Ryan Fitzpatrick is quietly having one of the better seasons for a quarterback in Jets history. He has 20 touchdown passes and might threaten Vinny Testarverde’s single season Jet record of 29. Fitz has done it with a combination of things. The Jets offensive line has given him some great pass protection. The Jets rank tied for first with the Raiders allowing only 14 sacks this year. They have also allowed 45 quarterback hits, which is 6th best in the league. To put that into perspective, the Patriots have allowed 25 sacks and 68 quarterback hits.
The Jets receivers, Marshall and Decker have played very well despite the drops we have seen. They have combined for 17 touchdowns which is the best by a pair of receivers since 1998 when Keyshawn Johnson and Wayne Chrebet combined for 18. There is definitely real good chemistry between Fitz and these two receivers. The running of Chris Ivory (evaporated a bit as of late) has also helped the passing game.
Speaking of drops, Brandon Marshall has eight drops this year. According to league stats, only Mike Evans and Amari Cooper have more drops. Keep in mind that the more you target a receiver the more chances there are for drops no matter how good the player is.
Going into the playoff drive, who will be the most important players on the Jets.
Will it be Ryan Fitzpatrick? Chris Ivory? Mo Wilkerson? Darelle Revis? Here’s my take on it.
Going into this playoff run, two players can be key to the success of the Jets. Devin Smith and Jeff Cumberland. I know some jaws dropped but let me explain. I believe we have seen the last time that Brandon Marshall will see single coverage. He really toyed with Brent Grimes making receiving look easy against one of the best in the league. Look for teams to double Marshall and leaving their best defensive back on Decker. This can open things up for wide receiver Smith and tight end Cumberland. Kerley and Enunwa will also benefit but I believe Smith and Cumberland can both be the “X” factors. I’m counting on Smith, hoping he snapped out of his funk with his touchdown catch. And Cumberland is not as awful as everyone is making him out to be. In Chan Gailey’s offense, the tight end is just not involved the way other teams utilize their tight ends. I feel with the coverage that Marshall and Decker will be getting, this will give opportunities to Smith and Cumberland and Gailey must be flexible. Throwing the ball to Cumberland 4 or 5 times a game, can really open up the offense!
What the Jet scribes are saying:
Rich Cimini, ESPN
“Victor Cruz made one of the most significant plays in Giants history, turning a short catch into a 99-yard touchdown on Christmas Eve in 2011. It was a game-changing, season-altering moment. The Giants, on the verge of elimination, never lost again, winning six straight, including the Super Bowl. The Jets blew their playoff chances that day and they haven't returned since.”
Brian Costello, NY Post
“The best move of the Jets’ offseason came on the side of a field in South Carolina.
Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan was at Clemson’s Pro Day in March when he pulled Bears GM Ryan Pace to the side of the field and negotiated the trade that netted wide receiver Brandon Marshall for a fifth-round draft pick (the Jets also got a seventh-round pick back in the deal).”
Manesh Mehta, NY Daily News
“Nobody this great deserves to suffer the indignity of being marginalized by air quotes, but here’s the unvarnished truth: Revis Island should be permanently shut down. Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins embarrassed Darrelle Revis two weeks ago. Odell Beckham Jr., will do the same if the Jets cornerback is cleared to play this weekend after suffering a concussion in Houston. Revis will find a permanent place in Canton one day, but this won’t be a fair fight. Beckham will threaten Flipper Anderson’s 26-year-old single-game receiving record (336 yards) if the Jets are foolish enough to give him the true Revis Island treatment. It’s the ultimate mismatch.”
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