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What member of the New York Jets will have the biggest regression in 2016?
Joe Caporoso – The Jets had the benefit of many players having career years in 2015 so regression is inevitable in some places. It is difficult to argue that quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick does not headline this group considering his body of work throughout his career compared to last season. He was wildly efficient in the red-zone last season which helped cover up some of his accuracy (completed less than 60% of his passes in 7 of his final 12 games) and turnover issues. Fitzpatrick will either need to match his red zone performance or find a way to be more consistent elsewhere on the field to roughly approximate his overall production from last season. Fitzpatrick regressing does not mean he is going to fall off a cliff, it just means the Jets can’t bank on him replicating the week in and week out success he had last season and need to plan accordingly by boosting the offensive line, running back and improving the special teams/defense.
Jets fans perpetually fight about Fitzpatrick. The reality is he isn’t as good as many say he is and he isn’t as bad as many say he is. As usual, the answer is somewhere in the middle. He is an average quarterback who is a good fit here and is the overwhelming favorite to be the starter in 2016. Carry on.
Joe Malfa – Darrelle Revis…it pains me to say this, but Sammy Watkins and DeAndre Hopkins may have given the league a map regarding how to get off ‘Revis Island.’ I was one of the few who came to the defense of Revis when he got burned on the final play against in the first matchup against the Bills and when Hopkins beat him like a drum, but the second matchup with Watkins forced me to face reality. He gives so much cushion at the line because he does not have the speed to cover guys like Hopkins and Watkins over the top anymore, and that added cushion leaves him vulnerable for those 10-15 yard routes underneath. His regression can be prevented a bit by shading a safety over to his side, allowing him to get up in the face of the WRs. In this defensive system, however, only one safety can provide aid over the top because Pryor plays up at the line, and that safety, in all likelihood, will have to shade over to the opposite side of the field to help Marcus Williams (or whoever the other CB will be).
Anthony Cappuccino – D’Brickashaw Ferguson. Let’s take a moment though and appreciate how spectacular of a career this iron man has had with the Jets. He’s started every single game of his career, 160 games in a row and counting, that in itself is unbelievable. However, the past two years have seen the former 2006 first round pick take huge steps backwards. The sack totals don’t necessarily say so (gave up 5.5 in 2015), but in most games this year, you saw D’Brick get overpowered and sped past by on a continuous basis. If it wasn’t for Fitzpatrick’s surprising mobility and awareness in the pocket, that total could have been in the teens. It’s no secret that the Jets will start to look for a future replacement at their Left Tackle spot, but I believe they may have to begin searching a little earlier than they want to.David Aitken – He’s not yet technically a Jet for the 2016 season, but I’m going with Ryan Fitzpatrick. That’s not to say the Jets would be making a mistake in bringing him back, but 2015 is going to be a tough year to replicate. It was by all accounts a career year for Fitzpatrick by some margin, setting a career best in touchdown passes and passing yardage while also breaking the Jets single season record on the former. Partly why it is logical to expect a decline is the more formidable schedule in 2016. In 2015 the Jets faced just three of the top ten pass defenses in terms of passer rating (Houston and Buffalo twice), whereas in 2016 the Jets are slated to play seven of such teams including three in the top five. Additionally I expect revamping the running backs and offensive line to create a more consistent running game will be a priority this offseason, taking away some of the passing game’s volume production but hopefully making the offense more efficient as a whole.
Nikki Charlesworth – Willie Colon Before the 2015 season there was a lot of talk about how the offensive line was too old and too slow. There were plenty of questions about whether 32 year old Colon would lose his starting left guard role as he returned from a knee injury to a new coach and front office. As it was, he signed a new one year contact and was given the starting nod over Brian Winters after impressing Todd Bowles during camp. However, following a recurrence of the knee injury, Colon was placed on injured reserve in week 11, having played in only six games. At the time he spoke of possible retirement following the end of the season. However, if he chooses to play on, the same questions will be asked as last year but this time I’m not convinced this injury plagued veteran will be able to repeat what he showed early in 2015.
John Hargaden – I am also going with D’Brickashaw Ferguson. You saw as 2015 transpired, Ferguson’s play started to decline in many areas especially in the pass blocking. He has been a great member of the Jets organization for years but now is the time that you need to start planning for the future at the tackle spot. It has already been mentioned but it was key for the Jets that Ryan Fitzpatrick was able to move out of the pocket and make plays happen, if he was not as mobile, it could have cost the Jets some wins.
Kevin Zielaznicki – I agree with what Anthony said above and also believe that D’Brickashaw Ferguson will continue to regress in 2016. Brick has had a spectacular career but it is likely that next season will be his last as the Jets left tackle. Over the past few years, Brick has shown that his age has caught up with him. His strength and agility is nothing like it once was and it is obvious in the passing game. He consistently gets beat by opposing pass rushers and in the running game, Brick is often a step to slow and has developed a tendency to lunge at defenders.–
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