New York Jets – Scary Recent History Parallel?

Joe Caporoso on a few potentially scary historic parallels between the 2007 New York Jets and 2016 New York Jets

I want to preface this article by saying what the New York Jets did in 2007 will have no bearing on what they do in 2016. The purpose of this article is not to say the Jets are going to hit a major regression this season but to point out the oddly high amount of similarities between this past season and offseason and another Jets past season and offseason less than a decade ago…

The 2006 New York Jets kicked off a new regime led by first time Head Coach Eric Mangini and first time General Manager, Mike Tannenbaum. Coming off a 4-12 season in 2005, the Jets cleaned house and saw immediate positive results with a surprising 10-6 record and a playoff appearance despite limited pre-season expectations. The Jets benefited from a relatively easy schedule, only beating one playoff team (New England, who they split with) and racking up three wins against a weak NFC division and sweeping a crappy 6-10 Miami Dolphins team. They also benefited from better than expected quarterback play from a physically limited veteran, Chad Pennington.

The 2015 New York Jets kicked off a new regime led by first time Head Coach Todd Bowles and first time General Manager, Mike Maccagnan. Coming off a 4-12 season in 2014, the Jets cleaned house and saw immediate positive results with a surprising 10-6 record despite limited pre-season expectations. The Jets benefited from a relatively easy schedule, only beating one playoff team (New England, who they split with) and racking up three wins against a weak NFC division and sweeping a crappy 6-10 Miami Dolphins team. They also benefited from better than expected quarterback play from a physically limited veteran, Ryan Fitzpatrick.

Post 2006, the Jets had a relatively quiet offseason. Their headline move was adding a veteran running back from the Chicago Bears, Thomas Jones. They stayed with their veteran Pennington as the starting quarterback with a recently drafted second rounder as the backup, Kellen Clemens. Despite some concerns, they went with a few questionable pieces starting on the offensive line, namely Anthony Clement and Adrian Clarke. Their offensive line was further diminished when they were unable to renegotiate with veteran Pete Kendall, who was traded before the season to Washington.

The Jets struggled with a harder schedule in 2007, finishing 4-12 as Pennington got banged up and struggled when healthy. They were swept in their NFC games by a strong division that had two playoff teams and all four teams at least 8-8. They also went 1-3 against the AFC South, which had two 10-6 teams. The offensive line was a pain point all year and their lack of speed on defense consistently hurt them.

Post 2015, the Jets have so far had a relatively quiet off-season. Their headline move has been adding a veteran running back from the Chicago Bears, Matt Forte. They are likely to stay with their veteran Fitzpatrick as the starting quarterback with a recently drafted second rounder as the backup, Geno Smith. Despite some concerns, they are likely to go with a few questionable pieces starting on the offensive line, namely Brian Winters and Breno Giacomini. Their offensive line may further be diminished if they can’t renegotiate with veteran D’Brickashaw Ferguson.

The Jets will have a harder schedule in 2016, on paper. They are playing the NFC West, which had two playoff teams last season and could easily have three teams at least 8-8 this year. They will also play the AFC North, which had two playoff teams last season. The offensive line as of now looks like it could be a pain point and they still lack speed on defense.

Now, let’s look at the differences before you get too depressed.

The 2016 team is substantially more talented overall, namely at wide receiver, secondary and defensive line. Jerricho Cotchery and Laveranues Coles were a solid veteran receiver duo, Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker are in the discussion as the best receiver duo in the NFL. The 2007 defensive line prominently featured Kenyon Coleman and Dewayne Robertson and didn’t have the versatility and depth of having Muhammad Wilkerson (currently), Sheldon Richardson, Leonard Williams and Jarvis Jenkins. In the secondary, Darrelle Revis was only a rookie and paired with David Barrett, Abram Elam and Erik Coleman. These Jets have Pro Bowl Revis, an ascending Calvin Pryor and Marcus Williams, a strong nickel in Buster Skrine and a steady starter alongside Pryor in Marcus Gilchrist.

Furthermore, there is no guarantee the Jets schedule will actually play out to be that much harder with how much can change between now and September. There is also no guarantee the starting quarterback will get banged up in week 1 and struggle with injuries throughout the year. As we said at the top, nothing in 2007 has a bearing on the 2016 Jets.

But the parallels certainly do jump off the page, no?

Photo Credit: NewYorkJets.com

Author: Joe Caporoso

Joe Caporoso is the Owner and EIC of Turn On The Jets. His writing has been featured in the New York Times, Huffington Post, MMQB and AdWeek. Caporoso played football his entire life, including four years at Muhlenberg as a wide receiver, where he was arguably the slowest receiver to ever start in school history. He is the VP of Social Media at Whistle Sports