From the Armchair: Jets, Week 17

12/30/13 in NFL   |   GFortier   |   520 respect

Blog Photo - From the Armchair: Jets, Week 17
The Fridge Part Two?
 
The last time the Jets ended their season in Miami, a mutiny was afoot. It was 2011 and the Jets were a disappointing 8-7  after two straight seasons in the AFC championship game. Santonio Holmes was throwing a tantrum in the huddle, Mark Sanchez's status as a leader was completely eroded, and Rex Ryan had completely lost the pulse of the team. They lost that game and finished 8-8.

Yesterday the Jets went into Miami at 7-8. They played a convincing game on both sides of the ball and spoiled their rival's chances at the playoffs with a 20-7. Following the win, owner Woody Johnson announced that their coach Rex Ryan would be returning next season. The locker room erupted in pure jubilation. We've come full circle. Here are a couple of takeaways from the game:


Geno's Case

Geno Smith has built a strong case for himself going into the offseason. Over the final 4 games, Smith scored 7 TDs (4 passing, 3 rushing) and threw just 2 interceptions. This was against some good defenses in Carolina, Miami and Cleveland. In finishing strong, Geno showed poise and resiliency considering all the turmoil around him -- the devastation that can come from being benched, the uncertainty of his head coach's job security, and, as always, the lack of weapons surrounding him.

Moving forward, the Jets should look to bring in some veteran competition for Geno in camp, but more than anything focus on improving the talent around the QB position so that whoever is under center has a better shot at being successful. 

Dee Comes Around

After a very rough start to his career, Dee Milliner is beginning to show why he was the 9th overall pick in last year's draft on a consistent basis. He held strong matched up against Josh Gordon last week (7 passes defended, 1 INT) and may have been even better yesterday in Miami. He came away with 2 more INTs, one of them a very impressive diving catch after having to change direction on a dime. For a young team looking to the future, having Dee come around like this towards the end of the season is very encouraging.

Sheldon! 

Capping off a good week for the Jets' rookies, Sheldon Richardson, typically a defensive tackle, rushed for yet another TD (his 2nd on the season). His brash, confident manner immediately endeared him to Jets' fans who needed a lift back when he was drafted 13th overall, and now adding goal line rusher to his resúmé only bolsters his standing as a fan-favorite. Rushing TDs aside, Richardson will certainly be in discussion for defensive player of the year.

Looking Forward

The Jets officially have the 18th overall pick in the 2014 draft. In this draft they currently have 8 picks (two in the 3rd round) and expect to receive 2-4 additional compensatory picks. Further, they will have around $40 million in cap room. This Jets team should be much improved come kickoff 2014. 


 
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