Jets Preview Capsule
NEW YORK JETS (5-11)
New faces: QB Josh McCown, WR Jermaine Kearse, CB Morris Claiborne, S Jamal Adams, S Marcus Maye, OL Kelvin Beachum, LB Demario Davis, DL Kony Ealy, K Chandler Catanzaro, offensive coordinator John Morton, outside linebackers coach Kevin Greene.
Key losses: DL Sheldon Richardson, WR Brandon Marshall, WR Eric Decker, CB Darrelle Revis, C Nick Mangold, QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, LT Ryan Clady, RT Breno Giacomini, LB David Harris, QB Geno Smith, K Nick Folk, S Calvin Pryor, S Marcus Gilchrist, CB Dexter McDougle, offensive coordinator Chan Gailey.
Strengths: Defensive line remains one of best in league — even with trade of Richardson to Seattle for WR Kearse — with Leonard Williams, Muhammad Wilkerson and Steve McLendon leading way. Beyond that, much of rest of roster is work in progress.
Weaknesses: Quarterback situation uninspiring with journeyman McCown running offense while Jets wait for Christian Hackenberg or Bryce Petty to progress enough to take over. Offensive line shaky at best and struggled throughout preseason. Kearse immediately steps in as No. 1 receiver, with Robby Anderson behind him and lots of unproven youngsters after that. Inexperienced but promising rookie safeties Adams and Maye highlight revamped secondary, which needs to be much better than alarmingly leaky unit from last season.
Fantasy Players To Watch: Anderson was fantasy surprise as rookie, catching 42 passes for 587 yards and two TDs. Can stretch field with excellent speed and should see even more targets with Quincy Enunwa out with neck injury and departures of Marshall and Decker. RB Bilal Powell is versatile threat out of backfield and could see increased carries despite presence of Matt Forte, who could also pile up catches in Morton’s West Coast-style offense.
Expectations: Many outside facility think Jets are in for long season, and could struggle to win even one game. Players insist they’ll be better than expected. But tough schedule and inexperience could have Todd Bowles coaching for job, while GM Mike Maccagnan keeps eye on building for future. Top-5 draft pick next April appears likely.