New York Jets 2017 Season Recap
How often does a team do better than expected and infuriate their fan base? This was one of those times. But then again, maybe everything worked out in the end going forward. Let us now look into the...
New York Jets
2017 Record: 5-11
2016 Record: 5-11
Win Differential: 0
What Happened? The Jets did what was considered unthinkable: Releasing key veteran contributors without proven replacements in their stead. An overwhelming number of the football media were accusing the Jets of "tanking", the now popular name when a team is perceived to be intentionally making themselves non-competitive in the present so they may reap the benefits of high draft selections, which would ostensibly speed up the rebuilding process by using young collegians to fuel a turnaround. However, the Jets were more competitive than advertised, as the transactions done by general manager Mike Maccagnan were first regarded as foolish, but then seen in some circles as necessary moves to better balance cost to benefit. Yes, they would still finish last in the AFC East, but they were far from the worst team in the NFL (the Cleveland Browns would jealously guard this mantle in 2017). Still and all, the Jets have their work cut out for them in rising back into AFC playoff contention. But perhaps they got what were looking for after all...
What To Expect: While Gotham Green did find some pleasant surprises over the course of the season, they have worked to improve the offense. Free agents such as C Travis Swanson (from Detroit), and WR's Terrelle Pryor (Washington) & Andre Roberts (Atlanta) add needed experience to that side of the ball. But one position has eluded them for a decade: quarterback. If the Jets look to become players in the AFC postseason race, they need a leader under center. This offseason, it has not been for a lack of effort. Maccagnan re-signed Josh McCown and picked up Teddy Bridgewater on prove-it deals to at least establish a baseline at the position. Bridgewater is an X factor, as he has played one game since his knee reconstruction surgery of over a year ago. But more telling were the events of draft night, as the Jets moved up three spots (and coughed up four premium draft picks to the Colts in the process) to select the University of Southern California product QB Sam Darnold. Between the height of the draft position and the booty surrendered to secure his services, Maccagnan is essentially all in on Darnold becoming the Jets' franchise quarterback for a generation. Now that the GM has his centerpiece, he now must surround his young signal caller the necessary pieces to realize the potential.