As we head into the offseason, it’s always good to take a look at expectations from before the season to get a better idea of the road ahead. Before training camp started, we made statistical objectives for key players on offense and defense. We focused on the players whose contributions were most anticipated. A great deal of roster moves, injuries, and unexpected decisions affected these objectives throughout the year, even just before the regular season started. Let’s highlight a few key players which were able to meet and even exceed their objectives and those fell well short.
A great deal changed from July, when these objectives were made, and the start of the season, eliminating quite a few objectives. Christian Hackenberg was unable to win the starting job, Charone Peake was placed on IR, Quincy Enunwa was placed on IR, and Sheldon Richardson was traded to Seattle. Then, early on in the season, Lorenzo Mauldin and Jordan Leggett were also placed on IR. Here are the most intriguing of those we highlighted that were able to log a significant amount of games this season:
Disclaimer: As mentioned in the original article, target models were for statistical reference.
Target Model: Lamar Miller in 2014 (1099 Rush Yards, 8 TDs)
Goal: 1000+ Rush Yards, 5+ TDs
Final Results: 178 carries, 772 rush yards, 5 TDs
Bilal Powell failed to reach the 1000 yard mark but that isn’t much of a surprise considering his underutilization. Powell had just 178 carries this season. In comparison, this season, Melvin Gordon cracked the 1000 yard mark while average 3.9 yards per carry (as opposed to Powell’s 4.3 yards per carry). While he had plenty of big plays this season, he fell short of the significant impact a feature back should have.
Target Model: Travaris Cadet in 2016 (44 total touches, 40 catches, 281 receiving yards)
Goal: 50+ touches (catches and carries) on offense
Final results: 88 carries, 315 rush yards; 17 catches, 177 receiving yards; 105 total touches.
The goal we set for McGuire had mostly to do with involvement. The hope was that he would gain the trust of his coaches and he did. John Morton made him a fairly consistent part of the offense. He had 105 touches this season in total. One goal for McGuire next season should be to be more involved in the passing game. The Jets ended up giving Forte the majority of receptions out of the backfield (37 catches). It was a fairly good start for McGuire but it will be interesting to see how the Jets’ backfield re-shapes this offseason and if that will augment his usage. He definitely showed some potential but there are still questions to be answered should his role increase next season.
Target Model: John Brown in 2015 (65 catches, 1003 yards, 7 TD’s)
Goal: 50+ catches, 850+ receiving yards, 4+ TDs
Final results: 63 catches, 941 receiving yards, 7 TDs
Robby Anderson did the dang thing! After Enunwa’s injury, he stepped into a bigger role in the passing attack and he played great. Anderson exceeded all the goals listed and definitely showed growth from 2016 until now. The question now is if we can expect this type of production from him with Enunwa back in the fold and potentially another addition made to the WR group this offseason. Much of that relies on who the Jets decide their next QB should be. But one thing is for sure, Anderson’s 2017 season was a great success.
ArDarius Stewart/Chad Hansen
Target Model: Brian Quick in 2016 (41 catches, 564 yards, 3 TD’s)
Goal: 35+ cactches, 500+ receiving yards
ArDarius Stewart – 6 catches, 82 receiving yards
Chad Hansen – 9 catches, 94 receiving yards
When the Jets traded for Jermaine Kearse, and signed Jeremy Kerley, it made it very difficult for this objective to be met. ArDarius Stewart and Chad Hansen barely touched in the field in 2017. They both made a handful of plays that caught the eye but their potential remains a mystery.
Target Model: C.J Fiedorowicz in 2016 (54 catches, 559 yards, 4 TD’s)
Goal: 50+ catches, 500+ receiving yards, 3+ TDs
Final results: 50 catches, 357 receiving yards, 3 TDs
Austin Seferian-Jenkins really impressed throughout training camp. He ended up entering the regular season as the starter. He seemed to be somewhat underused .this season but he did manage 50 catches by season’s end. However, his low yardage total was very much a result of the lack a throws to him in the intermediate passing game. Should the Jets end up resigning him, it’ll be interesting to see if that changes with a new QB under center.
Target Model: Cameron Jordan in 2016 (58 tackles, 17 tackles for loss, 7.5 sacks)
Goal: 40+ tackles, 7.5+ sacks
Final results: 46 tackles, 3.5 sacks
Mo Wilkerson had a pretty uninspiring 2017 season. He was very far away from “dominant.” He failed to eclipse 5 sacks for the second straight season and looked far from the disrupter he was earlier in his career.
Target Model: Aaron Donald in 2015 (69 tackles, 11 sacks)
Goal: 50+ tackles, 10+ sacks
Final results: 47 tackles, 2 sacks
Leonard Williams numbers were way down from 2016. While much of his good work (QB pressures, run stops) aren’t really tracked by traditional stats, Williams should be expected to produce much better than he did in 2017 for a player as highly regarded as he is. Hard to argue he came to close to ever being dominant this season.
Target Model: Calvin Pace in 2014 (39 tackles, 5 sacks)
Goal: 40 tackles, 5+ sacks
Final results: 49 tackles, 3 sacks
The hope for Jordan Jenkins this season was for his pass rush productivity to increase. Unfortunately, it didn’t really pan out from a statistical perspective. He still plays the run well but the Jets need a legitimate threat on the edge.
Target Model: Mark Barron in 2015 (116 tackles, 4 forced fumbles, 5 passes defended)
Goal: Start all 16 games. 100+ tackles, 3+ turnovers responsible for (fumbles/interceptions)
Final results: 15 games started, 94 tackles, 2 forced fumbles, 3 sacks
Darron Lee had another up and down season and this time it wasn’t about any injury. The only game he missed in 2017 was because he was suspended by head coach, Todd Bowles. While he did have spotty moments of brilliance towards the middle of the season, he wasn’t a consistent force this season as the Jets would’ve hoped. There was growth from Lee but just not as much as should be reasonably expected.
Target Model: Xavier Rhodes in 2016 (5 INTs, 11 passes defended)
Goal: 3+ INTs, 12+ passes defended
Final results: 1 INT, 8 passes defended
As he did in Dallas, Claiborne struggled with injuries towards the end of the season but played well when fully healthy. Unfortunately the better WRs came towards the end of the season when he was fighting off an ankle injury. The Jets secondary got torched by Julio Jones, Tyreek Hill, and Michael Thomas. Claiborne showed he was the best cornerback on the Jets roster but he couldn’t make a consistent impact as injuries clouded his season.
Target Model: Harrison Smith in 2012 (104 tackles, 1 forced fumble, 1 fumble recovery, 11 pass defenses)
Goal: 80+ tackles, 5+ turnovers responsible for, 10+ pass defenses
Final results: 82 tackles, 1 forced fumble, 2 fumble recoveries, 6 pass defenses, 2 sacks
Jamal Adams had a fairly good season for a rookie safety statistically. He was fairly close to the lofty goal set for him in July. There’s no doubt Adams gave us a glimpse of what he’s capable of, but next season, he’ll be expected to make a leap. The Jets will hope there are more turnovers in his future.
Target Model: Reshad Jones in 2012 (94 tackles, 4 INTs, 2 forced fumbles, 2 fumble recoveries, 9 pass defenses)
Goal: 75+ tackles, 3+ turnovers responsible for, 10+ pass defenses
Final results: 78 tackles, 2 pass defenses, 2 INTs, 1 forced fumble
Marcus Maye shored up the back end of the Jets defense all season. While that often meant he didn’t see much action, he was able to make a few big plays along the way. Jets trusted Maye with a heavy responsibilities and he handled them well for a rookie. There’s a good reason to expect even more from him next year.
Photo Credit: NewYorkJets.com