A Disappointing End to a Refreshing Season for Gang Green
The 22-17 defeat to Buffalo on Sunday closed the Jets season out in disappointing fashion. When the Jets were sitting at 5-5 after a loss to the Houston Texans, the playoffs seemed out of reach. After Todd Bowles’ postgame speech in Houston, the season started to turn. The Jets ripped off five straight wins, and propelled themselves into a “win and in” scenario for the playoffs. All of the stars were aligning for the New York Jets and if they were able to make it past the Bills in week 17, a playoff run seemed imminent with the AFC being incredibly weak. All of those hopes came crashing down, and the Jets missed the playoffs for the fifth straight season.
The game itself was a microcosm of the season as a whole. The Jets started the season at 5-5, digging themselves in a hole that became too large to bust out of and left them with no margin for error. This past Sunday at Buffalo, the same thing happened. They spotted Buffalo 13 points, and left themselves with no room for mistake. The hole was too much to overcome as Buffalo doubled the Jets time of possession 40-20. The late rally in the game and in the season, was too little too late.
Looking back: This season brought much joy and refreshment to a fan base that hasn’t had anything to cheer about in these last four years. Ryan Fitzpatrick and Brandon Marshall put together the best seasons in franchise history at their respective positions. Eric Decker, and Chris Ivory both went over the 1,000 yard mark and both were key contributors to the 10 win season. The Jets had 3 fourth quarter/overtime winning drives in the month of December alone. 2015 marked the first winning season for the team since 2010. This shouldn’t be a season Jet fans hang their heads about, but rather a season to build on and look forward to next year.
Looking ahead: The Jets have some decisions to make both on the offensive, and defensive line. I believe Muhammad Wilkerson will get the franchise tag and be back with the team for the start of the 2016 season which is important. Damon Harrison (snacks) may be lost to free agency unless he chooses to take slightly less money to keep the d-line intact. D’brickishaw Ferguson will most likely be forced to restructure his deal as he will be a $14 million cap hit for next season according to spotrac.com. I expect Ryan Fitzpatrick to be back considering he’s the best the Jets got. Quietly Ryan has tallied 48 TD passes and 23 INTS his last two seasons. He has seemed to have put it all together after his 10th NFL season and the Jets are lucky to have him. Then you have free agency and the draft where the Jets will be picking 20th overall, and will look to add a pass rusher along with some help on the offensive line. This year was about establishing a foundation, and the Jets have done that.