The hits keep on coming for the New York Jets, as the team placed wide receiver Eric Decker on injured reserve Wednesday with a significant labrum tear. So far this season, the Jets are failing to build upon last year’s strong 10-6 finish and currently sit at 1-4. Despite being a team that appeared to have viable playoff hopes coming into 2016, the Jets are struggling.
Heading into the 2016 season, hopes were high that the Jets could build upon a strong 2015. At 10-6, New York narrowly missed the playoffs, and with much of last year’s roster remaining intact for this season, the expectation was that the Jets could take a step forward in head coach Todd Bowles’ second season.
That’s not happening. New York’s only win so far this season came in Week 2 against the Buffalo Bills, and Decker was a huge factor in the team’s offensive success. Ryan Fitzpatrick connected with Decker six times for 126 yards, and Decker would have had 184 receiving yards if a 58-yard catch hadn’t been called back for holding.
It was Decker’s best game of the season. He was limited to just 37 yards and a touchdown against the Bengals in Week 1, and in Week 3, the Chiefs defense held him to 31 yards. Losing Decker is a huge blow, though, to Fitzpatrick, who needs all the help he can get.
Remember Fitzpatrick’s contract saga this past offseason? Perhaps the Jets were right to be hesitant. Fitzpatrick has been a liability for the Jets this year, with the exception of that one win. Five games into the season, and Fitzpatrick has thrown 10 interceptions to just five touchdowns and has a completion percentage of 57.8.
New York’s defense has been less than stellar, too. The defensive line has struggled to get any pressure on opposing quarterbacks. The pass defense is ranked 31st in the league, having given up 302.4 yards per game. When Darrelle Revis has been healthy, he has often looked outmatched, and he’s been sidelined with a hamstring injury.
Thanks to Fitzpatrick’s turnover struggles on offense and the Jets’ inability to make them happen on defense, the team has a turnover differential of -9.
At 1-4, the chances the Jets will make the playoffs are exceedingly slim. Only eight teams in NFL history have managed to secure postseason bids after such a rocky beginning to a season.
Heading into the 2016 season, the Jets had a 33 percent chance of making the playoffs. Not bad for a team that would almost certainly have to rely upon securing a wild card bid with New England a factor in the AFC East.
Now, those odds have dwindled down to just 12 percent, and with Decker out for the season and two games against the Patriots still looming, the outlook is dour for the rest of the Jets’ season.