It doesn't take much to get fans nervous, and the mysterious hip issue that kept Brandon Marshall out of the lineup. That doesn't appear serious, but it was a reminder that the Jets offense - while potent - is really reliant on Marshall and Eric Decker being available (and good).
There are other weapons, of course. Matt Forte looked terrific on Saturday night in his Jets debut, but he's a 30-year-old running back coming off a hamstring issue, which is reason to worry. Tight end Jace Amaro is still banged up and still hasn't developed into what he was expected to be. And Quincy Enunwa, the third receiver, has been out with a concussion.
The Jets offense will likely be fine, though. It certainly isn't experiencing the issues the Giants are dealing with on the other side of town. Maybe that's why Jets fans have bigger questions about other parts of the roster.
So with that, let's get right to the Jets Q&A.
What's the perceptions/expectations for the Jets through the first 6 games of the year? Seems to be toughest schedule -- @sammydipro
The Jets' schedule, through the first six games, is absolutely brutal. All six teams should be playoff contenders and three or four of them could be considered legitimate Super Bowl contenders. And of those six games - vs. the Bengals, at the Bills, at the Chiefs, vs. the Seahawks, at the Steelers, at the Cardinals - is probably the game in Buffalo in Week 2, but that one is a Thursday night road game so they get a dreaded short week to prepare.
I really like this Jets team and I think there's no reason they can't win 9 or 10 games and compete for a playoff spot. But really, it's all depending on how they survive the opening gauntlet, which by the way includes four games on the road. And really, the first four games might be the most important because if they're 1-3 heading into the last two, at Pittsburgh and at Arizona, they could be on the verge of digging themselves a really big hole.
But all of that is really more of the perception. What is the expectation? For me, I think they'll survive, but not thrive. I believe they'll come out of that stretch 3-3 which will leave them in good position to make a run at a 10-win season. I hate going game by game and predicting wins and losses in the preseason because so much changes from week to week, but the first two games (vs. the Bengals, at Buffalo) certainly seem winnable and then I'll assume they can steal one of the next four.
The good news is that even if they start 2-4 their season is far from over. But remember, they'll still have two games against the Patriots - and Tom Brady - left.
Geno to the Vikings for a conditional late-round pick? Petty bumped up to our #2 and Hack #3. Thoughts? -- @ganggreen82
Normally I just laugh at trade proposals on Twitter, and I'm not suggesting at all that this is likely, but it's far from the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard. Obviously the Vikings were just dealt a terrible blow with the devastating knee injury suffered by their quarterback, Teddy Bridgewater, on Tuesday. Their back up is the 36-year-old Shaun Hill, and while he's not a great option he's certainly a better option than bringing in someone who doesn't know the offense 11 days before the season.
Still, they might want a better option for later in the year so if the Jets have at all soured on Geno Smith they should give the Vikings a call. Now, I don't think the Jets have soured on him. I think they believe he's their best No. 2 option. I also think that, while people around the league like Smith a lot more than Jets fans seem to like him, there are better options for the Vikings. Colin Kaepernick might be available, for one. Or maybe Josh McCown from the Browns or Mike Glennon from the Bucs could be better options.
So it's unlikely. But it's also clear to me that Smith, a free agent after the season, is not in the Jets' future plans. Petty probably isn't ready to play, and that puts the Jets in a tough spot since they think they can make the playoffs and need a viable backup in case Fitzpatrick goes down. But if they think Petty is more ready than everyone else does, it's worth a call to Minnesota to see how much the Vikings would be prepared to give up.
Do you think we bring in another vet WR to compete? Cotchery, Cooper, J Jones? -- @TMinardi_NYG
OK, for the purposes of this question, let's assume Brandon Marshall is going to be healthy and ready for the regular season opener. Because honestly, at the moment, I'm not sure we know that. When he mysteriously was out of the lineup for the Giants game on Saturday night the Jets first said he was just resting, and then came word of his "hip" issue. He hasn't practiced since and likely won't play on Thursday night in Philadelphia and the Jets really haven't said much about Marshall's injury. When asked if there was any concern about it, Bowles said "No there isn't." So I guess, for now, take him at his word.
So if you've got a healthy Marshall and Eric Decker and a presumably healthy Quincy Enunwa in his third receiver-like role, I don't know that the Jets want a veteran. They've got a lot of young receivers they seem to really like, including rookies Jalin Marshall, Robby Anderson and Charone Peake. I think they're OK with guys like that filling out the depth chart.
Also, Jerricho Cotchery (34) and James Jones (32) are getting a little old, and I don't know that Riley Cooper would be much of an upgrade. If Marshall or Enunwa are hurt then anything is possible, but if you assume they're all healthy I think the Jets are good with what they've got.
I am concerned about the offensive line, based on what you see, should I be? Do we need to look elsewhere?? -- @bigghugg1970
It's funny, I get similar questions - albeit with much more of a panicky tone - from Giants fans, and the answer to the second part is the same: There's really nowhere else to look. Teams are not likely to be cutting healthy, affordable, starting-caliber lineman at this stage of camp. Even quality backups are going to be very hard to find.
That said, I wouldn't worry about their line just yet. I actually like the line from center-left - center Nick Mangold, left guard James Carpenter, left tackle Ryan Clady. I think Brian Winters can be OK at right guard, too. I'm not sure yet what to make of the battle between Ben Ijalana and Brent Qvale for the right tackle spot, especially since it sure sounded last week like starter Breno Giacomini (back) was headed for the regular-season Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list. That might be the weak spot and the Jets have said they'll keep their eyes open for an upgrade.
But again, look where? Guys that are cut now are either done or have injury issues. If they were ready to start they wouldn't find themselves on the waiver wire. There are always exceptions, of course, and maybe the Jets will get lucky. But most likely, as with the Giants' line, what you see is what you'll likely get.
Thoughts on the Jets secondary .. is this a better unit than 15? -- @realsportsporn
The answer to that is probably the answer to this: Is Darrelle Revis going to look more like the old Darrelle Revis this year?
Because really, the secondary is mostly the same, with the exception of Buster Skrine replacing Antonio Cromartie. The younger Skrine getting more playing time is a good thing for the secondary and it should automatically improve them. But there are a lot of scouts and observers who think Revis had a down year last year (down for him, of course … still pretty good for a lot of other corners).
If he's even close to his old self, at age 31, then yes, the secondary should be better. Also, the defensive front has looked impressive and a great pass rush does wonders for a secondary, too. But the key is Revis and despite what some think happened last year I have seen nothing that leads me to believe he's on a big decline at all.
Oh, and don't forget to bookmark SNY.tv/Jets for all the Jets coverage you'll need this season. Also, you should follow me on Twitter (@RVacchianoSNY) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/RalphVacchianoSNY), too.