The New York Jets disappointed their fan base, their owner, and themselves in 2014 when they won only four of sixteen games. The poor performance on the field led to the replacement of the team’s General Manager, John Idzik, and its larger-than-life Head Coach, Rex Ryan.
Jets owner, Woody Johnson, hired a skilled talent evaluator, Mike Maccagnan, to become the new General Manager and the Arizona Cardinals’ highly-regarded Defensive Coordinator, Todd Bowles, to become the new Head Coach.
The squad known by its fans as “Gang Green,” had a very good offseason when it acquired a superstar wide receiver, Brandon Marshall, in a trade with the Detroit Lions and super cornerbacks Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie, both former Jets, to shore up a team weak spot.
Maccagnan also had a sensational draft highlighted by his selection of Leonard Williams, a defensive tackle from the University of Southern California (USC) who was considered the best overall player in the draft.
Graphic via taylorblitztimes
The team’s problem, according to observers, is at quarterback. Geno Smith, a former second round draft pick, will start his third season still needing to prove that he can effectively lead a team. A pre-season injury due to a locker room scuffle with a teammate will likely result in some or many regular season games being missed.
That said, Gang Green has a relatively team-friendly schedule and enough skill players and Pro Bowl performers to make a real impact. Of course, they play in the very tough Eastern Division of the American Football Conference (AFL).
As a result, they will play difficult home games against the Miami Dolphins on October 27th, against the Rex Ryan-coached Buffalo Bills on November 12th and against arch-rival New England on December 27th, the next to the final week of the season.
Of course, divisional opponents get to play home games, too. The New York Jets will travel to New England to face off against Tom Brady on October 25th and to frigid Buffalo on January 3rd in what may be a game with a playoff spot on the line.
The team from the Meadowlands will play Miami on the road in London on October 4th. The game will count as a home appearance for the Dolphins.
The New Yorkers have other notable games on their schedule. They will face off against their home town rivals, The New York Giants on December 6th. They will also compete against other NFC Eastern Division teams, including the Dallas Cowboys, the Philadelphia Eagles and the Washington Redskins.
The Indianapolis Colts and the Houston Texans are two other teams the Jets will have to “meet and beat.” Their Strength-of-Schedule rating stands at .488 which is the fifteenth weakest schedule in this thirty-two team league.
If their performance on the field lives up to the hype and the hope, Gang Green could find itself playing in the postseason.
Graphic via bleacherreport