Next up in our “Repair My NFL Team” series are the New York Jets.
The J. E. T. S. Jets, Jets, Jets are an absolute M. E. S. S. mess, mess, mess!!! I guess it’s no mystery that the next team up on repair my NFL team are the New York Jets. They are coming off a horrible 5-11 season. New York rolled the dice on an aging Ryan Fitzpatrick as their signal caller. Early into the season they realized snake eyes was definitely the outcome.
Let’s begin with offensive side of ball. The Jets finished 26th in total offense, averaging 329.2 yards per game. They also scored a measly 17.2 points per game, which was ranked 30th in the NFL. There weren’t any standouts this year. Brandon Marshall didn’t post his usual pro bowl numbers. Marshall grabbed 59 balls totaling 788 yards with just 3 touchdowns. That could be attributed to lackluster quarterback play, or an injury plagued season. Marshall was aided little by the oft-injured Eric Decker. Decker played in just three games, totaling just 9 receptions in 2016. Youngsters Charone Peak, Robby Anderson and Devin Smith offer little consolation moving forward. Ryan Fitzpatrick was an absolute abomination at the quarterback position. Fitzpatrick won’t be back, needless to say. However, the Jets decided to bring in another aging-tomato-can in career backup Josh McCown. There isn’t a need to say more!!! The only bright spots were the running back duo of Matt Forte and Bilal Powers. Forte totaled 815 yard rushing with 7 touchdowns. Powell added another 722 yards rushing with 3 touchdowns. I don’t know where to begin with their needs. Yes I do!! They need a legit quarterback, no more band aids. They need a tight end to stretch the field, while being a threat in the red zone. The underachieving Austin Seferian-Jenkins is suspended for the first four games of 2017, so there’s that. Aging journeyman Kellen Davis was brought back for a second tour-of-duty, but he won’t lend much assistance. Lastly, with the ongoing free agency of tackles Ryan Clady and Breno Giacomini, along with the recent release of center Nick Mangold; the need for offensive linemen is at an all-time high. Kelvin Beachum was brought in from Jacksonville to help shore things up.
The calling card of the New York Jets had been defense for the past decade. They still have the elite names. However, their production were near historically bad, by the Jets standard. Revis Island has been reduced to a 24-hour convenience store. Anything you desire is available at all times. Gang Green’s defense gave up 342.6 yards per outing, which isn’t too horrible. On the flip side of that they ranked 16th against the run, while ranking 22nd against the pass. The Jets also surrendered 25.6 points per game, which was the 5th most points allowed in the NFL this past season. The defensive line, consisting of Muhammad Wilkerson, Steve McLendon, Leonard Williams and Sheldon Richardson, was supposed to be a strength, but was pretty underwhelming as a whole. Richardson played out of position at outside linebacker for much of 2016, sapping his overall effectiveness. Young linebackers Daron Lee and Jordan Jenkins showed promise, and the Jets are counting on their continued maturity. Morris Claiborne was signed away from Dallas in free agency. While a solid starter, he’s no cure for the Jets’ ills in coverage. Calvin Pryor has been a disappointment at safety, since the Jets used a 2014 first-round pick on him, and Marcus Gilchrist hasn’t been more than serviceable at the other safety spot. New York needs two corners, a cover safety, along with an elite pass rusher. They also must figure out if Richardson is still in the organization’s long-term plans.
KEY FREE AGENTS
Russell Okung, OT
Nick Mangold, C
Breno Giacomini, OT
Darrelle Revis, CB
Bruce Carter, LB
Erin Henderson, LB
Antonio Allen, CB
POSSIBLE FIRST ROUND DRAFT TARGETS (6th PICK)
Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio State
Malik Hooker, S, Ohio State
Derek Barnett, EDGE, Tennessee
Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson
O.J. Howard, TE, Alabama