In 2009 the New York Jets were one game away from making the Super Bowl and shocking the football world. Now the Jets are often criticized, made fun of and looked down upon by other cities and fans. When the season began in 2013 no one expected the Jets to win four games let alone eight. Everyone thought the Jets would win two or three games and let Rex Ryan ride off into the sunset, but they were wrong. Now in 2014 the Jets have another chance to shut up the critics as long as they continue to play to their strengths.
Before Ryan took over at head coach the Jets never had an identity. They had a good running game, average QB play and a good defense, but a true identity never stood out. The old Jet teams in the late 2000s made a few runs in the playoffs, but they were never a true contender for the Super Bowl. Now in 2014 this team has a great running game, great defense and an identity.
Finding out what your team is good at and continuing to do it over and over again is what leads to success in the NFL. A team with Drew Brees under center will never be great at running the ball, because if Brees isn’t throwing the ball 30 times a game then they are wasting his talent. Similarly, if Geno Smith is throwing the ball 30 times a game the Jets are in trouble, because their go-to on offense should be Chris Johnson and Chris Ivory. I’m not saying that the Jets shouldn’t ride the hot hand during a game, but if you stray away from what you do best then you’re not setting up your team for success.
If the Jets want to contend this year they need to focus on their strengths and avoid their weaknesses. Stick to the ground game, avoid turnovers and be aggressive on defense, but don’t overdo it. The New York Jets need to look in the mirror, identify who they are and play the game their way. If the Jets stick to that notion, wins will follow.