Fasten down the hatches, this is gonna be a bumpy ride. Sirens blare around the team facility in New Jersey. People head for the hills. Bunker down. Grab what you can. Nothing will be the same once we’re through.
After Rex Ryan sabotaged Jets’ playoff dreams in Week 17 of 2015, the omen was there for 2016. Ryan Fitzpatrick’s contract holdout was about as ludicrous as we thought it was for much of its duration, and his 2016 season was the Ry-Fitz we all know and love. Shortened initially by injury, and then just terrible play. If Geno Smith and Bryce Petty are taking snaps for your ball club, just call the whole thing off.
This football team essentially quit on second year head coach Todd Bowles. In a Week 13 Monday Night Football encounter with the Colts, the defense actually just decided to stop trying, giving up three touchdowns to Dwayne Allen of all people.
The decimation of the roster is reflective of the ludicrousness of how much ‘effort’ some of these ‘veterans’ considered appropriate in the 2016 season.
And here is that decimation, in no particular order – *holding breath* – Ryan Clady, Marcus Gilchrist, David Harris, Eric Decker, Bruce Ellington, Calvin Pryor, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Breno Giacomini, Nick Folk, Geno Smith, Khiry Robinson, Brandon Marshall, Darrelle Revis, Erin Henderson, Nick Mangold, C.J. Spiller.
With the team gutted, General Manager Mike Maccagnan did need some football players to suit up in 2017. The acquisitions are as uninspiring as Jonotthan Harrison at centre and Morris Claiborne at corner.
Josh McCown has been signed to presumably play quarterback (his tape suggests no sane team would sign him to play the position). Ben Ijalana and Kelvin Beachum have been signed to play on either end of the offensive line to try and keep McCown upright in the pocket, not that he’ll wait longer than three seconds to charge down a linebacker’s throat anyhow.
Calvin Pryor was traded to the Cleveland Browns for linebacker Demario Davis, who then signed to a one year deal.
In the draft however, the Jets use their sixth overall selection to take a stud – safety Jamal Adams comes onto a team bereft of pretty much everything, but poises to be one of the most versatile players in the league if he can make the adjustment from college to pro-ball quickly enough.
Leonard Williams, Sheldon Richardson, and Mo Wilkerson were instrumental in the Jets’ run defense last year. Although they finished 11th in total rush defense, when broken down to yards allowed per attempt they jump up to fourth. It won’t be easy to run the ball against the Jets, whatever happens this year.
Running back Bilal Powell accumulated an impressive 722 yards last season, considering he had just 131 carries – an average of 5.5 yards per carry. Factor in 58 receptions for 388 yards, and this offense will be running through the 28 year old.
Whether they choose to put in McCown, Petty, or Christian Hackenberg, the quarterback position will be a hot mess.
Taking the Jets starting wide receivers as being Robby Anderson, Jalin Marshall and Charone Peake, the trio has just 75 career catches between them. That’s bad.
On defense, the linebackers look thin beyond 2016 first round pick Darron Lee, and the cornerback pairing of Claiborne and Buster Skrine could challenge for the worst pass defense in the league.
Best Case Scenario
Honestly, the best case scenario for the New York Jets is the first overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. As USC passer Sam Darnold teases NFL teams, many Jets fans will be hoping their team doesn’t blow being awful so much that they can’t draft him. However, with Josh Allen, and Josh Rosen also looking like first rounders, the requirement will be to be just a bit bad. 3-13, fourth place in AFC East.
Worst Case Scenario
If they’re too good, they will deprive themselves of the chance to draft one of those franchise QBs. 5-11, third place in AFC East.
They’ll be good against the run, and with the run. They lack in every single other area however. If the 2016 Browns can win a game, the 2017 Jets are certainly capable of winning one. 2-14, fourth place in AFC East.