The 2014 season for the Jets was a disaster by any measure. Jets fans can only try and forget it and suppress any feelings regarding last year – as if it were a bad memory or an embarrassing moment. Whether it was the 1-9 start, losing 38-3 to the Bills or winning a meaningless game against the Titans to put them out of the Mariota sweepstakes, it didn’t matter. There were no silver linings to the 2014 season.
Preseason is over and the NFL is all set to open up its 2015 season. Every team goes into week one with a 0-0 record and fans of most teams enter the year with renewed hope and a sense that this year could be their year. The Super Bowl is an extremely lofty expectation, but Jets fans have numerous things to look forward to for the 2015 season.
A couple of fresh faces and some old have joined the Jets to make this season one to look forward to and hopefully result in a more successful season. After disappointing showings last year, both head coach Rex Ryan and general manager John Idzik were fired. The Jets immediately moved forward and made two solid decisions in hiring Mike Maccagnan and Todd Bowles as their new general manager and head coach, respectively. Neither has had previous experience in their new positions, but Maccagnan has already made a few smart decisions and Bowles has an impressive résumé on the defensive end – which should encourage Jets fans.
2015 looked like another year where the quarterback position would be a giant question mark. However, Geno Smith suffered a broken jaw from a sucker punch during the offseason and now Ryan Fitzpatrick is set to open the season for the Jets. Geno is still an unproven commodity, but you know what you are going to get out of Fitzpatrick. He won’t blow you away with statistics or athletic ability, but he should be able to give the Jets a level of consistency and a quarterback who won’t turn the ball over multiple times during the game.
Also, the Jets made two notable additions through free agency in wide receiver Brandon Marshall and running back Stevan Ridley. Marshall is now 31 and did see a statistical decline in most categories last season. However, he is still one of the league’s elite wide receivers and is a viable number one on most teams. At 6’4” and 230 pounds, Marshall should provide the Jets a strong, possession receiver that they haven’t had in some time. In addition, Eric Decker should improve this season with more room to work with and hopefully a healthier season.
The Jets should improve on defense this year after ranking 24th in points given up per game last season. Todd Bowles was the defensive coordinator for Arizona’s top five defense last year and him being at the helm for the Jets should ensure that they’ll be one of the top defensive teams in the league this year. The Jets also made two key additions in the offseason in bringing back cornerback Darelle Revis and drafting highly-touted defensive end Leonard Williams.
The team is hampered a bit by Sheldon Richardson’s suspension, but drafting Leonard Williams proved to be a huge plus as he can fill right in. Even though Rex Ryan is gone, the defense should be the strong point of the team again. Although the team did improve on offense, they still have new pieces that haven’t played together and scoring could become an issue again. Jets fans better hope that the defense plays up to its ability or else the Jets will find themselves behind in most games.
A 7-9 record is a reasonable expectation for the team and either that or an 8-8 record should be considered a successful year. There’s a lot to be hopeful about if you are a Jets fan, but there still is a lot that the team has to prove.