NEW YORK JETS
2015 Record: 10-6-0
Head Coach: Todd Bowles
New Faces for 2016 - RB Matt Forte, RB Khiry Robinson, DL Steve McLendon, OL Ryan Clady
OFFENSE: After squabbling over a new contract, quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick recently signed a one-year deal and will be the Jets starter in the 2016 season. Fitzpatrick had his best ever season a year ago, throwing for 3,905 yards with 31 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. He also gained 270 yards rushing and scored two rushing touchdowns. Geno Smith is the backup.
The running game will have a new (different) face leading the way this year as Chris Ivory left for Houston. In his place is Matt Forte, who played eight seasons with the Chicago Bears. Forte gained 898 yards on the ground for a 4.1 ypc average and scored four times along with 44 receptions for 389 yards and three more scores.
Backing up Forte will be Bilal Powell (313, 4.5 ypc and one TD) and Khiry Robinson (180, 3.2 ypc and four TD).
The wide receivers are both coming off exceptional seasons as Brandon Marshall (109 receptions for 1,502 yards and 14 touchdowns) and Eric Decker (80, 1,027 yards and 12 TD) form one of the best WR tandems in the league. Devin Smith (9, 115, one TD) and Kenbrell Thompkins (17, 165 yards) provide depth. The tight ends are Kellen Davis and Jace Amaro.
DEFENSE: In the Jets 3-4 look, nose tackle has a new man up front as Steve McLendon comes over from Pittsburgh to start. He will team with ends Sheldon Richardson (five QB sacks) and Muhammad Wilkerson (12 sacks) to provide stellar defense.
The linebacking unit is comprised of David Harris (4 1/2 sacks) and Erin Henderson on the inside while Lorenzo Mauldin (four sacks) and Trevor Reilly man the outside. Rookies Darron Lee (Ohio State) and Jordan Jenkin (Georgia) will look to make an impact as well.
The secondary has ten-year veteran Darrelle Revis (five interceptions) at one corner spot while Buster Skrine and Marcus Williams (six picks) play the other cornerback spot. The safeties are Marcus Gilchrist (three INT) and Calvin Pryor.
OUTLOOK: As long as the Jets play solid defense again in 2016, they will be in most of their games. Five of their six losses last season were one-score games, so they don't get blown out and that's a testament to their defense, which ranked fourth overall last year.
The Jets allowed 19.6 points per game while finishing second in the NFL against the run, giving up only 83 yards per game. They also intercepted 18 passes and racked up 39 QB sacks and were a plus-six in the turnover category.
If Ryan Fitzpatrick can have close to another season as he did in 2015, the offense will be solid as well. The Jets scored 24 points per game a year ago while ranking in the top ten in rushing and total offensive yardage per game.
Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker give the bearded quarterback two great targets to throw to and now add in RB Matt Forte as a receiver out of the backfield and that puts even more pressure on opposing defenses.
Head Coach Todd Bowles brought with him a no nonsense approach in his first season with the Jets and they won ten games and just missed the playoffs, so he is looking for nothing less than the post-season this time around.
A very tough schedule in the first seven weeks will be a huge test for this team. If the Jets can emerge from that with three or four wins, they could very easily make the playoffs. That's the big question facing the team this year.
Fearless forecast - 8-8 this year
2016 TEAM SCHEDULE
Week 1 - vs. Cincinnati
Week 2 - at Buffalo
Week 3 - at Kansas City
Week 4 - vs. Seattle
Week 5 - at Pittsburgh
Week 6 - at Arizona
Week 7 - vs. Baltimore
Week 8 - at Cleveland
Week 9 - at Miami
Week 10 - vs. Los Angeles
Week 11 - BYE
Week 12 - vs. New England
Week 13 - vs. Indianapolis
Week 14 - at San Francisco
Week 15 - vs. Miami
Week 16 - at New England
Week 17 - vs. Buffalo