When it comes to the New York Jets, no one could have expected an 8-8 performance from a team that looked close to a complete collapse. Even more unsettling for the 2013 Jets was having to trust rookie quarterback Geno Smith with the offense. While there were plenty of disturbing performances from Smith, none were out of the ordinary of what you would expect from a first year starter. With a solid year under his belt at the position and veteran QB Michael Vick added to the roster for guidance, there is no reason Geno’s sophomore year in the NFL won’t be exciting to watch. If it’s not, there is always a chance to have Vick as your starting quarterback, and as most Jets fan will tell you any quarterback is better than a butt-fumbling quarterback. Along with Vick, in an attempt to beef up the skill positions surrounding Geno Smith, the Jets took a shot on former Tennessee Titans running back, Chris Johnson. While the once elusive back has been somewhat of a disappointment lately, Johnson’s best years were with a mobile quarterback. With Smith and Vick as viable options under center it will be interesting to see if the 28-year-old speedster still has some juice left. As for Rex Ryan, he may have pulled out the most impressive season in his career in 2013 with his fate as head coach hanging in limbo. The 8-8 finish landed Ryan a multi-year contract proposing that New York has uncovered a renewed confidence in the head coach. While a losing season will surely land Rex back on the hot seat, this move is great for the franchise as it provides some stability to the locker room, besides, the players love Rex.
The New York Jets have some marquee matchups to look forward to in the upcoming season. Though it will only be a preseason game, the bitterness between the Giants and Jets always produces some exciting football. Outside of their divisional games, which includes two matchups with the New England Patriots, the NY Jets have a daunting schedule ahead of them. At home New York will host the Denver Broncos, Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Pittsburgh Steelers, and Oakland Raiders. While they faced Oakland and Pittsburgh last year, it will be the first time the Jets have faced the Lions, Broncos and Bears at home in more than half a decade. The schedule doesn’t get any easier on the road as the Jets head to Lambeau Field, Arrowhead Stadium, Qualcomm Stadium, and LP Field. The Jets lead the series with the Green Bay Packers 9-3, but in their last meeting 4 years ago the Packers took the cake 9-0 at Lincoln Financial Field. In a much closer bout, the series between the Jets and Kansas City Chiefs is neck and neck with New York leading by one, 18-17-1. The last time the Jets played at Arrowhead Stadium, we were still waiting on the iPhone, the first generation. It was also the last time the Chiefs beat the Jets, which makes it all the more intriguing to attend.
While the Jets appear to have a lot going for them heading into the 2014 season, there are some areas of much needed improvement before aspiring to get back in the playoffs. First and foremost offensive talent. More importantly a clear cut number one wide receiver. Chris Johnson should offer some great options for the offense to use and adding a solid option on the outside will balance this offense and keep their opponents guessing. While the defense seemed to be a diamond in the ruff last year, their #11 ranking among defenses in the NFL can be attributed to the front seven, who were quite possibly the best in the league. Beyond the line of scrimmage the Jets are hurting for some secondary weapons. The selling of “Revis Island” proved to be a mistake as the secondary seemed to crumble upon his departure while creating havoc for teams playing Tampa Bay. While there still hope for Cromartie and Milliner to be solid defensive backs some reassurance might be necessary to get the two back on top.
September 7 vs. Oakland Raiders
September 14 at Green Bay Packers
September 22 vs. Chicago Bears
September 28 vs. Detroit Lions
October 5 4:25PMEDT * AT CHARGERS
October 12 vs. Denver Broncos
October 16 at New England Patriots
October 26 vs. Buffalo Bills
November 2 at Kansas City Chiefs
November 9 vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
November 23 at Buffalo Bills
December 1 vs. Miami Dolphins
December 7 at Minnesota Vikings
December 14 at Tennessee Titans
December 21 vs. New England Patriots
December 28 at Miami Dolphins