Florham Park, N.J. - The New York Jets have the potential to be a very dangerous team this upcoming NFL season. Especially on offense, Gang Green has the tools to be very successful. Here are my five bold predictions about how the offensive side of the ball will do.
1. Geno Smith will have much better numbers this year than Ryan Fitzpatrick had last year. Yes, I’m prepared for the back-lash on this, but hear me out. Last year, Smith entered training camp with the starting job. According to coaches, he progressed a lot. Then I.K. Enemkpali happened and everyone knows the rest. Fitzpatrick threw for nearly 4,000 yards and 31 touchdowns, most in franchise history. Smith has it in him to produce those numbers. He threw for over 3,000 yards his rookie season and 500 yards short of the 3k mark his sophomore year. Let’s also not forget he threw for over 4,000 yards twice at West Virginia with a 42-6 TD-INT ratio his senior season. Smith has been praised this offseason for his growth as a quarterback and a leader. With Fitzpatrick talks heading south for New York, it looks like it’s Smiths time to shine.
2. Matt Forte will break 1,000 yards rushing and 800 yards receiving. Not as bold as the last one, but still a little farfetched. He’s 30-years-old, which is starting to get old for a running back. Also doesn’t help that he had the least rushing yards and second least receiving yards in his career last season. This could play in part to having 555 carries and 176 catches the two previous year before that season. However, Forte comes to a team where the quarterback situation isn’t so clear cut, so rushing the ball can help take the load off of the quarterback. What also helps is that the New York line helped Chris Ivory rush for over 1,000 yards. Not discrediting Ivory, but Forte is a much better running back.
3. Speaking of offensive line, Ryan Clady will not miss a single game and it will be as if D'Brickashaw Ferguson never left. Clady has had a string of injuries throughout his NFL career. Up until 2013, he started in every game each season after being drafted by Denver in 2008. After suffering a Lisfranc injury in week two, Clady was out for the rest of the year. He fully recovered the next season, starting every game. During OTAs heading into last year, Clady tore his ACL and was out the entire 2015 NFL season. In the last four years, Clady played in 34 games and gave up four sacks, while also having only 13 penalties against him. In the last four years for D'Brickashaw, he started in 64 games and gave up 21 sacks, while also having 13 penalties against him. D'Brickashaw is irreplaceable in Jets fans hearts, but Clady can come close to filling the void.
4. Quincy Enunwa will break 1,000 yards receiving. I understand this is far fetched since Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker are basically guaranteed 1,000 yard seasons each AND Forte is one of the best pass-catching running backs in the league. That also means opposing defenses will key in on those three and forget about Enunwa. Throughout OTAs and minicamp, he was the No. 3 receiver, being a danger on the inside. Standing at 6’2”, weighing 225 pounds, Enunwa has the body to really do damage all over the field. A sixth-round pick out of Nebraska, he had 753 yards and 12 touchdowns his senior season. Last year, Enunwa was slapped with a four game suspension for violating the NFL Personal Conduct Policy. In 12 games, he had 22 catches for 315 yards with no scores. Enunwa is hungry for his shot at breaking out.
5. Jace Amaro will be a top five tight end in the NFL. Coming out of college, Amaro was one of the best tight ends in recent memory. Unanimous 1st team All-American, he had 106 catches for 1,352 yards and seven touchdowns. Amaro is the NCAA Division I record holder for the most receiving yards and yards per game by a tight end in a single season for his junior year numbers. When he entered the NFL, he had promise. In 14 game rookie year, Amaro hauled in 38 balls for 345 yards and two touchdowns. Entering last year primed to take over, he suffered a torn labrum during the first preseason game against Detroit. The injury required surgery, ending his season early. Everyone loves a comeback story.