After reaching 8 wins with what many saw as only a 4 to 5 win team, the Jets are confident that they are on the rise. But they will need strong QB play, not confidence, to make it to the playoffs in the AFC.
Rex Ryan has never lacked confidence, but what he has lacked for two straight seasons is a competent offense. Now that his offense has some firepower and experienced backups the excuses are gone. It’s playoffs or bust for what may be Ryan’s last season if he doesn’t bring it all together in 2014.
QB Geno Smith was abysmal for most of his rookie season, committing 25 turnovers while only passing for 12 TDs – granted it was with a receiving corps of players who were either highly-prone to injuries, castoffs, past their prime, or draft busts. As insurance in case he doesn’t perform well enough, the Jets signed QB Michael Vick, who has a history with OC Marty Morhinweig from his days with the Eagles.
The free agent additions of Chris Johnson, Eric Decker and Jacoby Ford leave the Jets offense with no excuses for not performing well.
The defense looks good with one of the best defensive lines in the NFL, nicknamed “The Sons of Anarchy” led by All-Pro DE Muhammad Wilkerson along with Defensive Rookie of the Year DT Sheldon Richardson and top rated Nose Tackle Damon “Snacks” Harrison. The linebacking corps had an off year but has the talent to improve. The secondary is a huge question mark with Dee Milliner coming off a terrible rookie season – but a strong finish – being given the starting #1 CB position. The #2 spot will be a battle between FA pickup Dmitri Patterson and rookie Dexter McDougle.
The Jets will report to training camp in Cortland, New York on July 24.