New York Jets Cheerleaders

The New York Jets managed to finish 8-8 last year, which was quite an accomplishment considering rookie quarterback Geno Smith started all 16 games. It was good enough for a T-2nd in the AFC with the Miami Dolphins, but not enough to threat the New England Patriots for the top spot.

It’s now been three years since the Jets last made the playoffs, but the team remains confident in head coach Rex Ryan. Hard to blame them, as there aren’t too many coaches out there who could have got more out of the roster New York fielded in 2013.

The big question is whether or not the Jets have done enough to build on last year’s success, or are they headed for their second losing season in the last three years. To get a better idea, let’s take a quick look at what New York will be sending out to the field on both sides of the ball in 2014.

Last Season
AFC East
ATS Record
Home ATS
Road ATS
Offense Rank
Defense Rank
Turnover Margin
Points For
Points Against
2014 Roster Changes
Draft Picks
S Calvin Pryor, TE Jace Amaro, CB Dexter McDougle, WR Jalen Saunders, WR Shaq Evans, G Dakota Dozier
QB Michael Vick, RB Chris Johnson, WR Eric Decker, WR/KR Jacoby Ford, OT Breno Giacomini, CB Dimitri Patterson, DE Jason Babin
QB Mark Sanchez, WR Santonio Holmes, OT Austin Howard, G Vladimir Ducasse, CB Antonio Cromartie
2014 Preview
2014 New York Jets Schedule
Date Opponent
Spread (Est.)
Win Chance
9/7 Raiders
9/14 @ Packers
9/22 Bears
9/28 Lions
10/5 @ Chargers
10/12 Broncos
10/16 @ Patriots
10/26  Bills
11/2 @ Chiefs
11/9 Steelers
Week 11 BYE
11/23 @ Bills
12/1 Dolphins
12/7 @ Vikings
12/14 @ Titans
12/21 Patriots
12/28 @ Dolphins
Estimated Wins: 6.76

It’s almost as if the Jets don’t feel complete without some kind of controversy at the quarterback position. New York went out and brought in veteran Michael Vick to compete for the starting job with Smith. I can’t say I blame them. While Smith started to play a lot better down the stretch, you can’t ignore the fact that he threw just 12 touchdowns to 21 interceptions. What the Jets need is a quarterback who can take care of the football, but what they have are two guys who look to make the big play and rack up turnovers. I wouldn’t be surprised if rookie Tajh Boyd managed to find his way on the field at some point, especially if things start to go bad in New York.

While the rest of the NFL shifts towards a more pass-happy offense, Ryan is intent on building this team around the running game. It’s not that you can’t have success with a run-first offense, it just extremely difficult when you don’t have a quarterback who can pick up those tough 3rd downs. New York believes they bolstered their ground attack with the addition of veteran Chris Johnson, but I fear he’s actually going to hurt the offense. Johnson has too many runs for negative yards and the last thing this offense needs is to be playing behind the chains. Luckily they have a number of quality backups, including Chris Ivory and Bilal Powell.

Part of the problem last year was the Jets had very little talent at the receiver position. Jeremy Kerley’s 43 receptions for 523 yards were both tops on the team. They believe they have upgraded the position by bringing in Eric Decker from Denver, but you can’t ignore the fact that Decker’s stats are inflated playing with Peyton Manning. I wouldn’t be surprised if he was a major disappointment. What New York really needs is for one of their three rookie receivers to emerge, along with rookie tight end Jace Amaro, who they selected in the 2nd round.

The offensive line has been a strength of this team for several years, largely due to the consistent strong play of left tackle D’Brickashaw Ferguson and center Nick Mangold. Whether or not the unit continues to be a force, lies heavily on free agent tackle Breno Giacomini, who is expected to step in and start on the right sided for the departed Austin Howard. Giacomini has the talent, but he’s only managed to stay healthy enough to play 33 games the last 4 seasons.

As you would expect on a Rex Ryan coached team, the Jets are built around their defense. Last year New York ranked 11th in total defense (334.9 ypg) and were 3rd against the run (88.2 ypg). However, the offenses inability to stay on the field and numerous turnovers put them in a lot of bad spots, resulting in just the 19th ranked scoring defense (24.2 ppg).

New York believes they have finally found the playmaker they have been looking for at safety in rookie Calvin Pryor, who they used their first round pick on. The Jets are certainly going to need him to live up to the hype, as their secondary took a major hit with the loss of corner Antonio Cromartie. There’s a ton of pressure on 2nd year corner Dee Milliner to play like he did down the stretch and not the guy who had to be benched on multiple occasions. New York returns veteran safety Dawan Landry to start opposite prior and signed Dimitri Patterson to take over at corner. They also used a couple draft picks at corner in Maryland’s Dexter McDougle and NW Missouri State’s Brandon Dixon.

As for the front seven, New York returns all four starters at linebacker and all three on the defensive line. The only real concern here is with veteran linebackers David Harris and Calvin Pace. While Harris led the team with 149 tackles, he’s a liability in coverage. Pace had an impressive 10 sacks, but it’s unlikely the 34-year-old will be able to replicate that success. What this unit really needs is for outside linebacker Quinton Coples to be more consistent. He’s extremely gifted, but seems to lack motivation.

Regular Season Win Total
to Win the AFC
to Win Super Bowl XLVIX
30 to 1
75 to 1
Odds Courtesty of Bovada

It’s hard to discount Ryan after what he did with this team last year, but there’s no denying that on paper this doesn’t look like a very good football team. It’s just too hard in today’s NFL to be a serious threat when you can’t throw the football on offense and can’t stop the pass on defense. If Smith or Vick catches lightning in a bottle and gets the offense producing closer to 24.0 points/game, this team will be a serious contender for a playoff spot. However, if the offense continues to struggle, this team is looking at another mediocre finish.

I want to give this team the benefit of the doubt, but the schedule has me leaning the other way. Outside of their three division home games, New York’s only favorable matchup at MetLife Stadium comes in Week 1 against the Raiders. The other four are against the Bears, Lions Broncos and Steelers. The road schedule isn’t a whole lot easier with non-division games against the Packers, Chargers, Chiefs, Vikings and Titans.

I’ll give them two division wins over the Bills and Dolphins at home, plus the opener versus Oakland and a couple upsets throughout the year. Unfortunately that only adds up to a 5-11 record, which has them finishing below their win total of 7.

Like last year, you will likely have to pick your spots with this team. Chances are we will see a similar split to last year’s 6-2 ATS record at home and 3-4-1 ATS record on the road. It’s also going to be important to see what this team looks like early. If they get off to a bad start, I wouldn’t be surprised if things spiraled out of control.

AFC East Finish
Division Record
Overall Record
Win Total Prediction
Under 7
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