New York Jets
2016 Record: 5-11, Fourth Place in the AFC East
New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles will be on the hot seat this season. And he won’t be the only one.
The Jets are one of those teams where nothing seems to be going right as of now. They lost wide receiver Brandon Marshall, which hurts the offense, and the defense was about as underachieving as can be in 2016.
No wonder the Jets finished 30th in offense (275 points scored) and 28th on defense (409 points allowed). That’s the formula for a 5-11 record.
Without any legitimate option at quarterback, things could stay ugly for the Jets this season, offensively. Unless running back Matt Forte winds up carrying this group on his shoulders, it’s likely going to be yet another long season in New York.
Hey, at least the Jets addressed some secondary concerns by adding safeties Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye in the NFL Draft, right? Those weren’t bad moves.
Adams and Maye are upgrades right away. So that’s a plus. And rookie tight end Jordan Leggett will immediately be a favored target for quarterback Bryce Petty, if he winds up being named the starter.
Defensive linemen Sheldon Richardson and Muhammad Wilkerson are still good players, at least they should be. So maybe both of these guys are able to put 2016 behind them and start afresh this season. That would be nice.
Even with additions to the secondary, New York’s cornerback crop remains a very worrisome group. And without the regular pressure up front, it was all too often the Jets’ defensive backs wound up being exposed by merely average offenses last year.
Petty could wind up being a nice quarterback still. Yet he doesn’t have much around him. And until the Jets figure out what direction they’re trying to go, it’s likely he’ll struggle again in 2017.
Adams is the kind of player teams want to build around. Not only is he a bona fide playmaker, but he also brings key leadership to a locker room — an element the Jets sorely need right now.
If the defense can rally around their rookie hopeful, perhaps we’ll see an uptick from some of last year’s underachievers.
That might be the best thing to happen for New York this upcoming season.