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2013 New York Jets Season Review

After finishing 6-10 in 2012, expectations were pretty low heading into  the 2013 season for the New York Jets. Even though the team didn’t make the playoffs for the third consecutive season, the Jets did finish with a surprising 8-8 record.

Head coach Rex Ryan will return for his sixth season in New York, but what are the things his team needs to improve on? Here are the positives and negatives of the 2013 season and the top priorities the team needs to address heading into free agency.

Positives: The Jets played most of the season with five rookie starters, quarterback Geno Smith, defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson, cornerback Dee Milliner, guard Brian Winters and fullback Tommy Bohanon. Despite the fact that these five starters combined for 65 starts during the season, the team still won eight games.

The reason the Jets overachieved has to be Ryan. He did an marvelous job winning eight games with just one Pro Bowl player, cornerback Antonio Cromartie, a number of rookie starters, and a roster that was almost completely purged last off-season. You have to believe that the early playing time will help the rookies heading into the 2014 season.

Another positive has to be running back  Chris Ivory. The offseason free agent signing rushed for 833 yards and three touchdowns while averaging 4.6 yards per carry. With a offense that didn’t have a lot of playmakers, Ivory was by far the Jets’ offensive MVP for 2013.

The last, but certainly not least positive for the Jets was the outstanding play of their defense. The team finished 11th in total defense and third year defensive end  Muhammad Wilkerson had a lot to do with that. He finished the season with a team-high 10.5 sacks and became the first Jet player to record double-digit sacks since John Abraham had 10.5 back in 2005.

Negatives: Geno Smith’s rookie season was  inconstant to say the least. The quarterback finished with 12 touchdowns and 21 interceptions. Some of Smith’s poor play could be due to the fact that the Jets lack playmakers on offense. Whatever the case may be, the Jets will have to get better production out of the quarterback position if they want to entertain playoff thoughts in 2014.

Priorities Heading Into The 2014 Season: Jets have to get skill position playmakers on offenses. Both wide receiver and tight end positions need to be address no matter if Geno Smith is the quarterback or not. The Jets had only two pass plays more than 50 yards all season, and they both came during the same game. If the team doesn’t address their offensive needs, they will be faced eight-man fronts and consistent blitzing to slow down running back Ivory.

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