2017 NFL Season Previews: New York Jets

Offense: The Jets have spent a lot of picks on QBs and the Day 1 starter might end up being a guy who is playing for his TENTH team. Think about it, he has played for almost a third of the NFL. Josh McCown has started more than 10 games twice in his long career, and for his career has thrown 79TDs and 69Picks. What does this say for what the team thinks about Christian Heckenburg? Geno Smith? Ryan Fitzpatrick? Johhny Manzeil? Ferris Bueller? I don’t understand the logic of going 2-14 with a new guy or 3-13 with McCown. Even if he becomes the second coming of Kurt Warner, he’s almost 40, and unlike another starting QB, no one is thinking he can play until he’s 45.

Speaking of Old Guys, Matt Forte was a solid back until he broke down, but expecting him to bring another 800 yards and 7 TDs, Balil Powell is a solid second option, but there isn’t a lot of wear on his tires, but let’s again remeber that he might not be around to see this team be any good. Speaking of any good remember when the Jets had good receivers? They cut Eric Decker and Brandon Marshall couldn’t wait to get out of town, well, across to the other locker room. The Jets have a bunch of bodies in at camp and spent a 3,4, and 5th rounder on 2 WRs and a TE. Quincy Enuwa was a former 6th rounder that is going to start, with 857 yards and 4TDs and not a bad #2 or #3 guy to have out there.

Finally, a pretty solid offensive line is now gone, as Nick Mangold ,Ryan Clady and Breno Giacomini are all gone. Brian Winters is probably the best one left, but that was a contract year, and there is a whole bunch of uncertainty around him.

Defense: The Jets did have a decent defense last year, 11th in yards allowed, but they gave up the 28th most points in the NFL, they were also next to last in the NFL in turnover differential. Only 4 times did the Jets hold a team to 3 TDs or less. That is saying something.
I have to think Muhammed Wilkerson is getting the most grief in the nice offices. He got a giant contract, then showed up looking like half the player he was. He wanted to get paid, now he has to earn that deal. The Jets nailed Leonard Willaims, the 2105 first rounder, but if he starts getting to chummy with Wilkerson, I have to think the brass is going to panic.

Last years first pick, Darren Lee looks like he is going to be a solid player before David Harris rode off to the sunset, leaving him as the guy at the second level. This could mean the end for Sheldon Richardson, as he is contract year, but he has a lot of talent, so the Jets might pay him anyway.

Morris Claiborne was a major bust in Dallas, and I am excited to see what he is going to do with the Jets, as he is still talented, and maybe can stay healthy and rebuild his career. He is on a one year prove it deal, so this is going to be fun. The Jets got lucky as Jamal Adams fell to them, and having two LSU guys back there could be fun, as Arizona seems to be happy with that pairing. Marcus Maye was the next pick, and he should also slide into a starting role. Considering how long the Jets were set back here, this is a lot of upheaval to deal with, but there is a lot of talent as well.

Special Teams: The Jets have so much talent they used a pick last year on a punter. Sadly, he had a rough rookie year, but the Jets have faith in him. Chandler Catanzaro was brought over to take over kicking duties, has a long reach but can be inaccurate. Coverage teams are not bad, but they need some pop in the return game.

Overall: To be honest with you, I’m not sure where I see a win here. I’m not sure you ever really get a “McCown wills team to 4th Quarter comeback” is ever a headline.

The Jets start off with Buffalo and that could be the only AFC East win. I don’t see them getting any wins from NFC South. I’ll give them a win over the Chargers as they do play them at home the day before Christmas. The bonus games are fellow bottom feeders Jacksonville and Cleveland, but I think Cleveland is going to be pretty decent, and Jacksonville could be interesting. So 2-4 wins are the range, but I’m going 2-14 for the J-E-T-S this year.

Three Questions

1. Does Todd Bowles survive for a 4th year?

Joe: He should because a lot of what is happening with the Jets isn’t his fault. Some is, but not a lot. He can’t control who they ultimately decide to trade or when they commit to tanking to rebuild the team. He’s kind of caught in the middle there. So, he probably won’t.

But, if he wants to make a strong case to survive a 4th year and beyond then he must improve his game calling skills, including clock and time-out management, and 2nd half adjustments. He has the players in his corner, has shown given the tools he can win, and he isn’t just a one side coach but has his fingerprints all over both sides of the ball… offense and defense, and has the intangible quality of never getting too high or too low.

Dan: They’re going through a rebuild, a heavy one at that, and everybody knows what this team is going to do. I think it’s all in place. Bowles will remain, but a lot comes with what they do with their top-3 pick in next year’s draft. I, personally, think they’ll get rid of him if he has a mediocre season. They want to tank. They need a quarterback. Their top offensive threat in the pass game is down for the year. The expectations are extremely low in terms of record,  but they need to secure the first pick for Bowles to remain.

The Jets should give him a 2 year extension now.

David: I don’t think so. There are reports that he does let some of the veterans do what they want, and some players don’t have to follow all the rules. I can’t see him lasting through a horrible season, unless a lot of players have better years.

2. Was drafting Jamal Adams the right move for a team that has so many needs?

Joe: Exactly. They need everything, so they took the best player they could when it was their turn. Simply their secondary sucked last year, and in a draft that was heavy with quality defensive players, he arguably he has the potential to be the best to come out of that group.

He’s a dynamic athlete who will get tested by the NFL’s deep threats but should be more than able to hold his own and that is something the Jets need in their secondary: Stability and reassurance.

Dan: Yes, because it all comes down to their plan. They need defensive replacements after Revis left. They got a huge defensive threat in Adams. They didn’t really go offense because they want to develop Adams to make sure he’s ready for 2018 when they get a franchise quarterback in the draft (they’re expecting at this point), and probably hit free agency a little harder to get pieces for him. Adams will play a vital part in the rebuild.

David: I wonder if they think they have enough leadership already. You normally don’t get major leadership from secondary players, but Jamal just is too damn talented to worry about what else he brings to the table. I know I thought Dee Milliner was going to be great, but Jamal Adams was even better. Should they have gone Watson? I guess we will find out.

3. Are the Jets a lock for the first overall pick?

Joe: Let’s just say another team, or maybe even teams, might give them a run for their money for that first overall pick, but in the end I wouldn’t be surprised if it wasn’t the Jets.

Dan: Pretty much. They have an extremely weak offense with their top receiver out for the year. They have a fantastic D-Line and Adams looks promising, but they can’t stop a whole lot and will end up losing. A lot. Wins are hard to see on their schedule.

David: I can’t see them winning 4 games even if they play out of their minds. I have not looked at San Fran’s schedule yet, but other than the Bears, I don’t know who else off the top of my head is in the running.

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