The Quarterback Carousel in February: Great

Will Stevenson

With actual basketball games being out of service since the All-Star Game, the sports world has decided to give us all the transaction stimulation we could handle. The NFL was so taken aback by the NBA, they decided to throw out possible quarterback trade destinations for old guys who either get injured or don’t play well anymore-but they use to play great and now teams who don’t have a quarterback will trade for them-but maybe they shouldn’t because they are old-but then again you could catch lightning in a bottle.

Whew. Football.

The New York Jets, who have fumbled around the past few seasons with quarterbacks we knew to be average, will once again seek out another plus-30 quarterback to lead their team. The Jets have had their chances in the draft, but have not been able to develop a young quarterbacks over the past few seasons with Geno Smith and Christian Hackenberg. They went the Ryan Fitzpatrick route and it got them as far as not making the playoffs, again.

The Houston Texans, a punch line for quarterback play over the past few seasons have began to test the waters for the “Used to be good quarterback” club. Somehow, Head Coach Bill O’Brien hasn’t been able to whisper sweet nothings into the ears of these quarterbacks yet. Brock Osweiler was pretty bad last season, and the Texans once again wasted another year as the defense was as strong as usual, but the offense could not sustain consistency in the passing game.

We like to take the video game approach when it comes to the transaction. We have watched Jay Cutler and Tony Romo for the past two seasons and we know they aren’t who they use to be: but that doesn’t matter when it comes to hope. Tony Romo has a back that couldn’t carry his own shoulder blades, and for some reason we think Jay Cutler can “turn it around” with the Jets, even though the Jets haven’t shown the ability to be an offensive threat since the first half of Brett Favre’s only season there in 2008.

So all offseason we will do this whole song and dance all over again. Teams will talk themselves into trading or signing reformation projects  at quarterback. Even though they did not perform well, teams still feel they can be the ones to extract the greatness that was once there.

Somebody is going to be a sucker for Jay Cutler, and I’m just hoping it’s the Jets. Maybe they will go after Romo, God I hope so.

NFL Weak 11 Powder Rankings: *All around the world same song*

By: Will Stevenson

What an NFL Sunday! Well, I only watch the Redzone Channel, so I don’t know what bad football looks like at the moment. As they say, ignorance is bliss. All in all, there is no way to avoid these bad teams, and as the season wears on, teams and players are falling off one by one. This week I can’t ignore the bad play, even if your team has some W’s in the win column; Bad is Bad! Alright, let’s look at the usual suspects and a few returners in NFL Weak 11 Powder Rankings.

  1. Cleveland (0-10)

The Browns are bad, but they aren’t super terrible. They have had six quarterbacks start this year and there is talk of another regime change. Last Thursday we were able to witness their Powderness. The thing is, it was Thursday Night Football, and I refuse to subject myself to such malarkey.

2. Green Bay Packers (4-5)

Have you seen their defense? I know their secondary has been banged up all season, but that performance against the Titans had me checking the ESPN scroll to see if Ted Thompson was going to let Mike McCarthy go. With the Vikings on a slide themselves, and the Lions being the Lions, the Packers could still win the North. Regardless, they suck right now. P-A-N-I-C.

3. New York Jets (3-7)

Even as I root for the Patriots, I refuse to delight in the misery of other fellow AFC East contenders. It’s tough because Bryce Petty is as bad as Ryan Fitzpatrick, and he’s as bad as Geno Smith, and they’re all as bad as Mark Sanchez and whoever was there previously. The defense is suffering, they are -65 in point differential, and have only won one game at home. They have a bye week coming up, so the y might as well go to Petty.

4. Jaguars (2-7)

Blake Bortles sure does overthrow his receivers on the deep ball. It’s getting worse in Jacksonville as the Jags have not forced a turnover since Week 4; It’s Week 11. Turnovers are a bit of luck, but there is strategy in forcing them, just ask the Chiefs. Another regime change in Jacksonville, I’ll stay tuned to the Espn scroll.

5. Buffalo Bills (4-5)

Remember when the Bills were riding high? Yeh, neither. The season will tell you who’s good and who’s not, and with Rex Ryan at the helm, they surely will suffer. The Bills are +34 in point differential, but have lost three straight games. Looks to be another marginal season for Rex and the Bills.

6. Bears (2-7)

Alshon Jeffrey is gone for four games. Jay Cutler is the quarterback. I don’t know what we expect form a John Fox coached team, we know what it looks like when the ship goes down. The Bears will start anew, again after the season.

7. 49ers (1-8)

Colin Kaepernick looked good yesterday. The 49ers didn’t allow 800 yards of offense, so that is a plus. They’re so bad that this feels like moral victories, even though it seems that nobody will be back for this team next year.

8. Rams (4-5)

I wasn’t going to put the Rams on here, because they won, but they still are a bad team. As long as Jeff Fisher is here, they will be average, and they are. Yes, they beat the Jets, but beating a bad team 9-6 isn’t something that excites me.

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2016 New York Jets Season Preview

By Brian Jones

2015 record: 10-6

Head Coach: Todd Bowles (10-6 with Jets; 0-0 in playoffs)

Notable Additions: Matt Forte, Ryan Clady, Steve McLendon, Jarvis Jenkins, Khiry Robinson, Bruce Carter, Bernard Pierce

Notable Subtractions: Chris Ivory, Antonio Cromartie, Damon “Snacks” Harrison, Willie Colon

Notable Draft Picks: Darron Lee, Christian Hackenberg, Jordan Jenkins, Brandon Shell

Offseason: The primary offseason story was the conundrum that was Ryan Fitzpatrick and his contract negotiations. It took the better part of 6 months but it finally got done, literally minutes before the first meetings of training camp got underway. Fitzpatrick signed a one-year, fully guaranteed $12 million deal that has escalators that can raise it to $15 million. With that settled, along with the other (literal) last second signing of defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson to a long-term deal the Jets have all their key components in camp to make a possible run in the playoffs.

Key Training Camp Battle(s): CB and LB. Buster Skrine is currently penciled in to be the starter opposite future Hall of Famer Darrelle Revis but rookie sensation Marcus Williams will make his case during camp to become the other starting cornerback on defense. At linebacker, draft pick Jordan Jenkins made noise during rookie camp and will be looking for playing time alongside veteran David Harris. First round pick Darron Lee will also be looking to make an impact on defense this season. A long holdout means precious time Lee missed out on but he looks to be a crucial part of the defense this season and going forward.

Schedule: One of the toughest in the league. Pittsburgh, Kansas City, Baltimore, Arizona and the opener September 11th against Cincinnati are on the slate along with the usual divisional foes in Buffalo, Miami and New England.

Best Case Scenario: Fitzpatrick and the offense take things to a new level this season, production from the tight end position becomes available, the defense plays like the best in the league and the Jets are able to overcome a very top-heavy schedule on the way to the playoffs.

Worst Case Scenario: Ryan Fitzpatrick plays like, well, the Ryan Fitzpatrick we saw in Buffalo last season, offensive numbers are down, the defense is good but not great, the schedule plays to form and it’s another playoff-less season in Florham Park.

Season Prediction: The tools, players and coaching staff are there to make a long playoff run, if not make a Super Bowl appearance this season. The odds say it won’t happen and with a schedule full of playoff and championship contenders I’m going to lean in the direction of things not coming together this season. 8-8 or 9-7 is the prediction – but this is the NFL and anything can happen. If they manage to get in the playoffs, the Jets would be a dangerous and tough out but now today, on paper, it doesn’t appear it will play out that way.
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The Jets Will Just Never Learn

By Michael Eccleston

Just when I thought the New York Jets were starting to turn the corner. Just when I thought they were ready to take the next step due to the excellent job GM Mike Maccagnan has done after the dismissal of John Idzik. Just when I thought they were done being those same old Jets, they take massive steps backwards.

If the Jets’ organization thinks that Geno Smith is the answer, then I would like to know the question.

WOW. It is mind boggling that they won’t pay Ryan Fitzpatrick! He came in last year and had one of the greatest statistical seasons a quarterback has ever played in a Jets uniform. In 15 games, he threw for 3,905 yards, 31 touchdowns, and 15 interceptions while completing 60 percent of his passes. Fitzpatrick completed a team that I thought could’ve made a real run in the postseason last year if they hadn’t lost to the Bills on the last week of the regular season. They had a lock down run defense, a solid secondary, a great running game, and a potent passing attack. I’ve never seen a Jets quarterback put up the kind of numbers Fitzpatrick did.

And now they really want to go back to Geno Smith? Didn’t they see enough of the first movie to recognize that the fans don’t deserve to sit through a sequel? Especially when the team is built to win right now. This is the same Geno Smith who has thrown 27 touchdowns and 35 interceptions in two full seasons as the starter. His total QBR is at 41.8, and he’s averaged 1.4 turnovers per game, which are both ranked 32nd out of 33 qualified QBs since 2013. I thought Smith’s Jets career was going to end after he threw three interceptions in his first three possessions before being pulled at home against the Buffalo Bills in 2014. I have never seen a quarterback booed as badly as he was. It got to the point where I felt sorry for the kid.

Fitzpatrick had a great season. What are the Jets waiting for? When a quarterback produces, you pay him. It’s that simple. Especially when you are an organization that plays in the same stadium as a team that has won two Super Bowls recently and four since your last one. In today’s NFL, you need to have a quarterback that has proven something. It isn’t a coincidence that last season when the Jets signed a veteran quarterback who is smart and can play that they went 10-6 and almost made the playoffs. Why would they ruin that? Why would they want to head back down the standings when they were so close to being Super Bowl contenders?

It is beyond puzzling to me, but these three words explain it all:

Same. Old. Jets.