With a loaded roster in terms of talent and experience, both Ryan Fitzpatrick and the New York Jets, as a whole, have no excuses in 2016.Mike Maccagnan and Todd Bowles got their man back. Ryan Fitzpatrick received his wish and returned to the organization he now feels is home.
On July 27, 2016, the New York Jets and the man who holds the single-season record for touchdown tosses (31) came together after a drawn-out, highly publicized contract tiff featuring much foolishness and little substance.
Now, 42 days after the 1-year $12M deal was signed, and while fully understanding Fitz didn’t miss a beat while technically unemployed, the two sides are on the clock.
The Jets and Fitz are on the clock to win. Not only win, but actually contend for a Super Bowl.
Forget about the fact both sides continued to puff their chest out at one another for nearly six months following the 2015 season. It simply doesn’t matter anymore. What matters is that Mikey Mac has done one hell of a job since his arrival.
Just take a gander at the overall roster:
From starters to key special team performers, the entire depth chart is loaded. New York media members aren’t the only onlookers to feel this way.
Take a look at what Bleacher Report’s Chris Simms had to say when constructing his NFL Power Rankings ahead of Week 1:
You’re looking at a team with the best roster in football. There, I’ve said it.
The Jets D-line is the best in football. Their secondary is up there, too. Their receiving corps is loaded again. Ryan Fitzpatrick doesn’t need to do much more than dump the ball off and let his supporting cast work.
New York was placed in the No. 7 spot on Simms’s list.
Employed in Florham Park are two capable running backs, the best d-line in football, a solid linebacking unit, an offensive line with nice upside, a formidable secondary, and the deepest wide receiving grouping in the National Football League:
While the question around an edge presence on defense and abled bodies at tight end do exist, the fashion for which Maccagnan took an average personnel base and molded it into what we see today is nothing short of special.
This is why there are no excuses.
Ryan Fitzpatrick has everything an NFL QB could ever dream of heading into a season. Veterans such as David Harris and Darrelle Revis have splendid talent around them on the defensive side of the ball.
Hell, even Tom Brady, the man who’s owned the AFC East for a decade and a half, will miss the first quarter of the season. Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots will be killing a penalty the first four games of the season.
This presents the perfect opportunity for the franchise who’s suffered too many comedic misfortunes to count. It allows a slight window of opportunity for golden success.
Maccagnan, Bowles and the rest of the suits who run the football side will always, obviously, have one eye on the future. This is an automatic guarantee. But considering how veteran-laced this group is, and that it’s now year two under the same system with the same players (both offensively and defensively), has to signal more than just a positive improvement as the target.
If not now, “When?” If not in 2016, “What year?”
The NFL isn’t baseball or hockey. There is no farm team and development is only as great as your last draft class. These Jets have a real shot at contention.
Murderous opening schedule or not, there aren’t any excuses in 2016. Ryan Fitzpatrick and Brandon Marshall have no excuses. Their one choke job is now in the rear view mirror ending a disappointing yet surprising 10-6 campaign.
There can’t be any excuses. All of the ingredients exist and the NFL still stands for “Not For Long.”
They’re nasty, talented and smart. The time is now for this
aging experienced group.