During the 2013 season, the Jets had a roller coaster campaign, just as you'd expect with a young roster and a fiery head coach. Coming into the season, most experts expected the Jets to win anywhere between 4-6 games. Rex Ryan was sitting on a steaming hot seat, and there were questions all over the football field. The emergence of the Jets dominant defensive line and surprising play from Chris Ivory were major factors in their eight win season. This year, however, the Jets are no surprise to the NFL, and teams have adjusted accordingly.
As the core has remained mostly intact, the Jets have made some additions on the offensive side of the ball. The trio of Michael Vick, Chris Johnson, and Eric Decker give the Jets some much needed fire power that has been lacking in the past few years.
Looking at the upcoming schedule, the Jets start at home against a much improved Oakland Raiders ball club. The team added stability all over the offense. Veterans Matt Schuab, Maurice Jones Drew, James Jones, Donald Penn, and former Jet Austin Howard will give the Black and Silver some dependability all over the roster. For once, the Raiders have leadership at core positions, and this game will be closer than you think. I still expect a home opening win for the Green and White.
The next three games get incredibly difficult for the Jets. Facing the NFC North three consecutive weeks going to Lambeau Field, then playing the Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions at home will be a tough battle. I don't see the Jets beating Aaron Rodgers and co. as their passing offense is too much for a weakened secondary. I'd calk Chicago up as a loss for much of the same reasons as Green Bay. Detroit, however I see a victory, in that Ryan will be able to get into Stafford's head and be able to shut down Bush and Calvin.
At 2-2, the Jets head to San Diego. Here is where the Jets improved offense begins to really click and take advantage of the Chargers weak secondary. Chris Johnson's screen game and Decker's receiving ability makes their offense extremely difficult for the Chargers to stop. At 3-2, the Jets next play an extremely tough game verse the Broncos, falling short with nothing more than a moral victory. After coming off a disappointing loss to the Broncos, the Jets are on five days rest before having to play the New England Patriots in their house. The Jets could be in for a lopsided loss, and the naysayers could begin to doubt Rex.
At 3-4, the Jets really begin to click. A motivated, young bunch destroys the Bills, and etches out a win in Kansas City. The Jets' ferocious defensive line will be too much for the KC offensive line.
With the Steelers having the Jets' number, Gang Green falls once again. Dick LeBaeu's schemes are too much for whomever is at quarterback and Big Ben swipes one from the Jets.
The Jets come out of the bye and play Buffalo, who's known to play them hard. E.J. Manuel struggles versus the Jets advanced defensive schemes, and the Jets advance to 6-5, competing for a Division title.
Just as the Jets begin to become the talk of the town, Miami comes in and bullies the Jets. The Dolphins elite secondary destroys New York's rebuilt offense and pessimism starts to grow at 7-5.
The Minnesota Vikings are projected to have a rookie quarterback and Ryan's record against rookie quarterbacks is stunning. The Jets control Adrian Peterson, and advance to 8-5. Next up is a rebuilding Titans squad that figures to struggle next season, with question marks all over the offense, as well as the Johnson, Verner, Kenny Britt departures. 9-5, and the Jets are a game within the Division title. 9-5.
With the Jets on the cusp of taking the Divisional crown, the Jets welcome the Patriots to town. The game is a grudge match, with the return of the ground and pound taking over. The Jets out play the Patriots, but still surrender a loss due to costly turnovers and fall to 9-6.
In a play and advance game in a playoff atmosphere, the Jets head out to Miami to close the season in consecutive years. Ryan out coaches Joe Philbin, and Geno plays his best game as a Jet. 10-6 and a spot in the playoffs as the No. 5 seed Wildcard.
The Jets to improve on last season's success, and the additions to the offense will provide dividends for whomever is at Quarterback.