Thoughts on the State of the Jets

It’s that time of year again when the salary cap hat goes completely off and the Jets fan comes out for a “state of the Jets” post, which has been requested by a few of the readers on the site given the Jets recent lack of success. The team has lost 4 of their last 5 and has looked poor in a majority of those games, games that most expected at worst would have produced a 3-2 record. Today the Jets released LB/DE Quinton Coples, the teams 2012 first round pick, a move that would be described as the team’s front office looking to send a message to the team that no job, no matter how much money you earn or how much draft capital the team has invested in you, is safe. So I’ll share my thoughts on the team and answer any questions you may have either in the comments or via email.

As a fan of the team you could feel the “same old Jets” mentality creeping in after the loss to the Bills. That was a crushing loss to a division rival coached by our former head coach. Rex flaunted the win and that hurt most fans of the team. At the same time the game exposed things that had been there all season but went unnoticed because of early wins. Now those things were noticed and became a focus of concern. The secondary isn’t as good as advertised. Chris Ivory can’t stay healthy for 60 minutes. The coaching decisions are questionable. The team never looks prepared to start a game. The quarterback can’t throw outside. The team has no depth.  They are all valid concerns about the team and it has snowballed after the last two losses.

The Jets are in part victims of their early season success. For five weeks the defense played lights out. Opponents did not seem prepared for the aggressive schemes run by Todd Bowles and the Jets were benefitting. They had an incredible string of luck when it came to turnovers. The offense was efficient and Ryan Fitzpatrick looked like a hero as the ultimate game manager. The Jets developed a nice 1-2 punch with the running of Chris Ivory and the receiving threats of Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker.

But that early season schedule was a powder puff schedule. The team opened against the Browns who are in line for the 1st pick in the draft. They held the Colts to 7 points, which was impressive until we saw everyone dominate the Colts. They lost to a bad Eagles team that has now seemingly quit on a season by week 10 and beat the Dolphins who fired their head coach following the game. They capped it off with a whipping of Washington.

Those 5 games blinded our vision and put expectations through the roof.  If at the start of the season someone said the Jets would be 5-5 after 10 games most would have said that is a reasonable start, however when you get there by starting 4-1 it looks like a disaster. I don’t think we ever should have expected anything differently.

Fitzpatrick has never won more than 6 games in a season and there is a reason for that. You don’t play every game in the NFL from ahead and he doesn’t have the ability to bring teams back. Our season is almost identical to what occurred with the Bills a few years back when a hot start got Fitzpatrick a big contract extension. Then the clock struck midnight and he turned into a pumpkin. The clock struck midnight last week on him and hoping someone is going to find him a glass slipper is probably foolish.

Ivory has never been able to maintain his body for any period of time. He’s already missed games and he has almost reached his career high in carries.  The Jets overused him early and not surprisingly he fell apart. He isn’t the same player right now as he was early in the season and that should have been no surprise either. That workload was unsustainable for him.

The defense was exposed for being un-athletic, not having natural pass rushers, and clearly aging in the secondary. There has been no depth to cover for injuries. There was no reason to think that would not catch up with the team. Any team that relies on 35 year old Calvin Pace to bring the heat isn’t going to go very far. It is what it is with that group. Disappointing yes, but not totally surprising either.

The blame can’t be laid at the feet of the general manager or head coach, at least not yet. They inherited an awful roster with almost no bright spots. The secondary had no players. The linebackers were some combination of being too old, too slow, and lacking in fundamentals.  The offensive line was ancient at its best spots and terrible at its worst spots. There was no quarterback. The roster depth was so poor even the special teams were among the worst in the NFL. The lone bright spots were a defensive line (which has disappointed this year), Decker, and Nick Folk.

Mike Maccagnan built as best as he could to try to make the Jets relevant this year rather than fall deeper into despair as they did the last two seasons under John Idzik. He focused his free agency run primarily on defense to mesh the roster with Todd Bowles’ skillset while adding a few professionals on offense. No contract was signed that really impacted the future. The only one is that of Darrelle Revis, and even he could be traded if they could find a taker in the future.  If the goal was to be in the playoff hunt then his plan worked.

The roots of the Jets problems date back to Mike Tannenbaum’s regime which treated draft picks like candy on Halloween. The Jets were all about building a team of draft pick superstars and complementing those draft picks with veterans. The problem with that strategy is you are putting all your eggs in one basket so to speak. When the draft picks are poor the talent level drops immensely. You can rely on veterans to pick up the slack, but they usually can’t do it for 16 games and certainly not for the long haul. With so few picks the youth expected to spell those veterans isn’t there and you end up with the disappointments of 2011 and 2012.

Idzik went to the other extreme, dumping almost any veteran that cost much more than the minimum and amassing a ton of late draft picks. Maybe he didn’t realize the team had little talent on top. Maybe he was far too optimistic about the prospects of late draft picks. Either way he completely gutted the team and drafted horribly. He panicked late in his tenure by trading for Percy Harvin and extending Jeremy Kerley in hopes of changing a narrative about his abilities as a general manager.

There is a balance you have to keep in the NFL when it comes to mixing veterans and rookies. Our guys hit it perfect in that 2009 and 2010 period where they hit on the depth aspect and high end picks in the 06 and 07 drafts while also doing well in free agency in 2008 and 2009. I hope the Jets are able to do that again in the future under Maccagnan, but they had to try to build something this year via free agency and luckily didn’t give away an entire draft to do it. There is nothing wrong with that approach.

The disasters of the draft can’t be understated. With the release of Coples only 56% of the 1st rounders remain on the roster since 2008. That’s 6th worst in the NFL. In general the expectation is you get your stars in round 1, solid starters in round 2, and solid rotational guys in round 3. Anything found after that you hope adds some depth as spot players and they can help on specials. Anything more is gravy.  Before anyone gets on the case of the Jets current front office here is what the Jets top of the drafts have looked like since 2008:

12008GholstonOut of NFL
12008KellerOut of NFL
12009SanchezEagles backup
12010WilsonSaints 3rd string
12011WilkersonJets starter
12013MillinerJets bench
12013RichardsonJets starter
12014PryorJets starter
22010DucasseBears Starter
22012HillPS Panthers 14/IR
22013SmithJets backup
22014AmaroJets IR
32009GreeneOut of NFL
32011EllisBackup Vikings
32012DavisJets starter
32013WintersJets starter
32014McDougleJets 3rd string

That’s just a brutal list. Davis and Winters would not start in at least 2/3 of the NFL nor would Ducasse, so in 7 years the Jets have produced 2 quality starters (Wilkerson and Richardson) and 1 who looks like he will be (Pryor). You can’t win like that. The Jets were basically an expansion team by the time Maccagnan took over. You don’t go from that level to a Super Bowl contender without lucking into a  special QB.

I’m as guilty as anyone of looking at some of the names on the roster and saying “they are built to win now”. They never were built to win now, they were built to survive 2015 and not fail the way they did in 2014. Take advantage of a soft schedule to get off to a decent start for the regime and buy time for the real job that had to be done. This is a long process of roster rebuilding and they simply are hoping that enough young guys eventually hit to supplement the vets as they enter the final effective years of their contracts.

Rebuilding the roster is no easy task. The Jets failures have gone beyond just the misses in the draft, they have also completely neglected one side of the football. Of their 9 first round picks, 7 were used on defensive players and no offensive players have been selected since 2009. While it’s easy to put all the blame on the quarterback position, those players don’t grow on trees and you need to construct a team planning for the worst until you find the best.

When you are a team with no quarterback you simply can’t do what the Jets did and draft players in the secondary, D-line and receiver spots. You can’t win in the NFL without an offensive line to try to make life easier for poor quarterbacks and to help build a running game. That was a strength of those good teams, but now it’s made up of journeymen and two players who are nearing the end of their careers.

That’s the biggest problem for the Jets. When it comes to fundamental building blocks on offense there are none. When Nick Mangold goes down the line is in disarray. D’Brickashaw Ferguson has clearly lost a step at tackle and looks closer to retirement with each passing week. Nobody else is any good. Winters, Colon, and Giacomini should all be gone next season. Carpenter will follow a year later. It’s a mess and it’s criminal that the Jets have basically turned a blind eye to the line since 2006. They won’t get better until they fix this and get the talent in place for the future.  When it comes to planning for 2016 this needs to be the priority.

I’m probably in the minority regarding Wilkerson’s future with the team, but unless they are moving Richardson I think the Jets have to look to trade Wilkerson next year. When you have the bad drafts sacrifices have to be made. Wilkerson is a fine player, but he isn’t a difference maker. Few non-QB’s are. The Jets have not had a winning record in Wilkerson’s tenure. That isn’t his fault but holding on to him will limit what the team can do elsewhere and if the goal is to become great these are tough decisions that have to be made.

Wilkerson will likely cost the team $14 million a season to stay and you have to consider the alternative uses of that money.  If they can turn him into a late 1st round pick that should give you a fighting chance at getting an elite offensive lineman. With the other $10-11 million left over you could, for example, sign the best guard on the market and one of the top running backs. On a team with such limited talent, you have to take the opportunity to turn one star into three starters.

I still have faith in Bowles and hope he is learning from his mistakes he has made in the games and in prep for the games. There is clearly going to be some Bill Parcells in him when it comes to playing time. He pretty much wrote off Coples, Milliner, and Kerley the minute he met them. Jace Amaro seemed to be on the same track to the bench before he got hurt. As long as he wins that can work, but if they don’t win he will face numerous questions regarding his decision making.

If there was a bit of advice to give to the Jets and Bowles it might be to work with Bowles on his approach to the media after games. In this day and age the fans want more information and he does not do a good job giving much away. That works for a Belichick, but Belichick is a coach from a different generation and I don’t know if you can be that kind of coach coming up in todays NFL. The media can be his best friend or worst enemy. It’s a soft skill that is becoming more and more crucial for job security in the NFL and its an easy thing to fix. Much easier than fixing the talent on the roster and figuring out why the team starts every game like it’s a scrimmage.

I’m not ready to write this season off just yet, but it doesn’t look hopeful. If they lose this week I think they have to make the turn back to Smith, just to see how he meshes with these players. If he bombs out in the next 2 or 3 games you finish the year with Petty. Petty will likely be overwhelmed but its about seeing how he handles those situations and prepares for each game. One of these players may be the starter for the Jets next year so the staff needs to see who they are most comfortable with, especially if the draft prospects are not there. Hopefully they are already doing their due diligence on RG3, Kaepernick, and whomever else is likely to be released. I also hope they don’t get caught up in anything involving Peyton Manning. They need to look to the future and not the past.

I expect the Jets to have somewhere between $30 and $35 million in cap space next year once they trim the fat from the roster. That will be reduced by about $16 million when they franchise Wilkerson. Obviously if they are going to sign Wilkerson long term it needs to be done before free agency to maximize cap space. As long as they trade him quickly that will give them ample money to spend to continue to improve the team and as long as they follow their recent contract structures won’t cause them any harm.

I don’t think there is any way around saying that this is at least a three year reconstruction in order to undo the damage done by the last two general managers. The Jets really need a full hit in the draft next season where they land two standouts and a bunch of contributors to prevent the team from getting worse next season.

Personally Im worried about Revis. I think he is one step away from being in the Asomugha zone by next year. Teams clearly are not afraid anymore of the island and if they begin to connect on more of those passes its going to be ugly especially if the team struggles the rest of this season and next. Right now teams haven’t connected because the passes were simply bad or there was at least enough respect to fear the turnover. Asomugha went through a period, even in Philly, where it took time for people to lose that fear even as he was getting torched when they did try it.

The staff is going to have to adjust with more safety help in the future. I think him getting that help is a key in the future because as their most notable player the Jets front office can’t afford for him to look human. If he looks bad the fan opinion is going to go south really fast on the entire organization which will leave us with a big mess that will continue a cycle of GM changes that fail to produce any results.

But it’s time to really get back to fundamentals of team building. They need to build from the inside out and not the outside in. They have the defensive line in place and they cant keep adding to that. They have to turn to the other side and not worry about the splash. Find a tackle who either takes over for Ferguson next year or plays the right side next year and takes over the year thereafter. Find a young interior lineman to play guard and eventually slot to center. Find a more reliable runner than Ivory, either to relieve him or replace him.

I don’t think there is any magic cure for this season. Maybe the team gets lucky, but the talent isn’t there and Bowles is going through some growing pains as a head coach to expect any run. The schedule was right for a playoff push, but much like some of our playoff teams of the past most of the readers are familiar with (2006, 2004) it would only mask the deep rooted problems of the roster.

The best thing we can do now is keep an eye for the future. You hope the top 3 from this draft class do more over the last few weeks of the year. You hope to see improvements from the sideline. We will get a very good idea in how the Jets approach free agency as to what plans they have in store. But take this season for what it was. Nothing more than an attempt to bring some respectability back to a team that had most of that stripped away for the last 2 ½ seasons. The real evaluation for these guys begins next year. Hopefully they are up to the challenge and we are not at the same point next year asking ourselves if changes need to be made up top.

  • Dan Kunze

    As a Bear fan, it hurts me to see Ducasse starting on our line but we are also rebuilding and it looks like we have the right coach for it.

    • McGeorge

      How “good” is Ducasse?
      How doe she compare to Matt Slauson?

      • David J. Kubik

        I was going to say – the one success the JETS had drafting was getting Slauson, and he is now on the Bears (and on a really good deal).

        • That was a Rex thing. For some reason he didnt seem to care for Slauson. They did some odd things with him when he was here and none was more bizarre than the Ducasse rotation.

          • McGeorge

            My impression was Rex didn’t like that Slauson wasn’t good at rub blocking. But he was ok at pass blocking. They had him for cheap and let him go.
            I wonder if playing Ducasse was Tannenbaums idea, so that he could show that his draft picks weren’t busts (they were)

          • Dan Kunze

            Slauson has been a fantastic deal for the Bears. Ducasse can be there or not, he just isn’t impressive. Our only real horse is Long and we had Bushrod, who has been hurt this year. So we have about 2.5 or 3 legit O linemen at any one time. Our third round draft choice is cutting his teeth at center and looks to be a keeper. It is a project but one that is making progress.

          • I think that was a big part of it. Rex isnt crazy about the guys who cant just overpower you and Slauson had plays where he just got physically dominated. I think that ticks Rex off especially when his back is getting hit 3 yards deep and slauson was on his back.

          • David J. Kubik

            Maybe the fact that Rex didn’t resign him made him a better player too.

          • buk

            I’m shocked by all the trade Mo for a late 1st rd sentiment here. Can any Jet fan here say they have reasonable confidence that Sheldon won’t fire up another blunt or fail another test in offseason which could result in a 10 game suspension? Sheldon is likely to face another suspension from the 120mph chase. Sheldon skipped OTAs and missed 5 games this season and probably has not been in football shape when he did play. Coples just got cut, WIliams is a rookie and Snacks will be a FA. You trade Mo is every one here ready to go into next season with a D-Line of Sheldon,WIlliams, Snacks and Douzable??? I’m sorry that is not top defensive front without Mo. I don’t trust Sheldon and both Snacks and I think Douzable are free agents.
            What are the chances we can get an impact player with a late 1st rd pick? Bowles is a defensive coach so no way he will support trading Mo and there is no way I see Mo not holding out if they franchise him. If Jets trade Mo who is their best player in his prime while continuing to pay aging Mangold,Brick,Harris big money next year I think i’ll be done with the Jets.

          • I think Sheldon is a concern. I guess the hypothetical is are the Jets better off getting a late 1st rounder for Mo (Im assuming he could fetch that, though as the team falters I think his trade value lessens) and saving $14 million and rollin the dice Richardson stays straight versus getting a conditional 2 for Sheldon and saving maybe $3 or 4 million in the process. I do think the Jets would be foolish next year to have all three on the line with all the holes they have elsewhere.

          • buk

            Slauson is solid player but hardly a standout. He had some terrible penalties when he was here. Probably a cap decision because Brick and Mangold were still high salary players in their prime when decision to let Slauson walk took place.
            While O-Line has been inconsistent this year it’s been better. Problem is it’s old and no depth. Sacks allowed and penalties are down due to Fitz getting rid of the ball imo. No quality RB play behind Ivory has hurt. Drops by Marshall and Decker have been huge. Most of all is the incredibly steep drop in production and talent for pass catchers after Marshall and Decker. No tight end at all and no production from Smith,Kerley or any other receiver. Defenses are catching on and lack of tight end who can catch or block has now hurt the running game.

  • McGeorge

    1. I’m still a bit miffed at Maccagnan for spending so much during free agency. He spent more than he needed to get the Jets to the salary floor. It was wasted money that could have been rolled forward and applied towards Wilkerson.

    2. I’m not impressed with Bowles as a head coach, forget about how he handles the media. On the other hand, it doesn’t matter if the Jets have a good or bad coach because the players stink. The jets #1 problem is drafting poorly. They can get a new HC in a few years if they draft well.

    3. It’s too early to judge the 2015 draft, but with the exception of Leonard Williams, it looks to be another terrible draft, with no players other than Williams. Thats 7 years in a row of bad drafting. I see other teams finding OK wide receivers in later rounds, but not the Jets. I see other teams developing UDFA, but other than Damon Harrison, who have the Jets developed that’s a decent player?

    4. Forget about “Franchise QB”, this team is terrible and should trade away draft picks for more draft picks in the following years. Jets trade their 2016 #1 for your #1 in 2017 and 2018. Or trade a #2 for next years #2 and #3. You just need Woody’s buy in. The team will stink an extra year, but then rebound faster.

    5. Is Revis over paid? Yes. But the Jets had to spend a ton of money, and if not on Revis then on whom? Who else was there to spend a lot on? Revis can no longer be an island, but he’s still good. Put him on the #2, and use safety help on the #1, just like Belichick did.
    I was hoping the Jets could outbid the Patrios for McCourty, but why would he want to come here?

    6. I want Rex to do well and stay in Buffalo for a long term, so he can influence the GM to draft as poorly as they did while he was here.

  • Jim

    The only “bad” move I thought Maccagnan made at the time (and has played out to be, since week 1) was the Cromartie signing, I thought $8m was awful to spend on him, even if for just one year. As hard as it to stomach Marshall’s drops and fumbles, the Jets would probably be 3-7 without him, they desperately need his playmaking, just accept the dumb plays as they are. Gilchrist, Skrine are both young with upside and James Carpenter has actually been pretty solid according to both theJetsBlog guys and PFF. I don’t mind the Revis deal that much, because he can provide veteran leadership to the secondary.

    And while it’s fair to say they lack overall depth, you have to admit, the injuries at RB and S this year have been absolutely ridiculous and impossible to account for ahead of time.

    They absolutely need to get younger/better at RG, RT. Colon is done, and Winters is backup at best and Breno has been a liability since he got here. It’s almost comical that year after year, they refuse to get a linebacker who can run with TE’s and RB’s, and the Pats run those stinking wheel routes for a long gain and Gronk has 6-8 catches, 70-130 yards, 1-2 TD’s almost every game.

    I’m with Jason on Wilkerson. I don’t want to see him go, but because they didn’t sign him long-term when the price tag would have been $10-11m/yr and given the state of their roster, I think they will try to move him for that mid-low 1st rd pick. They need youth at ILB, they need depth at S and RB, they need high potential talent at places other than the DL.

    • buk

      Pure speculation on my part but as a talent guy it’s a safe bet Cromartie was an attractive option for Maccagnan. He was still sitting there in FA and my guess is Bowles fought for him and the GM backed his coach on a 1yr deal which I think was right move. Anyway season is not over and were 5-5 so it’s possible Cro could contribute down the stretch. What we know now was Milliner was never ready to start the season and Bowles has no faith in McDougle. Revis got hurt and next play WIlliams was burned.

      • McGeorge

        I hope you are right.
        I hope Macc is better than that.
        (And that Bowles will be gone in another year or two)

      • I think it was an organizational decision. Bowles Im sure was looking for a voice in the room and I think in general the team was trying to erase everything Idzik did all in one season. Cromartie was a popular Jet who left in a somewhat ugly manner so I think the team felt bringing him back was very good not just for the coach but for the relationship with the fans.

        The $8M price tag is a bit steep though. Basically they just reinstated his old contract which may not have been the best way to approach it.

    • Safety injuries have been tough but not really the runners. The Jets went into the season with Ivory, who is always hurt, Ridley, who was always going to begin the year on PUP, Stacy, who has never played 16 games, and Powell. I kind of feel like our FO dug their own grave with that position and made it worse when they really didnt use Stacy or Powell even in bigger lead games, choosing to overuse Ivory instead.

  • buk

    Totally disagree on trading Mo. Like it or not he is the Jet’s best player and to say the Jets have not won with him is like being critical of a far superior player in Watts why Texans haven’t won. The only reason to trade is NOT to pay him which by itself is not enough for a player in his prime, no off field concerns, no serious injury history and would weaken the Jets only strength their D-line.
    Guys the window to get any fair trade value for Mo has passed and we have to accept it. Richardson is one strike away from another lengthy suspension. Snacks is too limited as a pass rusher and frankly we won’t know how good Williams can be yet. We know all this and a late first round pick just is not enough.
    The tough love of reconstruction must start on the offensive line. Brick and Mangold MUST accept paycuts or you release them period. The dead money for both their contracts are not terrible and the Jets need to look for cheaper younger talent to replace them through FA or the draft if they both don’t accept paycuts. Jets need to sign Fitz to 2yr deal similar to what Sanchez signed in Philly in offseason without hesitation. Fitz is a capable starter and solid backup and as we’ve seen with Cowboys moving his contract via trade like Cassel when another QB gets hurt is always an option. No matter how Jets rebuild it’s got to be Fitz/Geno, Fitz/RG3 or whoever they take a chance on.
    Cro is gone. Milliner,McDougle,Marcus Williams have to play the other corner and if they can’t you have to cut them and move on. Personally i’d resign Ivory and part ways with Bilal and Ridley. There are too many productive backs late in the draft that can compliment Ivory for the 2yrs he had left. I’m sorry but to lose a banged up Ivory and this offense takes a major step back. Also I know it’s not popular but i’d resign Demario. Jets at best have 1yr with Harris and this is it for Pace. Look at number of snaps Davis, Harris and Pace play and it tells you Jets have no depth at the LB position with Coples gone. Also on a side note unless Coples was a locker room problem I don’t support cutting him in season. You save almost nothing with Cap by releasing him and he possibly could contribute replacing Wake in Miami who Jets have to play. Pace is 35yr old playing major snaps and if he gets hurt Coples was best suited for that role. We’ve got important games to play this season
    Unfortunately despite Idzik’s best effort the Jets did not lose enough to get Winston or Mariota. If we had either player right now and were 3-6 they’d be more hope for the future.

  • buk

    Also if the Jets have to pay Mo I can tell you after watching every snap Dareus has played in Buffalo this year that Mo is the better player . At this stage of his career he’s as good as McCoy,Suh or Dareus. You can argue all those high paid players play for losing teams(including Watt) and how the NFL overvalues the position but with exception of Watt Mo is just as good. And that is what you want with Big money contracts which are players in their prime who function in your system(Rex& Bowles) so you know what you’re getting.
    As for sacks it’s clear that Dareus sack numbers did benefit from playing around other legit pass rushers like Mario Williams and Hughes in a defensive system which did not ask them to drop in coverage. Rex goes to Bills all of sudden Bills have only 14 sacks total to date vs 54 total last season. Mo played his whole career under Rex who whose defense has never generated huge sack totals to be fair to Mo and what he was asked to which is lead a strong run defense for Rex.
    Jets have been in every game except for Raider game in large part thanks to Mo keeping that D-Line together in a season where Richardson has already missed 5 games , Coples had no contribution, a rookie in Williams and Douzable playing major minutes. Mo is not the problem and i’m sure he’s the focal point of every offense we face as a guy they need to account for.

    • a57se

      Dareus is getting a little over $7 million per season…I’d love to have Mo back at that salary.

      • Dareus makes nearly $16 million a year now. They left his cap pretty much alone this year when extending him but that was a crazy contract in Buffalo they have to deal with.

        • a57se

          Geez, you got me.
          I went by your ‘Team Texture’ link for the Bills!!!

  • a57se

    Jason, you expressed my feelings about this team almost to a tee…
    I wouldn’t bother with Geno anymore being the only real difference.
    The 2016 draft is looking like a good Tackle draft and an excellent LB’er draft early.
    We have desperate needs at both positions.
    Getting a late 1st rounder for Wilkerson would put us in play to draft both positions in the first round and possibly score those two standouts you alluded to.
    There are also some quality RB’s to be had and the second round would be a good place to find someone who can either replace Ivory or augment him if we keep him.
    One small nit, you forgot to mention that the Jets only have 37 or 38 guys under contract for next season…
    That 30+ million salary cap we’ll have can’t be spent in chunks on a couple guys.

  • buk

    Bowles has three years max to produce imo and McCaggnan longer if he drafts well. I worry about Bowles next post game press conference if they lose to Miami. 5-6 record would confirm the team is in freefall and probably eliminate any playoff hopes. Bowles was already running out of things to say last wk and another loss will force a change back to Geno which is something he did not want to do. Does Bowles personality go over well with the media or Woody? Rex and Herman had personality and they got contract extensions. Woody didn’t like Mangini and we know what came next.
    HUGE game for Bowles and Jets. With Revis, Mangold and Foles likely out it could be a close game against Miami

  • John Murray

    Here’s my take. Ivory has an undisclosed injury. He can’t move laterally with any speed. It started with the first carry of NE game. Powell was out. Marshall has ankle issues. This is not just an age thing. Look at Amari Cooper lately. Try fighting for a ball with two guys on you and not knowing when you land your ankle won’t collapse. Drops. Revis is not what he was but he got “burnt” by Tedd Ginn in 2009 when he was captain lockdown. Yates made great throws to beat him. Cromartie plays great last year when healthy after recovering from his hip issues. Did anyone seem him do a split in Oakland? Not a good hip thing. Carpenter is fine, the tackles are not. Winters subpar but getting better. Milliner was a DRO month of December and Defensive player of the week 17 when Rex put him on Dee Island with Josh Gordon and Wallace. It was a challenge in a lost season and he passed the test. Hence all the hope going into 2014. Then he starts pulling everything. Hams ,quads,hand ligaments, Achilles’ tendons. I’m a medical person, when I see this its concerning. I hope he is being tested for Marfans. Then Skrine give himself a shoulder popping Edelmen. Remember when all the hitting was forcing turnovers? Well they get the hitters hurt too. This team is banged up. All the missed tackles versus Raiders and Bills from hitting and not being able to really hit. I’m just tired of the 100% negative spin I hear in the stands and media every week. “Free fall”, spinning out of control. Win next three and your probably gonna make it now that Romo is gone, Edelmen and Amendola are hurt, the Pats Oline put Brady on his back 14 times last week. I kinda like the idea of week 17 in Buffalo to end coach you can’t have me backs season. .