The absolute top 8 worst moments of 2016 by the Jets
Dec 5, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) walks off the field after the Jets loss to the Colts 41-10 at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports
2016 will be a year many fans of the New York Jets want to forget forever. Here are the top 8 absolute worst moments of last season.
The 2016-2017 season was awful for fans of the New York Jets, players, coaches and front office personnel. There’s simply no sugar coating it. The Jets put the same amount of effort into this season as I put into high school (read: none). The team (somehow) won five games and (by the grace of the football gods) did not finish with a top 5 draft pick thanks to the Tennessee Titans (all credit due to the Los Angeles Rams for the pick). Sigh.
This has been one of the hardest seasons to get through for all parties involved and anyone with a vested interest in this club can attest to that. There was a barrage of moments to pick from starting during the preseason and continuing all the way until even beyond the Super Bowl.
2016 was a season marred by injuries to key players, questionable decisions come draft time and an overall lackadaisical attitude in MetLife Stadium. After a season as utterly disappointing and gut wrenching, it’s a fair assumption that sweeping changes will be coming for the Jets. These changes could and probably will include personnel changes, addressing the philosophy/direction of the team as well as possible player and even draft day trades.
This season legitimately made me want to not watch football anymore. And I’m from the United States. So let’s take a stroll down memory lane to relive the misery of this last season together, shall we?
Next: 8. No defensive secondary whatsoever
Oct 30, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns running back Duke Johnson (29) pushes New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis (24) away as he runs the ball during the fourth quarter at FirstEnergy Stadium. The Jets won 31-28. Mandatory Credit: Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports
8. No defensive secondary whatsoever
Preseason concerns about the age and inexperience in our secondary were confirmed, with fervor, as A.J. Green roasted our secondary (and bought a timeshare on Revis Island) for 180 yards on 12 receptions with a touchdown. Wow. WOOOOOW. Ok, let me not take away from the fact that Green is a borderline (or definite, depending on who you ask) top 5 wide receiver in the NFL.
He’s an absolute stud and this is what the elite athletes do to average or bad teams. And it was that realization that shook me and was a feeling I would not be able to get over the entire season. It was after this game that I realized that the Jets might have gone about this push for the NFL Playoffs in the completely wrong way.
The one silver lining from this game was that Matt Forte was doing vintage Matt Forte things. He compiled 96 rushing yards on 22 carries as well as five catches for 59 yards. It’s usually not a good sign when your running back, who’s on the wrong side of 31, is your leading receiver. Our top two wide receivers (Eric Decker and Brandon Marshall) combined for five catches for 69 yards with one touchdown and Fitzpatrick was spectacularly average (19/35 for 189 with two touchdowns and one interception).
To be quite honest those stats aren’t as impressive as they look. Not to mention, a late 4th quarter field goal followed by a (standard) Fitzpatrick interception to seal this win for the Bengals. This was only Week 1 and I already wished the season was over.
Next: 7. When running backs are better than wide receivers
Sep 15, 2016; Orchard Park, NY, USA; New York Jets running back Matt Forte (22) during the game against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports
7. When running backs are better than wide receivers
The next disaster of a moment came in Week 3 against the Kansas City Chiefs. Somehow the Jets had managed to squeak out a win, 37-31, over the Buffalo Bills in the week prior. Luckily for me, I watched this game with a die-hard Kansas City Chiefs fan so I got the full brunt of how spectacularly poorly the Jets played, each and every play, for the entirety of this game.
This was not a game I expected the Jets to win but I (ignorantly) believed we could keep it close-ish or maybe even win if the Chiefs played mistake prone football. Six picks later from Ryan “The Human Interception Machine” Fitzpatrick and an injury to Eric Decker and I had gone full fetal while sobbing loudly.
The junior college effort on the field helped to hand the Jets a 24-3 loss that was not as close as the score indicates. The Jets started to show a recurring theme with the leading receiver this week being Bilal Powell with 6 catches for 41 yards. It is not a good thing when your running backs are routinely outperforming your wide receivers.
The Chiefs defense had a field day. Three forced fumbles (Jets lost 2/3), six interceptions and three defensive touchdowns make for a game that is easily won. This game was not just won, it was won decisively.
Next: 6. The Monday Night Football debacle
Oct 17, 2016; Glendale, AZ, USA; New York Jets linebacker Erin Henderson (58) pursues Arizona Cardinals running back David Johnson (31) at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
6. The Monday Night Football debacle
The Monday Night Football debacle where the Arizona Cardinals made the Jets look like a college football team was incredibly close to making me not watch any more football this season. A 28-3 drubbing where running back David Johnson ran any and everywhere he wanted to.
The Jets were sporting a gaudy 1-4 record coming into this week so obviously, we all knew this was the week it all came together. This was supposed to be the week they turned it all around. The Cardinals were not having as much success as the previous season and seemed to be in a similar boat to the Jets.
Both teams were attempting to halt a free fall as they only had three combined wins. It was at this point I knew this season was lost. Coming off of multiple weeks of our secondary being questioned and getting burned, this week, it was the ground game that did our defense in.
Johnson ran for 111 yards and three touchdowns but it might as well have been 250 yards and five touchdowns. And this was from a team that didn’t post a record above .500 either at the end of the season. The Jets were now being bullied by not good teams and good teams alike. The Jets were bad and in fact not good. 33 total rushing yards and yet another grossly underwhelming performance by Fitzpatrick left the Jets sitting at 1-5 for the season. Yuck.
Next: 5. Running back Jay Ajayi puts on a clinic
Nov 6, 2016; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Miami Dolphins running back Jay Ajayi (23) runs the ball for a touchdown against the New York Jets during the first half at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
5. Running back Jay Ajayi puts on a clinic
In down years (and really every year), winning division rivalry games is huge, helping to ease the pain of a losing season. The Buffalo Bills accounted for just under 50 percent of the Jets wins. Let that fully sink in. Five total wins and the Bills were two of them, with one of the other wins being the week before the first Miami, against the Cleveland Browns, in which the Jets decided to spot Cleveland a 20-7 halftime lead. Woof.
These are not the Jets of the 2015-2016 season. The Dolphins are one of those teams I usually look forward to playing. It seems like the Jets always win at least one of these meetings. The Dolphins were prepared for the Jets and it showed. Outside of Forte, who ran for 92 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries, the Jets stunk.
Fitzpatrick displayed an otherworldly ability to be mediocre, yet again, going 16/27 for 194 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. Running back Jay Ajayi rushed for 111 and a touchdown while the Miami D hit the quarterback six times, sacked him three times and scored a defensive touchdown as well.
Miami then proceeded to come to MetLife (with what appeared to be every Dolphins fan ever) five weeks later and absolutely pummelled the Jets, 34-14, cementing their place in the cellar of the AFC East. Le sigh.
Next: 4. The battle of inept offenses
Nov 13, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Los Angeles Rams quarterback Case Keenum (17) throws a pass against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
4. The battle of inept offenses
The very next week after the Dolphins had their way with the Jets, the Los Angeles Rams came into town. A team with a questionable offense at best and a top 5 defense. I’ll be completely honest I fell asleep at least 17 different times in this battle of inept offenses.
Outside of Nick Folk, no members of the Jets offense decided to make the trip to Los Angeles to help out the defense as the excitement overflowed in a 9-6 loss to the Rams. I’ll be totally candid right now, I’m falling back asleep going back through this game. So needless to say the excitement level reached astronomical heights for this game.
It was around this time most Jets fans checked out for the season as they fell to 3-7 on the season. One of the “bright spots” of this game was Bryce Petty‘s first start under center (a move that many had been calling for). The other being Forte and his invaluable consistency as he rushed for 98 yards on 20 carries. Other than that this was one of those games you only see once when you watch red zone and that’s because it’s the first game that kicks off. Many Jets fans were deep into mock drafts as we all had the unspoken acknowledgment that this season was less than ideal.
Next: 3. A week to completely forget
3. A week to completely forget
Week 12 will be a week to completely forget. Three turnovers by the Jets and a 24-3 halftime deficit was impossible to overcome as the Indianapolis Colts absolutely trounced the Jets 41-10 and I have, to be honest, I don’t know how the Jets ever even scored points.
The one bright spot of this game, for me, was wide receiver Robby Anderson snagging a touchdown catch and showing his potential as a future member of the Jets. Outside of that, the best part was the end when the pain and suffering were finally over.
Andrew Luck was returning from a concussion this week and boy oh boy was he ready to go. Luck passed for four touchdowns and 278 yards on 22-28 attempts proving why the Colts will challenge the Houston Texans for the AFC South title for many years to come. Colts pass catchers were being fed against our lowly secondary as T.Y. Hilton caught (everything) nine passes for 146 yards and Dwayne Allen caught three touchdowns and tacked on 72 yards.
This was one of those games that was over so long before the actual finish it almost seemed like two losses. And with the way the Jets played it would have been deserving. Luckily for me, I hedged my emotional bets and started the entire Indy offense in fantasy football that week. Unlucky for me I am the Jets of fantasy football and still lost. #sadface
Next: 2. A bad Christmas gift
Nov 27, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) throws a pass against the New York Jets during the second quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
2. A bad Christmas gift
Ok, so this list isn’t completely chronologically accurate, but in my defense, there were so many moments to choose from I basically closed my eyes and picked 8. It’s December. A time for happiness and joy when people are supposed to unite and come together. Unless you’re the Jets. Then you just get to suffer through another week. Again. And you lose a close game. Again. In heartbreaking fashion. To Tom Brady. Again. On Christmas. At home.
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In typical confusing fashion the Jets decided it would be pertinent to start Fitzpatrick against the Patriots because why not double down on our misery right? Believe it or not, Fitz was not the reason we lost as he actually had a rare two touchdown, zero turnovers game.
Our rushing offense was nowhere to be found and Brady threw the ball 50 times. Brady is roughly 137 years old so there is no excuse a quarterback as old as he is and as infamously immobile should throw for 286 yards, two touchdowns and not get sacked a single time. But I digress, the Jets played well above their average for this past season and even had the lead late in the 4th quarter.
The Patriots kicked a field goal with just over seven minutes left in the 4th to cut the Jets lead down to 1 point, with a score of 17-16 in favor of New York. The rest is history that has been written and repeated what seems like hundreds of times. Brady leads the Patriots down the field and throws the go-ahead, and ultimately winning touchdown pass. This ending, while I knew it was going to happen the entire time (circa the Atlanta Falcons in the Super Bowl) hurt me to my core. The end of the season could not get here fast enough.
Next: 1. Just when you thought it was all over
Oct 30, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis (24) during the second half against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium. The Jets won 31-28. Mandatory Credit: Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports
1. Just when you thought it was all over
Season’s over, hallelujah! Relief!!! I can finally relax, right?!? Ha! You thought. Not even three weeks have passed, post Super Bowl (way to go Atlanta, way to go) and a slew of allegations and charges have been filed against cornerback Darrelle Revis, the one-time golden child of the Jets.
Arguably the most well-known player in Jets history and undoubtedly one of the best, the future Pro Football Hall of Famer got into a late night altercation that resulted in him being charged (including four first-degree felonies) and sought after. This was absolutely heartbreaking for me. I was in my Revis jersey when I read the news that broke.
I don’t even know what to say anymore at this point. I think the Jets need to completely blow it up and start all over. It will be no more or less miserable than what we all went through this past season and will actually allow the flexibility for the Jets to overpay the next free agents handsomely. I might just have to switch to watching water polo after this season.
MUST READ: A fresh start is on the horizon for the Jets
All the turmoil in the locker room, the season long horror film of a season we endured from him, the loyalty to stand by the decision to bring back an aging cornerback for premium money and this is what happens two weeks into the offseason? Hate to say it, but he had to go.