In 2017, the Jets started to look more like a competitive football team, or at least assembled the pieces to become one. Coming off a 5-11 record last year the Jets are looking for a bounce back and to prove that they can still bring the heat to the AFC. This is their redemption year, the year of the Jets. And while many loyal Jets fan are going to be behind this all the way thanks in part to the drafting of Sam Darnold, it is with every right to still be skeptical.
Allow me to explain, while a lot of people (including myself) are happy the Jets drafted a QB, they still need a lot more than that. Sam Darnold still leaves a lot for the Jets to obtain true happiness. Darnold’s throw is like the former Christian Hackenberg – it is long and drawn out. But Darnold is better in some ways which is why Hackenberg is the dearly departed from the Jets. However, the Jets can work on Darnold and improve him to what we all hope is the next franchise QB. The true problem is everything else.
Josh McCown was a young-injected gunslinger last year until the injury and was back on top of his game. With the re-signing of McCown, hopefully the Jets can get another magical year out of him and not a remix of the Ryan Fitzpatrick ordeal. Teddy Bridgewater is looking to make a return to the game after a terrible knee injury. And while reports say many things including trade and possible week 1 starter, the most likely possibility is a trade. This may not be the smartest move on the Jets part considering they traded away Hackenberg to the Raiders. And if they are to keep their word and truly take their time with Darnold then they need as much cushion as they can get.
Teddy Bridgewater's promising start could alter Jets' QB dynamic https://t.co/W6wuOfpPwW
— Rich Cimini (@RichCimini) May 27, 2018
The Jets’ tight end position has been depleted after the departure of Austin Seferian-Jenkins. Currently, the team has a veteran the Jets have never worked with and a bunch of rookies including one that went down last year with a knee injury. This is a major problem. While most fans want this to work out for the Jets (evolving the rookies with help from the veteran) the Jets have known what the tight end position could be for a long while. Meanwhile, other sports clubs like the Patriots have evolved it and produced players like Gronkowski. The Jets are behind on the times and this will burn them in the end.
The O-line had many troubles in the past but the troubles came to be worse at the tail end of Nick Mangold’s tenure as center for the Jets. Mangold dealt with an injury in the midst of the Jets cleaning house in 2016. This lead to a new load of problems including the Wesley Johnson experiment which was single-handedly the biggest mistake the Jets had made until the Hackenberg departure. The only good part of the O-Line is Brian Winters who has taken up the role of leader since Mangold. The O-line still needs work which forced the Jets to use the TE as another blocker instead of a receiver, coupled that with veterans that are nearing the end of their prime. The Jets will have to change their O-Line sooner rather than later.
The WR core has been a hit or miss with the Jets for years but lately, it has been a hit. Last season breakout star Robby Anderson came close to his first 1,000 yard season before McCown went down and Bryce Petty failed to help him reach his goals. Jermaine Kearse was a WR acquired from the Seahawks that was one of the better deals GM Maccagan had made in a while. Kearse is looking for another breakout season and his first 1,000 yards as well.
With Quincy Enawa coming off a neck injury, he is looking to grab some limelight as well and begin his comeback tour. The last of the great WR1’s is Terrelle Pryor Sr. who is looking to prove is 1,000 yard season in 2016 wasn’t a fluke and that he has a couple more gallons of fuel in the tank. He and Enunwa are both on the comeback tour, but once the Jets can finally figure out what they are doing at QB, then all four of these guys will be a force to reckon with. This of course assuming Robby Anderson can mature and limit his legal troubles which he is still on the hook for by the Jets brass and NFLPA.
Don’t sleep on @TerrellePryor
— Full Press Jets (@FPC_Jets) May 8, 2018
The Road to Redemption?
The Jets offensive could be something magical this year. On one hand you have guys who have great talent and are really showing it in this new system and then, on the other hand, you guys that really should be out the door but they have talent and are still kicking the tires. How the Jets respond to this new season is a mystery to everyone but most analysts will probably discredit them until the prove it. However, I believe the Jets will do what they always do – buckle down and show off their stuff like they did last year. Hopefully they do not shoot themselves in the foot like last year as well.