This analysis is based on watching and re-watching TV footage. As such, it is not always possible to accurately determine everything that was going on. However, every effort has been made to ensure that the information below is as complete and correct as possible.

Note: Your feedback indicated you prefer me to divide BGA into two parts. Part One covered the offense and can be accessed here

We’re recapping yesterday’s loss to the Texans. After the jump, Part Two looks at the performance by the defense and special teams and also draws final conclusions. Remember, if you want me to go back and look at anything, or have any other questions, let me know in the comments and I’ll respond in BGA Extra later in the week.

A glass half full viewpoint of this defensive performance would point to the second half numbers and suggest that hopefully the defense is turning things around. The Texans gained just 57 yards on 22 carries in the second half, with 10 of the last 13 carries netting one yard or less. They also limited Matt Schaub to just four second half completions, including none in the last 19 minutes. The Texans ended up with 23 points, their lowest output of the season, as the Jets even managed to limit their tackling issues, missing only two on the day.

However, there were some major breakdowns in the first half and I’m going to go over these before we get into the individual analysis.

First of all, there was the first drive, where the Texans moved downfield effortlessly and scored on a 34-yard pass to Owen Daniels. This was good gameplanning by the Texans, as they moved into position by exploiting the over-aggressiveness of the Jets front seven and the lack of speed from their outside linebackers. Matt Schaub twice targeted Pace in zone coverage and also caught out Bryan Thomas with a screen pass for another first down. They also picked up a first down on an end-around. The touchdown itself again exploited this aggressiveness, as Landry and Bell both bit on a play-action fake and Landry vacated the deep middle. Antonio Cromartie got beaten to the inside, but almost certainly would have been expecting help and his reaction seemed to indicate that was the case.

The next breakdown didn’t lead to a score, but hurt the Jets in terms of field position, as they had just tied the score and the Texans were backed up at their own four yard line. Arian Foster ran for a 46-yard gain that meant the Jets ended up getting the ball back at their 15 instead of in great field position. On this play, the Jets essentially had four defensive linemen and four linebackers, with Yeremiah Bell coming into the box alongside Harris. At the point of attack, Muhammad Wilkerson was double teamed and driven to the ground while Bryan Thomas and Bart Scott each took on a blocker on the outside. David Harris took on the lead-blocking fullback but that left a huge gap over left guard. Ordinarily Scott would be taking on that block and Harris would be cleaning up behind him, but Bell had stayed over on the left side. What turned it into a big gain was that Kyle Wilson came up too fast and overpursued, then Laron Landry compounded matters by getting turned around in the open field. It looked like the Jets were outschemed on that play – putting eight in the box and then getting burned when the Texans found an easy route to the second level.

The final major breakdown was on the second touchdown drive as the Texans went 42 yards on three running plays. The first saw Scott and Harris run blitzing up the middle on a cross-rushing stunt but Wilkerson got triple teamed on the edge and forced to the ground on the inside, allowing Foster to cut inside Bryan Thomas for eight. The second saw Foster bounce outside as Pace missed a tackle on the edge and Scott and Landry couldn’t get off blocks on the outside. Finally, he ran untouched for a score with Harris getting blown up in the hole, McIntyre driven out of the play with a kickout block and Wilson unable to get off a downfield block.

These were some well-designed plays from the league’s best running team, but the Jets did manage to make an adjustment in the second half.

Defensive Line

There’s no question that the Jets missed Sione Po’uha, but – as the previous two games showed – if he’s not healthy then that’s not going to help much. Unfortunately, Kenrick Ellis is also injured now, so that will put pressure on him to return even if he’s not ready to do so. Like last week, Ellis was in for 40 snaps and I continue to believe that this might be too many for him. He played well in the first three games, where he averaged 24 snaps, but in the last two, he’s started off pretty well but then started to look worn down. He was in on a couple of run stuffs and pressured Schaub once, but also ended up on the ground a couple of times and lost a couple of battles at the point of attack, especially as the game wore on.

When Ellis got hurt, Damon Harrison came off the bench for the last five snaps and got some face time when he stood up his blocker on third and one and bottled up the run so the Jets got the ball back with a chance to win the game. While it was great to see him come in and make an impact, this is not a big enough sample to know whether he could handle more reps. He did come into the game fresh, so it’s impossible to know how his conditioning would be once he gets to 10-20 snaps and he did end up on the ground on his last two snaps. However, it’s exciting to see signs of promise from a young player at this juncture of the season.

The only other realistic option at nose tackle is Mike DeVito, who has filled in at the position in the past. DeVito’s performance last night was excellent, even in the face of some double teams. He was getting constant penetration, shedding blocks to make plays in the running game and standing his ground at the point of attack. He also had one pressure as a pass rusher, as he played over 75% of the snaps for the first time since Week 3 of last season. Other than on one short yardage play, he never really got blown off the line. Even if Po’uha is back next week, I’d expect DeVito to play plenty of snaps at the nose tackle spot.

Let’s make something clear about Muhammad Wilkerson’s impact in this game. He was constantly double-teamed, even on passing downs. Despite this he had a disruptive game, with one hit and three pressures as well as several plays where he got penetration to redirect a runner. He was only in on one run stuff and did get blocked to the ground on two of the bigger running plays, but held his ground the rest of the time. Considering he was facing mostly single-team blocks last year, there’s no doubting how far he’s come. I would love to see what he could do alongside a healthy Po’uha this year, but I’m not sure if that’s ever going to happen.

Finally, Quinton Coples stuffed one run and flushed the quarterback out of the pocket once, but that was the only impact he had. He almost made an impact play in the backfield, but missed the tackle. The good news is that there were only a couple of plays where his blocker got the better of him to take him out of the play. He’s someone else who isn’t being helped by the injuries in the front seven.

Linebackers

While Bart Scott didn’t miss any tackles for the first time this season, he was completely ineffective. Other than a big tackle for a loss in the last minute, Scott only had one tackle and he didn’t register any pressure as a pass rusher. Scott is always at his most effective when he’s attacking the line of scrimmage and he wasn’t doing that last night. This may be because of his toe/foot injury, which is obviously bothering him because Josh Mauga and Demario Davis each saw plenty of time spelling him. The Texans got most of their running yardage by running to Harris’ side and getting blockers to the second level to prevent Scott from getting across. Scott was, however, the only starting linebacker not to be exploited in coverage. As with Po’uha, the Jets need Scott to be healthy and taking on blockers, otherwise it not only affects his own impact on the game, but also put Harris under extra pressure.

Harris had a productive day, with seven stops in the running game. However, he was taken out at the key moment on a couple of big plays, notably Foster’s touchdown and on a screen pass to James Casey. He also got beaten on a key third down conversion.

Thomas performed reasonably well, before leaving with yet another injury. While he was involved in a couple of the big plays in the first half, he did stuff a couple of runs and drew a holding penalty as he stretched a run to the outside. If Thomas is unable to go this weekend, could this be where the Jets finally activate Ricky Sapp from the practice squad? They’ll probably have to release a healthy player to do so and it’s not easy to see who isn’t likely to be needed right now. Maybe Thomas himself could be released and re-signed, like before.

Pace had a couple of pressures and stuffed a couple of runs including a big one on third down. However, he got caught inside on one run and struggled in the passing game, giving up four catches, including one where a receiver got behind him in zone coverage for a costly first down and another where he was handled on a screen pass. He also had a key missed tackle in the first half. He played better this week than he did against the 49ers though.

Demario Davis was in on 11 snaps this week – three as an inside linebacker and eight on the outside. He only rushed the quarterback once and didn’t record a tackle. His best moment saw him force a run back inside on third down to force the Texans to settle for a field goal, but on the negative side of the ledger, he and LaRon Landry got mixed up in zone coverage, leaving Owen Daniels all alone for an easy third and long conversion.

Garrett McIntyre and Aaron Maybin each pressured Schaub once off the bench. While he was blocked out of a couple of key plays, McIntyre did assist on a stop for no gain. Maybin also assisted on a run stuff. Mauga had one key open field tackle as Foster cut back at the second level, but otherwise did not make much noise and now he’s injured as well. This will certainly mean more playing time for Davis, but could it mean Nick Bellore gets a role on defense too?

Defensive Backs

Let’s give Antonio Cromartie a ton of credit. He completely shut out Andre Johnson, even managing to pick a pass off. The Jets did mix in quite a lot of zone which meant that Johnson did manage to catch one pass when Cromartie wasn’t covering and also Cromartie was the nearest guy on three completions, one of which was the Daniels touchdown mentioned above. He continues to do a much better job of using his hands to get a jam in press coverage, almost to the point where you wonder why they ever bother to use him in a zone capacity.

Somehow, Wilson and Ellis Lankster managed to go the whole game without being targeted. A lot of that was a product of the zone defenses the Jets were employing, but after last week where Wilson was tested early and often, it was encouraging to see. Wilson did make a couple of bad plays against the run, whereas Lankster – limited to 15 snaps – made a good hit after a play where Pace gave up a first down. I think Wilson may have been at fault on the 12 men on the field penalty because the Jets went with a 4-4-3 run defense with Wilson out on the next two plays.

Aaron Berry did not get any snaps on defense and Isaiah Trufant hasn’t played on defense since week one.

At safety, Landry seemed to have been at fault on the Daniels touchdown, had the coverage mix-up with Davis and was blocked out of the play that set up Foster’s touchdown. He’s still playing more disciplined than he was at the start of the year though. It was noted that Landry was benched during the middle of the second quarter (on the series after Foster’s touchdown). I can’t really shed any light on why that was, because you couldn’t pin that drive on him.

He and Yeremiah Bell combined for 15 tackles, which is probably not a good thing, because it underlines how often runners were able to get past the front seven. Bell also took a bad angle on the end-around on the first drive and was slow to react on Foster’s big run. He gave up two first downs in coverage, whereas Landry gave up one.

Eric Smith also got beaten for a costly first down, but did break up a pass and was in good position on another. Smith was a guy who, in the past, only seemed to play well when he was in a full-time role, but so far he has responded well to being a sub-package player. Will the Jets be tempted to increase his role at some point? I know most of you would hope not.

Finally, Josh Bush got on the field on defense for the first time and had a pressure on an overload blitz.

Special Teams

Clearly, the star on special teams this week was McKnight, whose spectacular kickoff return really fired up the Jets and got them into the game. He also had one other good return, but there was also one that he muffed and had to fall on inside the 15. Give Reuland and Bellore credit for some good blocks on the touchdown. Reuland had one other good block on special teams too, on Tebow’s fake punt run. Hilliard also blocked well on that play and had three special teams tackles.

In coverage, Trufant committed one penalty and drew another. In his debut, Aaron Berry found himself blocked into Kerley on a punt return, almost causing a muff. Kerley had to fair catch or leave every single punt, so had zero return yards on the day. Cumberland was pancaked on a kick coverage.

Coach Westhoff was under the microscope here, as the Tebow fake punt was a calculated risk, but the onside kick immediately after the McKnight touchdown might have been a step too far. Just one play later, the Texans were back in field goal range, certain to make it a two-possession game. On the play, Schilens perhaps should have come up with the ball, but that catch was harder than it looked, because you could tell he was aware that the ball needed to travel ten yards before he could grab it. He would have been able to go up and get it a lot sooner if that had not been an issue, but he kind of had to wait for it to drop, by which time he was being knocked off balance. Obviously, you’re a genius when that works and look foolish when it fails. At that point of the game, it backfired badly and you’re left to wonder what would have happened if the Jets kicked away and then got a defensive stop.

Those two weren’t the only questionable special teams coaching decisions though. I take issue with going all out for a punt block at the end and leaving Kerley to come up and pick up the gunner to prevent an easy first down. Had Kerley stayed in to fair catch the ball inside the 10, the Jets would have had it at the five yard line with 12 seconds left. By leaving the downfield area empty, the ball was allowed to run to a halt with four seconds to go. While your chances of winning the game from that position are pretty slim, you could run a deep out (or two shorter ones) to get yourself close enough to have a realistic chance of setting up some kind of miracle on the last play. In my opinion, that wasn’t a good job of playing the percentages, there.

Finally, in the kicking game, punter Tom Robert Malone was disappointing, although his numbers ended up being pretty good because of some penalties that helped restrict the Texans to three return yards on six kicks. Nick Folk remains perfect on the year, although he’s only attempted seven field goals all year.

Conclusions

During the week, people were talking about the Jets like they’re never going to win another game. Having gone toe-to-toe with the Texans, even though the better team won, the Jets have hopefully shown that they can still be competitive against anyone. Can they take care of business against weaker teams? We’ll have to wait and see, but there are plenty so-called weaker teams on their schedule over the second half, so maybe this team can remain in contention after all.

There were some positives this week and it will be interesting to see whether these will carry over to next week and beyond. It’s still concerning how many players are getting injured and that’s a problem that didn’t improve at all this week. However, if more young guys can take their opportunity for extra playing time and run with it like Harrison did this week, then perhaps that will give us some hope for the future.

The 49ers game was so bad, that it’s difficult to pinpoint any area where the Jets didn’t improve this week. Let’s hope they keep these things trending in the right direction.

Next up, Indianapolis. The Jets have already seen plenty of bad luck this season…let’s hope they see some bad Luck on Sunday.

Tags: BGA, Editorial Aside, Bent Double

The Jets and Doug Marrone 00:04:06
On Daily News Live, the crew discusses the success of Doug Marrone in Jacksonville, and wonders if the Jets missed the boat with him.

On Daily News Live, the crew discusses the success of Doug Marrone in Jacksonville, and wonders if the Jets missed the boat with him. 


New York Jets quarterback Josh McCown drops back to pass in the second quarter against the New York Jets at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. (Isaiah J. Downing/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets quarterback Josh McCown drops back to pass in the second quarter against the New York Jets at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. (Isaiah J. Downing/USA TODAY Sports)

For well over a year now, the Jets' top priority has been clear: They must find a solution to be their franchise quarterback. After all, it's common knowledge that all the best teams are the ones with settled situations at the quarterback position.

This weekend, however, that narrative was flipped on its head. Matt Ryan lost to Nick Foles, Ben Roethlisberger got beaten by Blake Bortles and then, in dramatic fashion, Case Keenum beat Drew Brees. In all three cases, the team with the established signal-caller was upended by a team led by a relative novice.

They say defense wins championships, and three of the four teams left standing represent the NFL's best defenses. The one exception is in New England, where the Patriots are headed to yet another AFC championship game in spite of a defense that ranks in the bottom five. Even their win this week saw Tom Brady - the ultimate argument against needing a high pick to find your franchise quarterback - leading his team past a former top-two pick in Marcus Mariota.

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 (Kirby Lee)
(Kirby Lee)

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) - The average ticket price for a Jets game is going down.

And for some, the lower price could be available for the 2019 season, too.

More than half of MetLife Stadium's ticket prices will decrease, with the rest of the building remaining flat. No prices will increase for 2018, when the Jets have the Packers, Vikings and Broncos among visiting teams. For fans who meet the renewal deadline of March 1 and enroll in an automatic payment plan, the team will give a price freeze for 2019, when the Steelers, Cowboys and Giants will be visitors for the Jets.

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 (Brian Losness)
(Brian Losness)

In Bleacher Report's latest mock draft, the Jets select Wyoming QB Josh Allen with the sixth overall pick. 

Standing at 6-foot-5, 233 pounds, Allen's arm strength backs up his height and weight. He is also good with his feet as his stature doesn't hinder his mobility. 

Josh McCown may have had a career year with the Jets, but he isn't the long term solution, and neither is Bryce PettyChristian Hackenberg hasn't gotten a shot yet, but the Jets clearly don't see him as NFL ready. Allen could jump into the quarterback race this offseason, and come out on top ready for Week 1. 

Tags: Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg, Josh McCown
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 (Mark J. Rebilas)
(Mark J. Rebilas)

This Friday marked the 50th anniversary of the Jets' Super Bowl II victory over the Balitmore Colts, 16-7, in Miami. 

That championship still stands as the franchise's only Super Bowl win, and the last time the team has made it to the title game. 

"Broadway" Joe Namath led the Jets in the Orange Bowl, and helped New York become the first AFL team to win the Super Bowl. 

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Daily News Live: ASJ on season 00:06:46
Jonas Schwartz sits down with Jets tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins to discuss his thoughts on this past season and look ahead to 2018.

The Jets and tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins will continue contract negotiations after the 25-year-old tight end reportedly rejected a two-year, $8 million deal, according to Newsday's Calvin Watkins.

Seferian-Jenkins said he hopes he and New York could reach a deal before he hits free agency and would "absolutely" want to return.

Tags: Austin Seferian-Jenkins
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Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) throws the ball as New York Giants defensive tackle Jay Bromley (96) chases in the fourth quarter at FedEx Field. (Geoff Burke)
Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) throws the ball as New York Giants defensive tackle Jay Bromley (96) chases in the fourth quarter at FedEx Field. (Geoff Burke)

The Jets will reportedly be interested in quarterback Kirk Cousins when free agency begins in March, according to Newsday's Calvin Watkins.

Cousins, 29, is expected to be a hot commodity in the offseason assuming the Washington Redskins don't franchise tag him for a third straight year. 

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Aug 31, 2017; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears running back Jeremy Langford (33) runs with the ball during the first half of a game against the Cleveland Browns at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports (Kamil Krzaczynski)
Aug 31, 2017; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears running back Jeremy Langford (33) runs with the ball during the first half of a game against the Cleveland Browns at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports (Kamil Krzaczynski)

The Jets signed RB Jeremy Langford to a reserve/future contract, the club announced Wednesday.

Langford, 26, was the Bears' fourth-round pick in the 2015 NFL Draft out of Michigan State University. He appeared in 28 games -- five starts -- in his two seasons with Chicago, rushing for 737 yards and 10 touchdowns. 

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 (Jay Biggerstaff)
(Jay Biggerstaff)

Last week, we discussed the possibility of the Jets targeting Kirk Cousins if he hits the open market.

However, the various pros and cons connected with such a move would become moot if Cousins doesn't hit the open market. A less-attractive alternative more likely to be available is Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith. Could he be someone the Jets are monitoring?

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New York Jets' offensive coordinator John Morton talks to his team during the team's organized team activities at its NFL football training facility, Tuesday, May 23, 2017, in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (Julio Cortez/AP)
New York Jets' offensive coordinator John Morton talks to his team during the team's organized team activities at its NFL football training facility, Tuesday, May 23, 2017, in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (Julio Cortez/AP)

Jets offensive coordinator John Morton will remain with the team amid speculation that he was being considered for the Raiders' offensive coordinator job. 

 

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Rashard Robinson (Geoff Burke)
Rashard Robinson (Geoff Burke)

Jets CB Rashard Robinson was arrested in December after police found him in possession of edible marijuana, according to the Associated Press.

 

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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

With the offseason ahead, one position on which some people may be divided is the Jets' receiving corps. Do the Jets need to upgrade, merely add some depth or are they essentially set at the position?

During the offseason last year, the Jets' receiving corps was ranked as the worst in the NFL - and this was before Eric Decker was released and Quincy Enunwa and Quinton Patton suffered season-ending injuries.

However, once the season got underway, the Jets fared better than expected in the passing game, making it difficult to know how they'll approach this position with so many other needs.

Tags: ArDarius Stewart, Brandon Marshall, Chad Hansen, Eric Decker, Quincy Enunwa, Robby Anderson
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Daily News Live: ASJ on season 00:06:46
Jonas Schwartz sits down with Jets tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins to discuss his thoughts on this past season and look ahead to 2018.

Jets TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins had his career revitalized this season, which is why he wants to stay with the team that gave him his second chance. 

The Jets took a shot on Seferian-Jenkins, who was caught up in off-the-field drama before he joined the team. He repayed them with his best year in the NFL, and he wants to continue being an asset in their offensive scheme. He is currently a restricted free agent with the Jets being the only team allowed to negotiate his terms. 

Seferian-Jenkins is hoping he gets a deal done with the Jets, and doesn't have to start contacting other teams.

Tags: Austin Seferian-Jenkins
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 (Ron Chenoy)
(Ron Chenoy)

In The Post's latest mock draft, the Jets select Wyoming's Josh Allen with the No. 6 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. 

The Jets have yet to see Christian Hackenberg on the field, and Bryce Petty wasn't the answer after Josh McCown went down with a season-ending injury. In turn, the Jets take Allen -- a 6-foot-5, 233 pounder who can let it fly. For his size, Allen is extremely mobile as well.

Allen didn't have the best of seasons with the Cowboys as he battled injuries. He finished with just 1,812 yards, a 56.3 completion percentage, 16 touchdowns and six interceptions. But in his sophomore season, Allen totaled 3,203 yards, 28 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. 

Allen would be another quarterback to add to the Jets' competition this offseason. The Jets have not made it clear whether or not McCown will return for another season in Green and White, which is why Allen enters the mix to vie for the starting role. 

Tags: Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg, Josh McCown
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Jonas Schwartz and Willie Colon are back for the final episode of the season as the guys welcome WFAN radio personality and huge Jets fan Joe Benigno to the show for his take on the 2017 Jets. It gets heated as Colon and Benigno debate the warrants of Todd Bowles' coaching ability, and if he deserved to be retained after another losing season.

Click below to listen

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Nov 29, 2015; Landover, MD, USA; Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) looks over the line of scrimmage against the New York Giants during the second half at FedEx Field. The Redskins won 20-14. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Mills)
Nov 29, 2015; Landover, MD, USA; Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) looks over the line of scrimmage against the New York Giants during the second half at FedEx Field. The Redskins won 20-14. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Mills)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter: Plenty of attention this year has been on the Jets positioning themselves to potentially select their quarterback of the future in the draft. With the sixth pick in hand and the consensus top five QB prospects all having thrown their name into the hat for April's draft, they seem to be well-placed to make this happen. However, could another viable option soon become available?

It's rare for a top quarterback to hit the open market, but it's not impossible that it could happen with Kirk Cousins. Washington currently controls his rights, but they'll have to decide whether to franchise him again, sign him to a long-term deal or let him hit the open market.

While the latter of those options might seem the least likely for a player who was third in the league in passing yards in 2016, his numbers regressed this year and the team ended up with a losing record. So far, in three years as a full-time starter, Cousins has started just one postseason game -- a 17-point loss to the Packers 12 months ago...

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New York Jets quarterback Bryce Petty prepares to take the snap against the Los Angeles Chargers during an NFL football game at MetLife Stadium. (Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets quarterback Bryce Petty prepares to take the snap against the Los Angeles Chargers during an NFL football game at MetLife Stadium. (Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports)

Jets quarterback Bryce Petty said he hopes he returns to New York during the offseason despite the odds he wouldn't be the starting quarterback in 2018.

"I try not to put too much thought into things that I can't control," Petty said, according to the New York Daily News' Daniel Popper. "Hopefully it's here. I want to be here. But if it's not, that's okay too. It's a business. Everybody understands that."

Petty, who went 0-3 in the final three games of the season as Josh McCown's replacement, will be entering the final year of his four-year rookie deal and would have a cap hit of $843,425 next season. 

Tags: Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg, Josh McCown
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Nov 20, 2016; Santa Clara, CA, USA; New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick on the sideline during the fourth quarter against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi's Stadium. The New England Patriots defeated the San Francisco 49ers 30-17. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports (Kelley L Cox)
Nov 20, 2016; Santa Clara, CA, USA; New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick on the sideline during the fourth quarter against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi's Stadium. The New England Patriots defeated the San Francisco 49ers 30-17. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports (Kelley L Cox)

Eighteen years ago today, January 4, Bill Belichick resigned from his one day stint as head coach of the Jets. Before January closed that year, Belichick took the head coaching job with the Patriots. There still has been no resignation, nor firing, from that job. 

Belichick and the Patriots have been the NFL's pillar of excellence in his tenure in New England. Belichick and Tom Brady, taken in Belichick's first draft a few months later, have won five Super Bowls together and appeared in seven. 

The Jets, meanwhile, have two AFC Championship appearances to point to in that time span. 

Oh, what could have been. 

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Sep 23, 2017; Tallahassee, FL, USA; Florida State Seminoles cornerback Derwin James (3) reacts during the second half against North Carolina State Wolfpack at Doak Campbell Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports (Melina Vastola)
Sep 23, 2017; Tallahassee, FL, USA; Florida State Seminoles cornerback Derwin James (3) reacts during the second half against North Carolina State Wolfpack at Doak Campbell Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports (Melina Vastola)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

Now that the season is over, the Jets find themselves in a familiar spot with the opportunity to add a difference-maker in the draft. With the standings finalized, the Jets now know that they'll be picking sixth for the third time in the last four years as general manager Mike Maccagnan has been presented with a golden opportunity to find some cornerstone pieces to build a young nucleus.

Priority number one remains the same: The team must find a franchise quarterback. This year's class initially looked like a strong one with USC's Sam Darnold, UCLA's Josh Rosen and Josh Allen of Wyoming headlining the class. Over the course of the season, though, apparent weaknesses for each of the top three prospects' were laid bare. 

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GEICO SportsNite: Mike Maccagnan 00:02:01
SNY's Jeane Coakley catches up with Jets GM Mike Maccagnan to discuss how he intends to approach free agency in the offseason.

Nov 18, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Southern California Trojans quarterback Sam Darnold (right) and UCLA Bruins quarterback Josh Rosen (3) shake hands after their game at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports (Kelvin Kuo)
Nov 18, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Southern California Trojans quarterback Sam Darnold (right) and UCLA Bruins quarterback Josh Rosen (3) shake hands after their game at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports (Kelvin Kuo)

Quarterbacks Josh Rosen of UCLA and Sam Darnold of USC declared themselves eligible for the 2018 NFL Draft on Wednesday.

The duo are considered the two best collegiate QBs in the draft and are expected to be the first two quarterbacks taken, perhaps with the top two picks by the Cleveland Browns and Giants, who draft 1-2.

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Nov 2, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan on the sidelines before a game against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Nov 2, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan on the sidelines before a game against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Although the NFL Draft is still more than three months away, Jets GM Mike Maccagnan has already begun contemplating what he'll do on April 26 at AT&T Stadium in Dallas, Texas. That may include moving up from the Jets' current spot of No. 6 overall.

"Yeah, I would say it would actually pertain to any player you felt extremely strong about, too," Maccagnan said on ESPN Radio Wednesday. "But we've moved back a little bit in the draft and there have been situations I've tried to move up in the draft. But I would say the simple answer to that question is 'yes' and if that was a player we felt very strongly about, we would have no qualms about potentially trying to go and get him."

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New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) looks to pass during the first half of a preseason NFL football game against the New York Giants Saturday, Aug. 26, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (Julio Cortez/AP)
New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) looks to pass during the first half of a preseason NFL football game against the New York Giants Saturday, Aug. 26, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (Julio Cortez/AP)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

The end-of-season press conferences earlier this week predictably contained a lot of platitudes about Christian Hackenberg. A common refrain was that the book on Hackenberg is not closed and that the team still considers him to have shown improvement toward realizing his potential.

There is understandable skepticism as to whether the Jets still believe Hackenberg has a future, with some believing the team is reluctant to admit they made a mistake when they drafted the 22-year old with the 50th overall pick two years ago. Jets fans are even more skeptical, with Hackenberg seen as an object of ridicule in some circles...

Tags: Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg, Josh McCown
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GEICO SportsNite: Jets 00:02:13
Jeane Coakley chats with Jets owner Christopher Johnson, who discusses how pleased he was with the team during his first season as owner.

Jets owner Christopher Johnson, who is running the team while his brother, Woody, is serving as the United States Ambassador to the United Kingdom, spoke with SNY on Tuesday about his first year at the helm. 

"This is -- and I didn't realize this going in -- this is the best job in the world," Johnson said. "It's be the most extraordinary stretch of my life."

Johnson said it was his decision alone to extend the contracts of head coach Todd Bowles and GM Mike Maccagnan, who are now under contract through 2020.

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 (Tommy Gilligan)
(Tommy Gilligan)

The Jets will select SMU WR Courtland Sutton with the No. 6 pick in the upcoming NFL Draft, predicts the Sporting News in their first Mock Draft of 2018.

The Mock, by Eric Galko, has the Broncos selecting Washington DT Vita Vea with the No. 5 pick, and the Bucs taking NC State DE Bradley Chubb with the No. 7 pick.

"The Jets are in play for Baker Mayfield and are one of the teams that could covet Lamar Jackson early in the draft," Galko writes. "But outside of quarterback, they need to upgrade at receiver. Adding Sutton to pair with Robby Anderson should make for an easier job for Josh McCown and/or their quarterback of the future."

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What is the Jets' future? 00:05:55
The DNL panel discusses how Todd Bowles and Mike Maccagnan will move toward their ideal vision for the Jets after a surprising 2017.

Jets owner Christopher Johnson said the progress he saw from the team this season played a part in offering two-year extensions to head coach Todd Bowles and GM Mike Maccagnan.

Johnson added that the decision to extend Bowles -- which he made earlier this season -- and Maccagnan was his, and that he didn't run it by his brother, Woody. 

"I did see progress," Johnson said. "I was more than happy to extend both Mike and Todd. ...I like the idea of some stability and going from year to year doesn't seem right."

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Maccagnan on Hack and cap 00:01:32
New York Jets GM Mike Maccagnan talks about the future of QB Christian Hackenberg and the team's plans for NFL free agency.

Jets GM Mike Maccagnan said on Tuesday that he's "excited" about the amount of salary cap space the team has to spend this offseason, suggesting they plan to be very active.

The Jets went 5-11 this year for a second-straight season, but Maccagnan and head coach Todd Bowles -- who have been overseeing the rebuild -- were rewarded with two-year contract extensions that run through 2020.

However, Maccagnan is not yet setting high expectations for 2018.

Tags: Christian Hackenberg
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Jan 1, 2018; Pasadena, CA, USA; Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) passes against the Georgia Bulldogs in the first quarter in the 2018 Rose Bowl college football playoff semifinal game at Rose Bowl Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)
Jan 1, 2018; Pasadena, CA, USA; Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) passes against the Georgia Bulldogs in the first quarter in the 2018 Rose Bowl college football playoff semifinal game at Rose Bowl Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)

The Jets, who finished the season 5-11, will have the No. 6 pick in the upcoming NFL Draft, which begins on April 28 at  AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

New York is slated to pick after the Broncos and before the Buccaneers.

The Draft is expected to be quarterback-rich, with Sam Darnold (USC), Josh Rosen (UCLA), Josh Allen (Wyoming), and Baker Mayfield (Oklahoma) among the players who could be available.

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New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles talks to reporters after an NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers, Sunday, Nov. 26, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. The Panthers won 35-27. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun) (Bill Kostroun/AP)
New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles talks to reporters after an NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers, Sunday, Nov. 26, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. The Panthers won 35-27. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun) (Bill Kostroun/AP)

Jets head coach Todd Bowles addressed his team for the final time this season on Monday, and his message was simple: No excuses. 

"It's just a no-excuse business," Bowles told The Post's Brian Costello. "You win games or you don't. It's not 5-11, but you played a couple of games close. It's not so-and-so got hurt or so-and-so wasn't here. You win in spite of, and that's the only thing I was trying to convey going into the offseason."

The Jets exceeded expectations this year, as many wrote them off to do what the Browns did this season and go 0-16. However, 5-11 was the Jets' actual record, and though it appeared the players liked that outcome, WR Jermaine Kearse says that's not the case. 

Tags: Kelvin Beachum
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 (Brian Fluharty)
(Brian Fluharty)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

The Patriots predictably disposed of the Jets effortlessly in the season finale, winning 26-6. From the Jets' perspective, the game was fairly meaningless, and they used it to get another look at some of the players whose future roles with the team are uncertain.

Let's break down the offensive performance from Sunday's game...

Tags: ArDarius Stewart, Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Ben Ijalana, Bilal Powell, Brandon Shell, Brent Qvale, Brian Winters, Chad Hansen, Christian Hackenberg, Dakota Dozier, Elijah McGuire, James Carpenter, Kelvin Beachum, Matt Forte, Robby Anderson, Wesley Johnson
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