Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

AFC East Rankings-New York Jets

December 9, 2012 Mandatory Credit: Rob Foldy-USA TODAY Sports

New York Jets
- 7-9
Considering the Jets have the only Quarterback in NFL history to ever run into an offensive lineman’s backside and cause a ‘butt fumble’, this 2013 season looks very bleak for this Jets offense.

Last season the 6-10 Jets offense finished 30th in the NFL with a little under 300 total yards per game last season, 128 yards lower than their AFC East rival New England Patriots (427.9 yards per game, ranked 1st in the NFL).
2012 was catastrophic for the Jets in part due to their lack of offense from former first round pick, Mark Sanchez.

In his entire 4-year career with the Jets (62 games), Sanchez has averaged 3,023 yards and an embarrassing 23.75 turnovers per season. Simply put, Mark Sanchez has single handily stunk up New York City. Embarrassingly enough, during his entire career he has had more interceptions (69) and fumbles (26) than touchdowns (68).

I’m honestly still surprised that after the horrendous season the Jets had last season, that Woody Johnson and the Jets haven’t released him yet.

Regardless of Sanchez’s troubles, RB Shonn Greene had a respectable season last year, leading the Jets with 1,063 yards and 8 touchdowns. As well, 2nd year man Bilal Powell added 437 yards and 4 touchdowns out of the backfield.

However, with the trade of Greene to the Tennessee Titans, the Jets backfield looks about as empty as a big lots on a Tuesday afternoon.

The Jets did pick up former Saint Chris Ivory, but their backfield is as thin as they come in the NFL. Last season Ivory averaged a stout 5.4 yards per carry, but only played 6 games for the Saints due to New Orleans’ 3 other running backs.

Ivory has a Marshawn Lynch mentality when he runs and can be productive mainly as a west-coast back.  It definitely will be interesting to see how he fits into this new Jets’ offense.

Nevertheless, in order for this Jets offense to take flight, Mark Sanchez and 2nd round pick Geno Smith need to step it up and give this Jets organization what it has been clamoring for; a strong and consistent player that can give this offense stability at the Quarterback position.

Although it will be a challenge, considering the Jets’ Quarterbacking troubles and loss of TE Dustin Keller, this young receiving corps of Jeremy Kerley (827 yards, 56 receptions), Stephen Hill (252 yards, 2 touchdowns), and Jeff Cumberland (359 yards, 3 touchdowns) should have a better year than last year.

The key for the Jets’ offense this season is to execute in the red zone.

Last season the entire Jets receiving corps caught 14 touchdowns. That’s right, 14 touchdowns. That is the exact number of touchdowns caught by Packers’ receiver James Jones alone last season.

It’s already too late to get an all-pro receiver through trades or free agency, however the Jets can still salvage what they have left of their dilapidated offense.

Geno Smith during his career with the West Virginia Mountaineers was definitely, without a doubt a pass heavy QB (averaged 4,295 yards and 36.5 touchdowns between his Junior and Senior) and thus, the Jets have to play to that strength and develop a strong supporting cast for Smith to work with.

I believe Jeremy Kerley and Smith definitely have the potential to be consistent play makers, as long as the Jets give Geno Smith a chance to succeed. Otherwise, this could be a very turbulent season for the Jets.

Perhaps the most stable part of this 2012 Jets team was its defense.

Ranked 8th with only 323.4 yards allowed per game, the Jets pass defense was absolutely unstoppable (ranked #2 in the league with 189.8 passing yards allowed per game), however its run defense left something to be desired (133.6 rushing yards allowed per game).

The Jets front 7 struggled mightily last season, failing to stop premiere backs such as Marshawn Lynch (124 yards), Arian Foster (152 yards), C.J. Spiller (169 yards), Stevan Ridley (97 yards), and Chris Johnson (122 yards).

Their lack of consistency, especially at the tackle position, was the reason the Jets suffered against the run last season.

Poor play by Kendrick Ellis (12 games played, only 18 combined tackles), Mike DeVito (52 combined tackles, 1.0 sack) and Sion Po’uha (29 combined tackles 1.0 sack) resulted in the Jets inability to prevent the run.

With an entirely new offensive line, including first round pick out of Missouri, Sheldon Richardson, and notable departures from the defense from Bart Scott (60 total tackles, 2.5 sacks) to most likely the most dominant shut down corner in the game Darrelle Revis (4 interceptions, 21 passes defended in 2011), this season looks especially difficult for the Jets’ defense.

Although Revis is gone, Antonio Cromartie has taken his place as the main corner for the Jets and has performed somewhat admirably (3 interceptions, 13 passes defended).

As well, the Jets added sure-fire safety Dawan Landry from the Jaguars (100 combined tackles in 2012) and 9th overall pick Dee Milliner out of the University of Alabama (54 total tackles, 1.5 sacks).

Former first round product CB Kyle Wilson will be returning as he will try and nurture the young and juvenile Milliner into a true shut-down corner.

Hopefully if this 3-4 Jets defense can cultivate its young rookie talent and focus on preventing the run, they can help their struggling offense.

Tags: AFC East NY Jets

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