Team Profiles- New York Jets by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator Doug (no relation to Todd) Bowles
Todd Bowles signed a multi-year contract to become the head coach of the New York Jets on January 14, 2015, making him the 18th head coach in team history. (Doesn’t it seem like it has been a lot longer than 10 years ago since Herm Edwards was the Jets head coach?) Todd Bowles played eight seasons in the NFL as a safety. He worked as a defensive coordinator for the Philadelphia Eagles in 2012, and then for the Arizona Cardinals in 2013 and 2014. The Jets replaced a defense-minded head coach (Rex Ryan) with another defense-minded head coach, even though the most glaring problems for New York for the past few years hasn’t necessarily been on defense.
2015 Team Outlook – The New York Jets, Buffalo and Miami have all had to watch as the New England Patriots win the AFC East division year after year…12 times in the past 14 years. The Pats started their dominating run in the AFC East one year after drafting QB Tom Brady (2000) That year, New York used one of their 4-1st round picks on QB Chad Pennington. The Jets entire organization is having a make over this year, including a new head coach, so it’s unlikely that they will threaten New England Patriots anymore than they did in 2014.
2015 Fantasy Outlook –
QB– The Jets have drafted 5 quarterbacks in the past 7 years….Tajh Boyd-2014, Geno Smith-2013, Greg McElroy-2011, Mark Sanchez-2009 and Eric Ainge-2008. Out of this group, only Geno Smith is still on there roster. Out of this group, only Geno Smith and Mark Sanchez are still in the NFL. Geno Smith is not the answer in New York, nor is free agent Mike Vick. The Jets have the #6 overall selection in April’s upcoming NFL Draft, so if the organization wants to try one more time at drafting a franchise quarterback, they are positioned to do so. The two top quarterbacks entering the draft are Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota. Tampa Bay has the #1 overall selection and they need a QB as well. Rookie QB Winston recently visited the Bucs for an interview and he went to Florida State, so the fit makes sense. Most prognosticators have the Jets selecting rookie QB Marcus Mariota with their only 1st round pick. UPDATE: The Jets Acquired QB Ryan Fitzpatrick from the Texans in exchange for a 2016 seventh-round pick. Fitzpatrick will be competing with Geno Smith for the starting job likely right up to the season opener.
RBs– In 2014, the Jets had a patchwork offense made up of free agents from all over the NFL. RB Chis Ivory came over from New Orleans. RB Chris Johnson came from Tennessee. RB Darryl Richardson was a Ram in 2013. WR Eric Decker was a Bronco and WR Percy Harvin was traded by Seattle. With poor play at the QB position and so many players being worked into a new offense, it’s a wonder that the Jets even won 4 games. In 2014, #1 RB Ivory had 198 rushing attempts for 821 yards and scored seven all-purpose TDs. Ivory turns 27 this month, and will return to the Jets in 2015. RB Chris Johnosn on the other hand is a free agent and New York doesn’t want the back…back. RB Chris Johnson recently blamed GM John Idzik for his reduced role last season and lack of production last season which is classic CJ2K…always blaming someone else. He will get marginal interest as a free agent. UPDATE: The Jets will not re-sign RB Chris Johnson.
WRs– Last season WR Eric Decker chased the money to New York, leaving Denver, Peyton Manning as his quarterback, and a team that had gone to the Super Bowl in 2013. In that Super Bowl year, Decker was the #8 wide receiver in the league, with 1288 receiving yards and 11 TDs. His 2014 season in New York was not as successful. Decker went from #8 to #28 WR in the NFL, with 962 yards and 5 TDs. That was good enough to be the #1 WR for the Jets. To find the stats for the #2 WR in New York, you have to go all the way down to #85 among all NFL wide receivers- Jeremy Kerley. He ended 2014 with 409 yards and 1 TD. The #3 WR for the Jets was the ever-disappointing Percy Harvin- 350 yards -1 TD. Just how bad was this passing offense in 2014? WR Antonio Brown for the Pittsburgh Steelers almost had more receiving yards than all Jets 3 top WRs combined. UPDATE: The Jets acquired WR Brandon Marshall and a 2015 seventh-round pick from the Bears in exchange for a 2015 fifth-round pick. Do not draft Marshall too early. The QB situation for the Jets stinks, and honestly, Marshall hasn’t been motivated for a long time now.
TEs– If the top Jets 3 wide receivers didn’t get very many receiving yards or touchdowns in 2014, you can bet the tight ends on the team didn’t either. Jet TE Jace Amaro had 345 yards and 2 TDs, followed by Jeff Cumberland with 247 yards and 3 TDs. Neither TE will help much in the NFL or in fantasy football.
K– Hey guess what? An offensive player from the Jets team actually ranked in the 2014 top 15 at his position in the NFL! Kicker Nick Folk ranked #14 knocking in 32 of 39 field goal attempts and all 23 extra points. Alright Nick!
DEF– If you can’t put a great offense on the field each week (or in the Jets case…any week) you damn well better put the best defense out there, which the Jets didn’t do either. New York was the 9th worst team at points allowed in 2014. They got zero TDs from their defense. (JJ Watt for Houston had 2 defensive TDs all by himself.) The Jets were last in the NFL in INTs. This all culminates into four words…”Rex you are fired”. UPDATE: The Jets signed CBs Darelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie to 5 and 4 year deals respectively.
2014 New York Jets Fantasy Surprises – I was surprised that WR Eric Decker did as well as he did. He almost posted a 1,000 yard season (granted, 221 yards came in the last game of the season vs Miami) Prior to that game, Decker had only one game with 100 yards receiving all year (in Week 15). RB Chris Johnson complains and makes excuses, but is still fast. Didn’t matter…he was only able to score 1 TD in 2014 – a 35 yard TD run in the 4th quarter of Week 4 vs Detroit.
2015 Free Agents that New York Needs to Address – QB Mike Vick- (not re-signed) RB Chris Johnso (not re-signed)- RB Bilal Powell (re-signed)- FB John Connor- G Willie Colon (re-signed)- DT Kenrick Ellis (signed w/ NY Giants)- ILB David Harris (re-signed)- S Dawan Landry.
The Jets signed SS Marcus Gilchrist to a 4 year deal and re-signed LS Tanner Purdum.
2015 NFL Draft– The immediate needs of the New York Jets are at quarterback, at corner back, new offensive linemen and a running back. The Jets simply can’t go another season with Geno Smith as their quarterback (QB), they need at least 3 new corners (CB), they need big guys to protect a new rookie quarterback (OL) and they need depth behind Chris Ivory (RB). UPDATE: New York Jet’s entire 2015 NFL Draft can be seen at this link- NEW YORK JET’S DRAFT
Did You Know – The Jets have a perfect record in Super Bowl appearances? The Jets are joined by the New Orleans Saints and the Tampa bay Buccaneers as the only three NFL teams to win their lone Super Bowl appearance.
All team reports can be seen at this link- TEAM REPORTS
Team Home Page: www.newyorkjets.com