So another football season rolls into December and begins to wind down for the also rans…a term all too familiar to JET fans. When the season should be heating up and the competition for a playoff spot reaching a fever pitch, the New York JETS will be heading home to lick their wounds and wonder what went wrong in 2016.
Here is my post mortem on a season slowly fading to black.
1-Thankfully the JETS have made what I believe to be a right decision. Let me see the kid! Bryce Petty was named the QB for the remainder of the season. At some point we need to know what we have…if anything. Yesterday’s win against a lousy 49er team didn’t show us much but it showed that Petty is tough, resilient and has some talent. But he will need to show more more more if he has aspirations to be the answer the JETS have been seeking. Athletic? Check. Somewhat mobile? Check. Huge arm? Check. He needs on the field game experience. And to work with the first team offense. Getting Decker back will be a huge plus. That guy is money and he could be invaluable in Petty’s growth. Fitpatrick and Smith are just not viable options anymore. And if Petty isn’t the man then they need to find out quickly so they can find somebody “to keep the seat warm” as Bill Parcells used to say until they can finally draft “the Guy”, who will lead the team for the next 10 years. Mark Sanchez was supposed to be that guy. We know how that turned out.
2-Though the coaching of Todd Bowles has been questioned by many, I believe this has been a down year complicated by aging players and injuries and the lack of consistent play at the Quarterback position. These factors are really out of Bowles control. The horrible play of the defensive backfield is his domain and he has failed miserably getting those guys to play together but I still think Bowles deserves a chance to right the ship next year. If the results are similar next year then I say bye bye birdie.
3-What the heck is up with the defense? The front seven were supposed to be EPIC…as in GREAT. They have been completely ordinary with the notable exception of Leonard Williams who is destined to be a star. Wilkerson, obviously not completely recovered from his broken leg of last year ha been a complete non-factor. It seems his health is now improving to the point that he is becoming the player we thought he was. Sheldon Richardson is a talented guy who is a total nutcase. I wouldn’t be surprised if he is traded for draft picks in the off season if anyone will have him. The JETS miss Damon Harrison as I expected they would. The linebacking has been so-so. David Harris has become old and slow. I like the young guys Lee and Jenkins but they are just that…young guys who need experience and grooming. The secondary has been a huge disappointment. Calvin Pryor has been miserable. Much was expected of Buster Skrine. Unfortunately he’s done little.
Revis Island? What a joke. DR has become an old slow and injured man, and much more rapidly that anyone thought he would. It’s painfully obvious his wrist problem is severly affecting his physical style of play. He has played better of late. Maybe he too is finally becoming healthy just in time for the season to end. He’ll be playing safety next year, if he’s even still with The JETS.
4-The offensive line has been inconsistent all year. With Mangoold in and out, Giacomini in and out, Clady in and out, the retirement of D’Brickashaw Ferguson, and the departure of Chris Ivory, the running game has been mediocre. Yesterday Bilal Powell showed us that he is a professional. Why this guy doesn’t get the respect, and why he doesn’t get more snaps is beyond me. Will Mangold return? That remains to be seen.
5-This year Mike Maccagnan will be severely tested as he runs a crucial draft to re-stock the JETS with new talent. One only needs to take a look at what the JETS have done in the draft over the last five years and it’s plain to see why they are suffering from a dearth of high level NFL talent. But I have faith in this man to step up and do what needs to be done. Based on what he’s done so far I think we are in good hands. He better step up or it’s going to get even more ugly that it already is.
Sorry there’s not much to look forward to JETS fans. Maybe if Petty shows us something we’ll have that much to hang our hats on. Hopefully management will make more right deisions. Time to re-tool this againg team. We have some decent young players. Time to find out if any of them can be factors in the NFL.