Somehow, the New York Jets found a way to win eight games in 2013 in spite of their rookie quarterback, Geno Smith, being completely lost out there on the football field. In reviewing their season, its completely mind boggling how they were able to pull it off too.
23. New York Jets (2013 Record: 8-8)
Unlike the Miami Dolphins, however, a majority of the Jets victories in 2013 were not against quality opponents. I would count the early season victories over the New England Patriots and New Orleans Saints as quality wins and maybe even include the Atlanta Falcons as that win was still early in the season before that talented team threw in the towel. Other than that, we're talking wins over the hapless Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Buffalo Bills, Oakland Raiders, Cleveland Browns and the aforementioned Miami Dolphins. Not exactly something to write home about. Vegas has the over/under for the Jets at seven wins, which is about one more than I think this team gets in 2014.
Key Losses: Austin Howard, Antonio Cromartie, Mark Sanchez (lol)
Key Acquisitions: Eric Decker, Dimitri Patterson, Michael Vick, Jacoby Ford, Breno Giacomini, Chris Johnson
The Jets were definitely aggressive in free agency and it appears that Rex Ryan is trying to resurrect some past success through picking up former all-pro's hitting the market in guys like Michael Vick and Chris Johnson. The big question is, will it pay off? The wealth of draft picks should produce at least a few quality starters based purely on the law of averages. Sheesh!
As for the Jets 2014 schedule, there are far fewer cup cakes this time around. Before their Week 11 Bye, the Jets must run the gauntlet against all of these playoff or potential playoff teams for 2014; the Denver Broncos, Green Bay Packers, Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, San Diego Chargers, New England Patriots, Kansas City Chiefs and Pittsburgh Steelers. One is not exactly going to mark a "w" next to any of those games for the Jets, but it does get easier. The only team I would consider a playoff hopeful for 2014 in their final six games is a rematch at home against the Patriots, so the Jets could close out the season with a bang.
Projected Record: 6-10
Kyle: I’m not a big fan of Geno Smith, but I am a believer in Eric Decker. The backlash from Broncos fans dismissing Decker’s impact has been alarming. He’s a good receiver, and the Jets didn’t overpay for him, either.
Jon: I disagree with Kyle on New York. Don’t expect Decker to come anywhere close to matching his 2013 numbers in his first season with the Jets. As long as Smith is QB, that offense will struggle. Expect Mike Vick to take over by midseason.
Jacob: Mike Vick is actually going to have to stay healthy, or Geno Smith is going to have to improve a lot to help this team win more than 8 games. The acquisition of Eric Decker helped improve the wide receiver core, but Decker is not a number one guy, and will take a hit in production moving away from Peyton. The Jets never got their CB and that was their main area to address in free agency; their secondary remains a big question mark, even after drafting S Calvin Pryor. 7-9 wins.
Topher: I’m not a Jets fan, hate their attitude and that New York style, but they literally (truly) upgraded their entire offense at the skill positions. They got a better QB (Vick), RB (CJ isn’t great but an improvement), WR (Decker and 2 rookies), and TE (Amaro). Plus people forget they went 8-8 with Geno having a HORRIBLE rookie year, like worse than Blaine Gabbert had. They’ll likely finish above 8-8 but I don’t see them passing the Pats, even with their upgrades.
Pete: I love Rex Ryan, but don’t like the Jets. I’m sure they’ll somehow finish at 8-8, but until the desire to win football games outweighs the desire to win the tabloid headlines, I just can’t take them seriously enough to rank them any higher.