By Reid McEvoy
The New York Jets lost to the New England Patriots 26-6 Sunday, ending the season with the same 5-11 record as last year. Though it wasn’t an astonishing season, it certainly exceeded expectations.
Quarterback Josh McCown was a major part of all of the team’s wins. He finished his slightly shortened season with 2,926 passing yards and 18 touchdowns. He also had 124 rushing yards and five touchdowns on the ground. McCown earned the team MVP award. McCown’s contract ends this year, and McCown, at the age of 38, may retire in the offseason. Though, some Jets fans, and certainly some players, will want him back.
Backup quarterback Bryce Petty was McCown’s replacement after McCown broke his left hand. Petty didn’t do much, but he did have 312 passing yards and a touchdown. Petty had more yards passing than Tom Brady in the Week 17 matchup. Many speculate this year may be Petty’s last in green and white.
Christian Hackenberg didn’t play at all this season, making it two seasons spent on the bench.
Wide receiver Robby Anderson proved himself this season, and he could be a true star in the making. He finished with 939 yards and seven touchdowns. He was one of McCown’s favorite targets, and they connected on big plays many times.
The Jets’ running back situation was extremely confusing, and that’s all thanks to head coach Todd Bowles. It seemed almost every game the starting running back changed between Matt Forté, Bilal Powell and Elijah McGuire.
Forté finished the year on IR. He had 381 rushing yards and two touchdowns. He also had 293 receiving yards and a receiving score. It is believed this year may also be Forté’s last year as a Jet.
Powell had a decent seventh season, but he’ll hope to improve in the future. He finished with 726 yards and five touchdowns. He also had 160 receiving yards. On multiple occasions, Powell led the team in receiving yards.
Austin Seferian-Jenkins was average at the tight end position. The Jets’ scheme certainly abandoned him toward the end of the year. He finished the year with 357 yards and three touchdowns.
The Jets’ defense was a strong point of the team. They were the difference in multiple Jets wins. A storyline of their defense has been Muhammad Wilkerson. He was late to multiple team meetings and was even reported to have fallen asleep during a team meeting. For this, he was suspended by the team for a game, and was inactive for the final two, missing the last three weeks of the season in all. This has put his future with the Jets in doubt, as with his mediocre season plus his $13 million of cap space taken up, it all seems to point to him being cut.
In one word, you could describe the Jets season as unexpected. They had stars form out of dust, and they surprised many people with their success. For a good portion of the season, they were on the cusp of playoff position.
The future certainly looks bright. Next year the Jets will get back wideout Quincy Enunwa, who at the beginning of the season was being praised as the Jets’ only possible silver lining. That all was ended when he tore his ACL in preseason practice. The Jets’ draft pick won’t be as early as was hoped, but the upcoming class looks like it could be one of the best draft classes in the past three decades, so there should be someone good on the board.
Until next season, J-E-T-S, Jets, Jets, Jets.