 9/11, conditions were ideal for a Jets opening day victory. Not only that but the Jets had history on their side.
They won the last five straight opening home games. But it turned out that history was not going to be a friend to the Jets. Indeed, the way the Jets lost this game ended up being a precursor for the misery that would come later.
Kicker Nick Folk especially had a game to forget. One of his field goal attempts was blocked and he missed an extra point, which for a kicker is about as bad as it can get. In this case, also, these missed kicks turned out to be the difference in the game. Losing by a point is bad in any competitive sport, but losing at home to open the season because of a missed extra point was excruciating.
Next: 9. Darrelle Revis finally shows he is human
Aug 19, 2016; Landover, MD, USA; New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis (24) looks on from the sidelines against the Washington Redskins during the second half at FedEx Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
9. Darrelle Revis finally shows he is human
Yes, it’s just one game, but we also found out (the hard way) during the season opener the following: a) the Jets defense was prone to giving up big passing plays, and b) the first real signs that Darrelle Revis was human began to show. Revis will no doubt be considered one of the best players to wear a Jet jersey, and someday will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
But it was shocking to see him get beat downfield over and over again. Yes, it was A.J. Green that was doing most of the torching, but the “for sale” sign was officially posted on Revis Island. It became clear that Revis could be beat one-on-one and he was no longer an elite cornerback.
Then, as we saw throughout the season, other teams also tried to exploit Revis’ lack of press coverage skills. To his credit, Revis recognized that he could no longer keep up with elite receivers so he attempted to compensate for this deficiency by playing “soft” coverage. But of course, this meant opposing teams could also take advantage of him “underneath.” Either way, it was clear from Week 1 that the season would be unlike any others that Revis has ever dealt with and his days as an elite cornerback disappeared almost overnight. This would be a consistent problem as the season progressed.
Next: 8. Wide receiver Eric Decker out for the season
8. Wide receiver Eric Decker out for the season
There is no doubt in my mind that the loss of wide receiver Eric Decker early in the season not only impacted Fitzpatrick in a significant way but also the entire offense. The domino effect was clearly in effect here as Decker was critically important to the offense.
Decker was a player that Fitzpatrick leaned on during the stellar 2015 season. The QB-WR tandem had a rapport unlike with other players, particularly when Fitzpatrick got into trouble, he could rely on trusty #87. But when Decker injured his shoulder in a win against Buffalo, the offense literally stopped on a dime, which led to the next domino falling.
Next: 7. Fitzpatrick’s “Pick Six” (literally)
Sep 25, 2016; Kansas City, MO, USA; New York Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) throws an interception under pressure from Kansas City Chiefs defensive end Jaye Howard (96) in the second half at Arrowhead Stadium. Kansas City won 24-3. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports
7. Fitzpatrick’s “Pick Six” (literally)
The Jets committed eight (!!!!!!!!) turnovers. For his part, Fitzpatrick threw 6 interceptions, three coming in the end zone to kill potential touchdown drives. It was one of the worst quarterback performances in NFL history. But it should not have come as a surprise that Fitzpatrick would struggle as this was Decker’s first game missed and it was clear that the offense would not be the same as the 2015 version.
Arguably, Fitzpatrick’s season ended in Week 3 even though other weapons surfaced, like wide receiver Quincy Enunwa. But without Decker, the cracks started to show and the Jets season was beginning to trend in the wrong direction.
Next: 6. Losing to the Steelers stung like a bee
Oct 9, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers defensive back Sean Davis (28) tackles New York Jets running back Bilal Powell (29) during the fourth quarter at Heinz Field. The Steelers won 31-13. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
6. Losing to the Steelers stung like a bee
Let’s paint the picture. The Steelers, wearing their comical throwback uniforms that make them look like bumblebees, were up by two touchdowns with 7:36 left in the fourth. The Jets were set up at midfield facing a fourth-and-two. This was our chance to get momentum back by simply getting a first down.
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Instead, Jets head coach Todd Bowles punted in that situation. Punted? The Steelers (of course) took five minutes and 43 seconds to go 71 yards in 12 plays and sealed the deal with a five-yard touchdown pass from Ben Roethlisberger to Sammie Coates. Leaving the Jets down 18 points with 1:51. This had to of been an accident by Bowles? Shockingly, “I stand by my decision,” Bowles said after the Jets’ 31-13 loss via the Media Relations Department of the Jets.
To be clear, Bowles’ decision to punt in that situation may not have affected the eventual outcome at all. The Jets were still getting beat pretty badly, but it did raise serious questions about his game management skills. Further, Bowles could have shown trust in his offense, but instead, put his faith in the defense, which was surprising since Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell absolutely devoured the Jets defense the entire day.
In other words, it was a mistake to assume the defense could stop the Steelers, and for that reason, Bowles’ decision to punt in that situation basically conceded the game to them. With the loss, the Jets record stood at 1-4, and the early cracks now started to look more like holes.
Next: 5. Jets aren't eating sushi
Nov 13, 2016; San Diego, CA, USA; Miami Dolphins defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh (93) looks across the line before the snap during the second quarter against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
5. Jets aren’t eating sushi
Typifying the Jets season, after taking the lead late in the 4th quarter against its AFC East rival Miami Dolphins, the Jets proceeded to kickoff to Miami. No big deal right? Usually, that is the case, but the Jets were called for an offside penalty, which negated the results of the first kickoff (a routine tackle around Miami 20 yard line).
But the kickoff return against the Jets after the penalty gave the Dolphins a second chance. The Jets special teams unit was winded after running the entire field during the previous kickoff. The results were predictable; Miami took the next kickoff and ran it for a touchdown, and the Jets tiny lead was erased. The loss dropped the Jets to 3-6, further erasing any hopes of turning the season around.
Next: 4. Primetime embarrassment on Monday Night Football
Oct 17, 2016; Glendale, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals running back David Johnson (31) is tackled by New York Jets defensive end Sheldon Richardson (91) at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
4. Primetime embarrassment on Monday Night Football
What an embarrassment. The entire organization “no-showed’. From coaches to players to everyone who shows up to work a 1 Jets Drive including Maccagnan and owner Woody Johnson need to look in the mirror and realize they are to blame. Their performance and management were not even on a respectable level.
The defense put little to no pressure on the Cardinals and the plays called by offensive coordinator Chan Gailey were comparable to pop warner squad. Unable to even obtain a touchdown, I was floored we were able to even get a field goal.
You would think the disgust from Monday Night Football would make you work harder the next opportunity, with the nation watching. However, the Indianapolis Colts game was just as dreadful.
Next: 3. Dolphins take over MetLife Stadium
Oct 3, 2015; London, United Kingdom; Miami Dolphins fans Fintroopers wearing Stormtrooper costumes from the movie Star Wars (from left) Chris Kowalewski and John Kowalewski and Aeman Virk and Steve Hales pose at the 2015 NFL International Series Fan Rally at Trafalgar Square. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
3. Dolphins take over MetLife Stadium
Do you know how it feels to go to a Jets game and be surrounded by teal and orange? MetLife felt like an aquarium of dolphins, over a thousand to be exact. As the season progressed, fewer fans started attending games and more fans started selling their tickets. I even saw online tickets being sold for as low as $5.
There is no longer a home field advantage. The television announcers even referenced the crowd noise being generated by ‘phin’ fans. But that didn’t matter anyway, as the passion from players seemed to be extinct. Sheldon Richardson was already in hot water for posting on Snapchat. There is nothing worse than having a team appear not to care and allowing a long-time rival to pretty much clinch the NFL Playoffs at their second home.
Next: 2. No gifts on Christmas
Dec 27, 2015; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) during the first quarter against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jim O’Connor-USA TODAY Sports
2. No gifts on Christmas
Same Ole Jets. The season is lost but at least we still have this rivalry game. Players are always pumped up, but as Kermit says, it’s not easy being green. In Week 13 (should have been a sign with that being an unlucky number) the Patriots easily took care of business. With only two minutes left, we actually started to get
As usual this season, we didn’t stand a chance against the Patriots on Christmas weekend. This game was a nightmare all around. Not only did our third strong quarterback, Bryce Petty, who was now the starter, get a season ending injury but the loss made us all feel disgusted on a holiday weekend. Talk about ruining Christmas for fans that just wanted something positive to have after an abysmal season.
Next: 1. A bittersweet ending without Rex Ryan
Oct 23, 2016; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Buffalo Bills head coach Rex Ryan looks on from the sideline during the second half against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium. The Dolphins won 28-25. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
1. A bittersweet ending without Rex Ryan
We may have had a terrible and embarrassing season but at least the Jets had an opportunity to sweep Buffalo after they swept us last season, costing us a playoff game. How great would it be to have revenge on Rex Ryan and prevent him from the playoffs? But Rex had already been fired from the Bills (and their slim playoff hopes were dashed the week prior), so we couldn’t even get the chance to take some sweet revenge on our old head coach.
Next: What the Jets can learn from the Dallas Cowboys
So there you have it, a season of full of futility and frustration. Of course, there are plenty of other “dominoes” from which to choose, but my goal was to pinpoint some of the more salient ones. And I didn’t even discuss the confounding number of injuries that plagued this team the entire season. So let’s officially put 2016 to rest, and begin the process of looking onward to 2017. What was your worst memory of 2016 for the Jets? Please leave your comments below!