2014 record: 4-12
1st 2015 NFL Draft pick: No. 2 overall
Key Free Agency Acquisitions: Darrelle Revis, Antonio Cromartie, Buster Skrine, James Carpenter
Turnaround in 2015? Yes
The New York Jets did a ton in free agency, but the changes with the biggest impact might have taken place before that. Out with the old—Rex Ryan and John Idzik—and in with the new—head coach Todd Bowles and general manager Mike Maccagnan, a move which has resulted in addressing possibly the biggest issue which surfaced last season—an atrocious secondary.
Yes, you thought ‘quarterback’ but the secondary was actually worse and probably cost the Jets more games than Geno Smith did.
Defensively, this could be one of the better teams in the NFL for the 2015 season.
Offensively, well, there’s that quarterback issue.
Along with a new GM and a new coach, the Jets also traded for wide receiver Brandon Marshall who, along with Eric Decker, should be a huge help to the offense. Between those two, second-year tight end Jace Amaro and running back Chris Ivory, Smith has no excuses and if he can’t hack it, Ryan Fitzpatrick will take over.
Long-term, Fitzpatrick isn’t the answer for the Jets but he can do enough to get them through the season and not lose games for them.
If the defense plays the way it looks on paper, this team can lean on it and the run game to win. IF they can do that, it’s not insane to think they could end up doubling their win total at least.
Of course aside from the quarterback, the biggest hurdle the Jets face is their division. The New England Patriots are still the ones to beat and while they have some issues—losing both Revis and Brandon Browner is a bit of a concern—they remain ‘the Patriots’ and the best team in the East.
Both the Buffalo Bills and the Miami Dolphins have improved as well. Ryan ended up in Buffalo and has added LeSean McCoy, Percy Harvin and Charles Clay while the Miami Dolphins secured Ndamukong Suh and Jordan Cameron (though the latter’s concussion issues are a concern).
It’s not getting any easier for anyone in the AFC East, but the Jets looked poised to get back to where they were just a few short years ago.
Next: Chicago Bears