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Al Pattison

NY Jets 2016 Predictions

As a life-long fan of the New York Jets, I have been conditioned to approach each new NFL season with 10 percent optimism and 90 percent apprehension about the inevitable suffering that will almost definitely come to pass. Year after year of watching optimism turn into horror will do that to a person.  We don’t go into this season like Giants fans, who have had too much success in recent years.

As the 2016 season draws ever closer, those feelings are once again beginning to rear their heads. Sure, Gang Green was 10-6 last season. Sure, they were once again knocking on the door of the playoffs. They were just one win away from a wild-card berth, and once again, the Jets found a way to blow it. Any Jets fan, let alone any football fan can look at the Jets roster in its current state and sense the same impending doom that has plagued them year after year.

Vegas has released their futures odds for the 2016 season.  The Jets are 50/1 to win the Super Bowl.  They are 25/1 to win the AFC.  They only have the third best odds to win the AFC East, and they are projected for eight wins.

As far as the offense goes, it appears that the Jets will once again be stuck with a sub-par quarterback. Even though Ryan Fitzpatrick threw for a franchise record 31 touchdowns in 2015, the front office has found a way to insult him by offering him less money than quarterbacks like Brock Osweiler. To show how insulted he is, Fitzpatrick refuses to sign a new deal with New York until they pay him what he feels he deserves.

This means that Geno Smith stands to once again be under center as the Jets starting quarterback. This is the same Geno Smith who has looked more or less like a lost puppy than an NFL caliber starting quarterback in what we’ve seen of him so far. The same Geno Smith who was punched by a teammate in a dispute over $600. As it stands right now, the Jets need to do whatever they can to bring Fitzpatrick back. If they don’t, Jets fans everywhere will be doomed to once again watch Geno run 20 yards in the wrong direction on 3rd and 5.

On a more optimistic note, the recent free agent signing of prolific running back Matt Forte could help to offset the sub-par quarterback play of Geno Smith. The Jets also traded for offensive tackle Ryan Clady, who should help their running game exponentially.

If Forte can stay healthy (injury problems have plagued him lately,) the 10 percent optimism I normally feel could increase to 20 percent. Forte has grown older, but in his prime he was one of the most dangerous offensive weapons in the NFL. Even if Forte can bring a fraction of that magic with him to New York, that would be more than a start.

As far as the defense is concerned, everyone will have to wait and see how first round pick Darron Lee will perform in the pros. The outside linebacker from Ohio State University was one of the fastest players available in the draft, and he shoud provide a nice complement to longtime Jets linebacker David Harris.

In the secondary, Darelle Revis will return for another season. While he’s not the All Pro corner he once was, Revis is still one of the better defensive players in the league. With Sheldon Richardson and Mohammed Wilkerson on the defensive line pressuring quarterbacks, Revis should be able to use his high football IQ to make life miserable for his opponents.

While the Jets quarterback dilemma still leaves me with that unshakable feeling of foreboding, I can’t help but feel like the Jets once again have a shot at the playoffs this year. The Jets don’t appear to be the best team in the league by any stretch, but they also definitely aren’t the worst.

New York Giants Season Predictions

The New York Giants ended up with a 6-10 record for 2015 and few see the team as one that is barely able to compete for the playoffs, much less a Super Bowl. There is a lot of hope for the 2016 season and there is always a team that surprises each year. The Giants have as good a chance as any to do so. First, lets explore what went wrong during the 2015 campaign and whether the Giants seem capable of turning it around in 2016.  I do like our chances more than the Jets.

What Went Wrong in 2015

While it is never a good idea to blame a losing season on bad luck or injuries as all teams face injuries, the amount of injuries that the Giants have suffered in recent years has been daunting to say the least. The Giants have had the most injured team, measured by the number of lost starters, for the past three seasons. This is difficult for any team to cover up and bounce back from.

All were not true football injuries either as the Giants lost Jason Pierre-Paul to a fireworks accident for much of the season though he eventually returned to the team and gave a weak defense a real spark. Victor Cruz did not return to the team after a torn ACL in 2014 and suffered continued hamstring problems. Will Beatty, their left tackle, injured his bicep in a weight training accident and missed the full season, and three safeties all missed the entire season on IR.

The net result of this was an anemic defense that was unable to generate pressure on opposing quarterbacks and a cornerback group that, while talented, was exposed to the long pass play without a pass rush.

Hope for 2016

Whether the string of injuries was karmic retribution for Tom Coughlin’s infamous comments about injuries being mental and a cancer, the team is unable to have the same bad luck in the future. While this will have a positive impact on a beleagured defense, there are other factors that should help to turn around their defense.

Several of the major factors that could turn around the 2016 campaign are:

– Major free agency dollars spent on shoring up the defensive line and the backfield. The Giants signed defensive end Oliver Vernon from the Miami Dolphins who seems to be ready for a breakout year, run stuffing defensive tackle Damon Harrison, and Janoris Jenkins a playmaking corner back who replaces the injury prone Prince Amukamara.

– The anticipated return of Victor Cruz, the continued improvement of health of Jason Pierre-Paul, and the trio of safeties lost in 2016.  It might not be the best team ever, but they could be good.

– The Giants are in a weak division which was open to the team to catch up with the Eagles, Redskins, and Cowboys. If the Giants nail down their division they can become hot in the playoffs and could contend for a Super Bowl like in 2007 and 2011.

– The continued emergence of young offensive stars like Odell Becham, Richberg, and Flowers who give the Giants a solid offensive core to pair with Manning for his twilight years

– Fresh coaching ideas in Ben McAdoo who successfully implemented a West Coast Offense that has Eli Manning’s stats being near the top of his career.


Given the unrest in the rest of the NFC East, we can see the Giants getting hot and running the division with a 10 and 6 record. Once the Giants are in the playoffs they can get hot and try and recapture the magic from earlier years. If the rookies of Eli Apple (CB), Sterling Shepard (WR) and BJ Goodson (LB) capture contribute you are looking at a deep team that can surprise significantly. Look out for the right side of the offensive line to spell trouble however.

Best New York Giants Teams of All-Time

Most sports fans have a favorite team. But, for those who step each season into the cold of Giant Stadium, a few of our teams have surpassed expectations. These teams broke away from the pack throughout the years. First, a few famous New York Giant players:

1. Frank Gifford
2. Michael Strahan
3. Eli Manning
4. Andy Robustelli
5. Josh Brown
6. Lawrence Taylor
7. Phil Simms

Only one of them play for this year’s team, which is why we aren’t that optimistic.  Maybe someone unknown will step up though.

The 1958 game between the New York Giants and the Colts “went down in history”. The game went into sudden death play. The New York Giants had a host of heroes playing on the field: HB, Flanker Frank Gifford, and OT Roosevelt Brown. The team graduated into history and still going strong with one of the greatest coaching staffs in American football history, with Vince Lombardi and Tom Landry.

Although the 1958 game against the Baltimore Colts was a loss, leaving New York with a 17 to 23 point defeat, this game showed the world what the New York Giants were made of, “a will of solid steel”. The effort put into the 1958 game, is difficult to match. This game helped define what real football was all about.

Sports star Myles White, pushing the “Giants” to greater heights, made touchdowns and long plays. Players like RB Rashad Jennings streaked down the field for long yardage, moving the “Giants” closer to the legend, they would become. From this game, 17 players made it to the football hall of fame.

The New York Giants have a long list of great players who have shown skills, far above average. Nevertheless, the 1986 and 1990 teams had to rank among the best, with “Super Bowl wins. Defeating Denver in Super Bowl XXII and in 1990, they challenged Buffalo in Super Bowl XXV and won 19-20. Listed among these team members are QB Phil Simms, LB Lawrence Taylor, NT Jim Burt, TE Mark Bravado, RB Joe Morris, T Brad Benson, LB Harry Carson are among notables. The 1990 Super Bowl set a list of precedents:

– Giants set record, retaining possession of the football for 40 minutes, 33 seconds
– Giants overcame a 12–3 second-quarter deficit
– 75-yard touchdown
– RB Ottis Anderson, carried football 21 times, gaining, 102 yards
– Ottis Anderson named MVP
– Ottis Anderson received “Pete Roselle Trophy”
– First Super Bowl with two teams from same state

The Giants gave the New England Patriots a wake up call in the 2008 XLII Super Bowl by annihilating an undefeated record with a 17-14 win. The two forces of football grandeur would meet again for a classic battle for Super Bowl, XLVI; the New York Giants would once again reign, victorious. This force of football greatness eliminated team after team in some of the best New York Giants teams of all-time.

The Jets also have had some great teams, but not nearly as many Super Bowl champions.  I’d take our franchise over theirs any day of the week.

Best New York Jets Teams of All-Time

The New York Jets are a franchise with a long and storied history. While most seasons inevitably end in heartbreak for the Jets and their fans, some Jets teams have taken us on unforgettable rides that Jets fans will remember fondly for the rest of their lives. Can this year’s team make the list?  Probably not but who knows.  Here are the best New York Jets teams of all time.


This team defined everything about what it means to play Jets football. From the smash-mouth, run it down your throat rushing attack to the hard hitting, stifling defense, the 2009 Jets were an absolute blast to watch. The rise of Darelle Revis as the game’s premier cornerback began with this team. Revis consistently rendered every opponent’s number one receiver irrelevant. The tandem power running of Thomas Jones and Shonn Green wore down opposing defenses. Unfortunately for this squad, inconsistent play from rookie quarterback Mark Sanchez would lead to a loss at the hands of the Colts in the AFC Championship game.


Much of the 2009 team remained intact for the 2010 season. They key roster change came in the form of replacing Thomas Jones with one of the greatest running backs to ever play the game, LaDainian Tomlinson. Tomlinson shared the load with Shonn Green as they combined for over 1,600 rushing yards on the season. Despite Darelle Revis being injured for much of the season, other Jets defenders like linebacker corps David Harris and Bart Scott shut down opposing teams week after week. After winning a thrilling divisional playoff game against rival New England, the Jets went on to lose a heartbreaking AFC Championship game to the Pittsburgh Steelers.


This Jets team holds a place in my heart as my personal favorite. This team had Curtis Martin, the best player to ever suit up for Gang Green in my opinion. It had Keyshawn Johnson, one of the most explosive receivers in the league at the time. Working in tandem with wide receiver Wayne Chrebet, the two managed to amass over 2,200 yards receiving combined. This was the result of veteran quarterback Vinny Testaverde’s calm, composed play. The 1998 Jets would eventually lose the AFC Championship Game to the eventual Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos.


You may have noticed something in common with the last three Jets teams on the list. If you did, you noticed that each of those teams lost in the AFC Championship Game. Each team fell just one game short of the Super Bowl, and that is what separates the 1968 New York Jets from every other team before or after. This team was the only Jets team to not only make the Super Bowl but win it. We are still well behind the Giants.  Led by hall of fame quarterback Joe Namath, the 1968 Jets would go on to defeat the Baltimore Colts 16-7 to win the only Super Bowl in Jets franchise history.