After narrowly missing out on the last playoff spot in the AFC in 2013, the New York Jets have gone aggressively about reconstructing their offense this offseason. On Wednesday afternoon, the Jets signed Chris Johnson to a two-year contract, in turn essentially guaranteeing playoff football during the upcoming season.
The Jets will be getting a slightly watered-down version of Johnson over the next few years, as he has averaged 1,183 yards per season in the four years since his magnificent 2,006-yard performance in 2009. Sure, a bit of this can be put down as being less motivated, but there is also no doubting that his pure speed and quickness with the football has deteriorated a bit.
Still, after missing only one game during his six-year career, totals of 1,400 yards and 10 touchdowns seem a realistic haul in 2014.
Receiving the talents of Johnson will be a significant boon for a Jets offense that really has seen a huge makeover this offseason from acquiring Michael Vick and Eric Decker. The three talents essentially add game-changing players at the quarterback, running back and wide receiver positions, injecting a bit of speed and versatility into an offense that ranked 31st in passing yards per game and 29th in points per game in 2013.
New York may not be ready to score 30 points per game, but at the very least they will be middle of the pack in terms of overall offensive output.
The group of players set to benefit most from the newly-acquired impact offensive players is the Jets’ defensive corps, which has consistently ranked amongst the best units in the NFL since Rex Ryan became head coach. During the 2013 season, the team ranked 11th in opposing yards against per game, but they allowed 100 points off of the many turnovers that Geno Smith and company caused.
Blessed with a stable offensive situation, the Jets should rank amongst the top defensive units in the NFL against both the pass and rush, and they will surely see a drop from the 24.2 points per game allowed last year.
There is absolutely no doubt that bringing in Johnson is a move from Ryan and the Jets to show they are serious about winning now, and it should work exceptionally. New York now has a dynamic trio of offensive weapons; they bring back a dynamic defensive group and most importantly, they play in the lowly AFC. Those three factors alone should be enough to guarantee playoff football next season.