Make no mistake about it for the New York Jets, 2016 will be a season of nothing but failure. Here are the top five reasons why Jets Nation has every right to be furious.
Oct 17, 2016; Glendale, AZ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) throws a pass against the Arizona Cardinals in the first quarter at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
It’s already a quarter of the season in and the New York Jets are 1-5. They have lost the past four straight games and got embarrassed on Monday Night Football against the Arizona Cardinals. Not only did they once again play a pathetic style of football but it was nationally televised for millions across the globe to enjoy laughing at.
It’s one thing to lose while putting up a respectable fight. Jets Nation wouldn’t be as furious or depressed as they are if this team at least played with passion and aggression. That isn’t the case with the Jets as they play with no emotion, accountability, or even pride at this point.
The Jets are so bad, they can easily forget about making the NFL Playoffs this season. They’re playing at such a poor level that it’s only a matter of time before the franchise is mathematically eliminated from postseason contention.
Without further ado, here are the top five reasons why 2016 will go down as a failure for the Jets.
Oct 17, 2016; Glendale, AZ, USA; The New York Jets offense squares off against the Arizona Cardinals defense at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
5. A lack of pride
When a player puts on their uniform and helmet, they should always feel a sense of pride for the team and city they play for. These players forget they represent the beautiful city of New York, the sports media capital of the world.
Dreams are made in the city that never sleeps yet these guys that suit up every week look like they forget about what they’re playing for. Looking at the history of the Jets, this is a team that hasn’t been to a Super Bowl since 1969.
It’s embarrassing that the Jets, coming off a 10-6 season last year, have no pride for continuing what they started under a new leadership regime. Most of the same players from last season have returned and yet, they all look like they regressed tremendously.
A lack of pride is evident on the faces of everyone in this organization. It’s as if they’re accepting this season is a failure since well, they’re sure playing, talking, and acting like it.
Why are the Jets using Sheldon Richardson as a linebacker? Why haven’t they put Geno Smith in as quarterback to at least change things up? Why has the offensive play-calling been atrocious and more predictable than teenagers playing Madden NFL 2017?
The Jets are over-complicating the simplest of things. They need to stop with the gimmicks and go back to what works. If they’re having problems with pass-rushing linebackers, they need to either light a fire under the players at that position or find a suitable replacement to sign.
Smith should have been given the starting spot weeks ago, yet the Jets are delusional in thinking quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick will magically return to being an effective quarterback. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that he’s done as a starter and needs to be benched in favor of Smith.
The Jets’ offense is so predictable, it’s to the point of being ridiculous. They need to go back to establishing the run and catering to the strengths of their players, not hoping that these boring and simplistic offensive plays will score touchdowns. It’s not working and again, they’re trying to over-complicate things by running plays they’re not built for.
Oct 17, 2016; Glendale, AZ, USA; New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles looks on during the first half against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
3. Lack of accountability
At the end of the day, it all comes down to accountability to ensure consistent success. This team acts like they can do whatever they want when it comes to blown assignments and they won’t really be held accountable.
It all comes down to the leadership up top on how they handle the current meltdown the Jets are dealing with. Head coach Todd Bowles, usually quiet and strict in nature, has lost this locker room. He keeps saying the same exact things every week to the media and well, the same players who aren’t playing well are still starting.
The same players who consistently miss tackles and rack up penalties, still see playing time. While it’s understood he’s a second-year coach, Bowles isn’t getting the kind of respect he should be receiving.
The lack of accountability is evident all across this roster and Bowles needs to also be held accountable for his lack of adjustments, making dumb decisions in key situations, and above all else, allowing this season to get away from his team.
Oct 17, 2016; Glendale, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald (11) tries to break away from New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis (24) during the second half at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
2. No sense of urgency
When you go into a super important “must-win” game, especially on prime time action via Monday Night Football, players tend to play some incredible football with a sense of urgency. The Jets displayed none of it and again, had no sense of urgency to actually be competitive.
They continued to play with a lack of focus and execution, which was clear from start to finish in this latest disaster of a performance. Nothing changed from the previous week when they also got embarrassed by the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Changes that needed to happen didn’t and it’s as if the Jets went into this Week 6 matchup expecting to lose. They didn’t play with that extra energy that most playoff-contending teams have, it’s as if they accepted defeat before the opening whistle even blew.
Teams that care and want to at least bounce back all rally together to deliver and execute, especially in the middle of a losing streak. Veterans and team captains bring that urgency that they cannot allow anyone being mediocre or not playing at a competitive level. Sadly for the Jets this season, it will be a continued trend that they simply don’t have a keen sense of urgency to put this season back into a better direction.
Oct 17, 2016; Glendale, AZ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) reacts after being benched in the fourth quarter against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Cardinals defeated the Jets 28-3. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
1. A quarterback change that happened too late
Reports are surfacing as per Sports Illustrated, that the Jets are benching Fitzpatrick in favor of starting Smith this week. It’s a move that needed to happen but unfortunately, came too late.
The damage is already done by everything Fitzpatrick brought to the table when he started the season so poorly. You don’t continue starting a quarterback that had so many interceptions early on in the season, especially committing nine of them in just two games.
There is hope that Smith would bring a much-needed spark on offense but remember, it’s not like he’s going to come into his first start of the season and play lights out football. Smith has a lot ahead of him before he could be effective again, which includes getting used to playing with starters in games that actually matter.
The Jets should have made this decision weeks ago and while it’s good that it has finally happened, it might not be enough to make this season worth remembering. Plus it should also be known, if Smith returns to his usual turnover self (he has 36 interceptions so far in his career), this might very well be the worst season in franchise history.