With the first Sunday of the 2013 NFL season coming up this weekend, many believe that the Jets will be one of, if not the worst, teams in the entire NFL this season.
Having been a Jets fan for all 20 years of my life, I’ve learned that they’ll always break your heart. Knowing this, I’m fairly confident that I know how this season will play out. So here are my five predictions about the Jets for the 2013 season:
1. Geno Smith will start all 16 games at quarterback for the Jets, barring an injury.
With Mark Sanchez most likely out week one with a shoulder injury (which was entirely Rex Ryan’s fault), Smith will be the opening day starter for the Jets. This is a job he probably would have gotten regardless. It has been reported by the New York Daily News that Ryan and General Manager John Idzik prefer Smith to Sanchez. While drafting Smith this spring might not have made a lot of sense, starting him actually does. Smith is a 22-year-old rookie who has a lot of potential in this league if he learns from the mistakes he will inevitably make. Sanchez on the other hand has been a starting quarterback in the NFL for four years, and continues to make the same simple mistakes. Overall, the Jets won’t have great quarterback play this season, but the right decision is to let Smith play and see if he has what it takes to become the Jets quarterback of the future.
2. Rex Ryan will be fired during the bye week after the Jets lose five games in a row to the Falcons, Steelers, Patriots, Bengals and Saints.
Even though he’s going to absolutely hate having to pay the remainder of Ryan’s contract, Owner Woody Johnson will convince Idzik to fire him. Ryan should have been fired after last season along with Mike Tannenbaum to allow the team to fully start the rebuilding process, but in classic Jets fashion the logical move was not made. Ryan had a nice run with the Jets, but when the Jets lost most of its talent from the teams that went to the AFC Championship games, his antics became too much of a distraction for the organization.
3. The offense will finish the season ranked as one of the worst five offenses in the NFL.
Smith will have his ups and downs this season as all rookies do, in his case primarily because it’s tough to do well consistently when you have terrible skill players and a poor offensive-line around you.
D’Brickashaw Ferguson and Nick Mangold will continue to be solid offensive lineman in the NFL, but overall the line will struggle with Austin Howard, Vladimir Ducasse and an old Willie Colon. Between Bilal Powell, Chris Ivory and Mike Goodson the Jets will have an average, at best, running game. In the passing game, Jeremy Kerley will still be a nice slot option that can move the chains and Stephen Hill will still have trouble catching the football. Kellen Winslow should be a nice safety option for Smith to pass to. The key to any success for this offense will be if Santonio Holmes can come back and play at the level he was at prior to his injury.
4. The defense will finish the season ranked in the top 10 of the league.
Even though the Jets won’t have a high number in the wins column, their defense will still be tough for their opponents. Ryan is still an incredible defensive coach, which is his biggest weakness as a head coach because he spends way too much of his time with the defense instead of the rest of the team. The young defensive line should continue to grow this season and is the lone bright spot on the roster. Quinton Coples will be a pro-bowl level player once he returns from his ankle injury. The linebackers will hopefully improve on the down season that they had last season, but they’re just as likely to regress again. The secondary will miss Laron Landy and Yeremiah Bell more than they’re going to miss Darrelle Revis, but will still be a good group with Antonio Cromartie and Dee Millner. However, Kyle Wilson will continue to be the worst cornerback in the entire NFL and should never step on the field.
5. The Jets will finish 5-11 and miss out on both Louisville Quarterback, Teddy Bridgewater and South Carolina Defensive End, Jadeveon Clowney, in the 2014 NFL Draft.
Start mentally preparing now, Jets fans, it’s going to be a long, long season. They’ll manage to win five games, so they won’t be good enough to compete for a playoff spot or bad enough to draft one of the top two prospects in the 2014 draft, Teddy Bridgewater or Jadeveon Clowney. Once the season’s over, they’re going to target the Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden to be the next head coach.