The TOJ Roundtable is back with our writers offering their predictions for the 2014 New York Jets. Make sure to give everybody a follow on Twitter and to leave your predictions below in the comment section. We will discussing regular season expectations on our Podcast tonight at 8PM right here..
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Joe Caporoso – 30 pack of season predictions on the way tomorrow…
Connor Rogers – I have the Jets going 9-7 this year while just missing the playoffs (AFC will be strong).
The defense will be a run stuffing unit that generates pressure from various designed schemes (blitz heavy). The secondary will struggle to find average play for a few various reasons. Dawan Landry is a below average starter at this stage of his career. Majority of the Jets opponents will trot out 4 wide sets. They do not have capable nickel and dime corners to consistently contain power passing attacks. With that being said, Calvin Pryor, Antonio Allen, and Dee Milliner will all have very nice years building for a promising future.As for the offense, I fully expect Geno Smith to take the next step forward in solidifying himself as the teams franchise quarterback. I’m expecting 18 passing touchdowns, 5 rushing, and 14 total turnovers. The run game will be impressive when given space to work with. Chris Ivory, Chris Johnson, and Bilal Powell are a top 5 backfield in the league when healthy. Eric Decker is a reliable target that will open up more space for players like Jeremy Kerley, Jeff Cumberland, and rookie Jace Amaro. It will be a very positive, momentum building season for the Jets, one that will leave them with big expectations heading into 2015.
Cole Patterson – 9-7. This season will look a lot like last season with one key difference: Geno Smith. I fully expect Geno to take the next step in his development, with an improved team around him, and show why he was so highly touted early in the 2013 draft process. With big targets like Eric Decker and Jace Amaro now at his disposal, Smith will help elevate the Jets red zone offense from 27th in the league to a top 15 unit. I also expect Smith to rein in the turnovers with improved decision making in year two.
All that being said, the Jets will only see marginal improvement in their record because the glaring weaknesses of last season’s squad are still very real. Most are saying that the cornerback play cannot be worse than last year – this is true. However, in missing the last half of training camp and nursing his high ankle sprain, Dee Milliner will not return quickly to the form we saw from him late last year (color me skeptical). Across the field, Darrin Walls was competent last year and in the preseason and should be an improvement over the gimpy Cromartie. That being said, opposing offense are sure to take advantage of the cornerbacks inexperience and limitations. Finally, the Jets haven’t necessarily addressed the pass rush (which would help mitigate the cornerback issue). Jason Babin and a healthy Quinton Coples may help the issue but if the Jets cannot generate pressure without a blitz, the secondary could be exposed early and often.
In all, I expect to see a lot of promise from the Jets key players (Smith, Amaro, Pryor, Decker, Coples, etc.) but they will miss out on the playoffs in an improved AFC. Like last year, however, Jets fans can be hopeful going in to 2015.Dalbin Osorio – 9-7, 5th Seed in the AFC, loses in AFC Championship Game to Denver
We’ve heard all we need about the secondary and wide receivers, and it is pretty apparent that this was the best thing that could’ve happened to the New York Football Jets this year. Want to know why? It has taken away the spotlight from QB Geno Smith, the most important player on the roster right now. Rex Ryan and Dennis Thurman will have the defense ready to play. Mo Wilkerson and the rest of the defensive line can protect the secondary, the RBs should be fine, the O-line has demonstrated that they shouldn’t miss a beat without Austin Howard, and a WR trio of Decker/Kerley/Nelson is better than a few “contenders.” You know who covers up all of those weaknesses? A Quarterback. If Geno plays as well as I think he will, the Jets are a playoff team. There will be hiccups because he is a second year QB and these things happen, but he’ll be good enough to lead the Jets to the playoffs this year.
Michael O’Connor – 10-6, AFC Wild Card #6 Seed
I’ve been confident about the Jets making the playoffs ever since it donned on me this summer how much potential they actually have. I think 10 wins is realistic, but I could also envision a disappointing season just as much as I could a surprisingly good one. It’s all about how much better the Jets’ offense will be with new weapons and a seemingly more consistent Geno Smith.
I don’t worry too much about the dreaded cornerback situation, though I’d be lying if I said I was crushed when Dee Milliner hurt his ankle this summer because of how it will hurt his development. Still, I think Darrin Walls will maintain a solid level of play and the addition of the already impressive Calvin Pryor allows Antonio Allen to play corner until Dee returns healthy. The defense overall will be dominant most of the time, and I have high hopes for Geno and this offense. People forget among the inconsistency and frustrating Rex Ryan decisions that this team nearly won 9 games last year, which was almost enough for the playoffs and could very well be this year.
Dan Marcus – 2-14
Don’t spit out your coffee or start rallying the troops to put my head on a pike in the Meadowlands parking lot because I’ll explain. I firmly believe that I am a consummate “mush” and don’t really believe in making these preseason predictions because invariably and inevitably most of them will end up being wrong. However, here is what I actually do think:
I believe this Jets team is getting appreciably better as a whole, especially (or hopefully) on the offensive side of the ball but I also think there are some glaring holes some more obvious than others. As always when you’re trying to forecast these things on paper, it comes down to a lot of “if’s:” if Geno is able to take that next step with an improved supporting cast, if the Front-Seven is as good or better than last year, if the secondary can overcome the injuries and lack of experience, talent, and depth to stop the high-powered offenses that they have on the schedule.
In terms of what I believe, I think Geno and the offense will be better if for no other reason than the fact that he does have some reliable targets and more dynamic weapons including Chris Johnson, Eric Decker, and Jace Amaro. The “three-dreaded monster” (h/t to Cimini) should take some heat off of Geno if and when he goes through the swoons and swings we saw last season. The name of the game for the offense should be ball control, especially given the constantly-influx state of the secondary. Peyton Manning and Aaron Rodgers can’t throw the ball over your head if they are on the sidelines and that is the winning formula.
As for the defense, you can’t help but be excited about the defensive line considering a lot of these guys especially the “Sons of Anarchy” who haven’t even begun to scratch the surface of what they’re capable of; especially Quinton Coples, who could prove to be the “x” factor that makes this the “sack exchange” of this generation. If the Front-Seven continues their upward trajectory, then it should take some much-need off of the oft-maligned secondary. I think it will ultimately come down to Rex and his ability to come up with a scheme that takes the pressure off of his inexperienced CB group and I would expect to see a bunch of three-safety sets where you have a Calvin Pryor or Jaiqwan Jarrett lined up at the “Mike” backer spot.
This team should obviously be better but there are too many question marks for me right now but I will say they will be in the playoff hunt, right up until the final week and nothing would surprise me.
Joe Malfa- 10-6, eliminated in divisional round of playoffs
This team is more than capable of making the playoffs — Geno has gotten markedly better, weapons were added to the offense in Chris Johnson, Eric Decker, and Jace Amaro, and the front seven is among the best in the league. The one glaring hole on this team is at corner. I personally believe that Dee Milliner, when back and healthy, will have no trouble taking care of his side of the field, but the other side and the slot may be easily exploited by the opposition. The two keys to alleviating the pressure on the corners will be winning the possession battle and getting to the quarterback. If they can do those two things, they’ll be in every game.