Going into the 2017 season, the Jets were not expected to perform well at all in the upcoming year. Many of those worries unfortunately came true for Jets fans on Sunday following a 21-12 loss to the Buffalo Bills.
Still, it is a long season, but there are a few key areas that need to be addressed going forward. The hardest part about following a team that is “rebuilding” is finding it hard to stay positive.
Today, we will look at both the positives and negatives following Sunday’s afternoon tilt against a divisional rival.
The Sheldon Richardson trade was a wise move by the Jets. Richardson had caused a commotion in the locker room last year, and was not likely to be resigned at the end of this season anyway. In addition to a second rounder, the Jets acquired Jermaine Kearse, who instantly had his presence noticed.
Josh McCown counted on Kearse on a few third down plays, and number 10 delivered. Having Jermaine Kearse around with a very inexperienced receiving core is not a bad thing at all.
ArDarius Stewart made a few great plays as well. A mid-round draft pick with much to learn had his number called a few times, giving him two catches for 10 yards. Little, but he has to start somewhere.
Robby Anderson nearly made an amazing catch in an attempt to take away an interception. That one could be debated, but it was a play that came down to how the officials called it.
No, Rob Gronkowski or Greg Olsen did not join the team out of the blue, but the offense did manage to get the tight ends involved. Eric Tomlinson and Will Tye combined for five catches for 59 yards. It is not much but it is progress. With Austin Seferian-Jenkins set to return from his suspension soon, the tight end position may finally become prevalent in New York.
The defense was certainly an improvement from what it was last year. There were mistakes here and there, but for a young team, that is to be expected. The defensive line was stacked, recording several tackle for losses on the Bills offense. There was even an interception by cornerback Juston Burris that almost turned into a touchdown. And speaking of the secondary…
Perhaps the best part about this new defense is Jamal Adams, the sixth overall pick in the draft. If there is anything Jets fans can look forward to in the future, it’s that Adams will deliver. A solid first round pick if he can continue to perform.
Is it bad to be excited about a kicker hitting his marks? Chandler Catanzaro was on point, hitting both of his field goal shots. Both were rather long, coming from 48 and 52 yards respectively.
While it was Lesean McCoy that the Jets were trying to contain, the rush defense couldn’t stop the Bills all day. They struggled, giving up big runs when they couldn’t afford to. There were glimmers of what is to come, but one can only hope that arrives sooner than later.
Matt Forte is not getting any younger. He is not the same running back he was in Chicago.
Bilal Powell, who ran for over 400 yards over the last four games last season, could not get going. On a team with young talent all around, the Jets running backs are getting up there in age. Perhaps shopping Forte to allow Powell to be the number one back is another great move in this rebuilding process.
It is common knowledge at this point that the offensive line is in need of repair. The Jets did little to address this issue, and unless it can be fixed somehow, it will not matter who is in at quarterback. Take a look at Indianapolis and how the lack of an offensive line had treated them.
Of course it had to be mentioned. Josh McCown did not perform well. Early in the game and at points later on, he did manage to make a few great plays, but throwing two interceptions is never a good start to the season. And that two point conversion play? Who was he even throwing that ball to?
While the players are not as sluggish as they looked last year, the play calling was questionable. Todd Bowles decides to punt with five minutes left when the Bills have been running all over the team? A fourth down conversion was unlikely, but it was more of a possibility than slowing down Buffalo’s run game.
The Jets are not great, but they are not awful either. Will this team go 0-16? Probably not. If the Browns can win last year, then the Jets can certainly steal a win later on against Cleveland or when Buffalo comes around again. There is a lot of rebuilding to do, but thankfully, it may not be as bad as everyone thought.