In 2012, the Jaguars went 2-14 with an offense centered around Blaine Gabbert/Chad Henne, Maurice Jones-Drew, Cecil Shorts, and Justin Blackmon. Since then, the team has been rebuilt, and gotten better and younger. Among offensive players, only Marcedes Lewis was on the team during each of the last four years. I’ll have more on the Jaguars tomorrow, but given the way the Jets have moved from young and bad to old and good, I think that’s the more interesting team to analyze today.
Here’s how to read the table below. In 2012, the Jets offense had an age-adjusted AV of 26.9; that dropped to 26.4 in 2013, then rose to 27.5 in 2014 and up to a league-high 29.2 last season. That’s an average of 27.5, but more interesting (to me) is the variance of 1.1 years.
Here’s a closer look at how the Jets offense has changed over that period:
|QB||Mark Sanchez (26)||Geno Smith (23)||Geno Smith (24)||Ryan Fitzpatrick (33)|
|RB||Shonn Greene (27)||Bilal Powell (25)||Chris Ivory (26)||Chris Ivory (27)|
|WR||Jeremy Kerley (24)||Jeremy Kerley (25)||Eric Decker (27)||Brandon Marshall (31)|
|WR||Chaz Schilens (27)||Stephen Hill (22)||Jeremy Kerley (26)||Eric Decker (28)|
|Flex||Stephen Hill (21)||David Nelson (27)||Jace Amaro (22)||Quincy Enunwa (23)|
|TE||Jeff Cumberland (25)||Jeff Cumberland (26)||Jeff Cumberland (27)||Kellen Davis (30)|
|LT||D'Brickashaw Ferguson (29)||D'Brickashaw Ferguson (30)||D'Brickashaw Ferguson (31)||D'Brickashaw Ferguson (32)|
|LG||Matt Slauson (26)||Brian Winters (22)||James Carpenter (25)||James Carpenter (26)|
|C||Nick Mangold (28)||Nick Mangold (29)||Nick Mangold (30)||Nick Mangold (31)|
|RG||Brandon Moore (32)||Willie Colon (30)||Willie Colon (31)||Brian Winters (24)|
|RT||Austin Howard (25)||Austin Howard (26)||Breno Giacomini (29)||Breno Giacomini (30)|
The 2012 Jets featured a lot of homegrown players: Sanchez, Greene, Kerley, and Hill were drafted in ’09, ’09, ’11, and ’12. Meanwhile, on the offensive line, Mangold and Ferguson were in their primes after being drafted in ’06, while Slauson and Howard were homegrownish1, too. But New York let both players leave, while Sanchez, Greene, and Hill all failed to live up to expectations (to varying degrees and in varying ways).
The 2015 Jets had a very good offense, but in a pretty weird way. None of the top 7 players on offense were drafted by the Jets in the previous 9 drafts. They acquired Fitzpatrick, Marshall, and Ivory via trade, Mangold/Ferguson in ’06, and Decker and Giacomini via free agency. You could make the argument that Carpenter was the 8th most important player on the Jets offense, and he was picked up in free agency, too. The Jets have used seven consecutive first round picks on defensive players, and that’s part of the issue, but New York has badly missed on the other picks used on offensive players over the last decade. At that point, the only way to have a good offense is to have an old offense, which is precisely what the Jets had last year.
- Howard was an UDFA who signed with Oakland, but came to the Jets at 25 with one start under his belt. [↩]