The answer as to who should win the Jets quarterback competition is obvious, right?

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What would be an NFL preseason be without the New York Jets holding a quarterback competition? Well, that’s underway again between Josh McCown, Christian Hackenberg, and Bryce Petty with fans not showing much confidence in any of them. The Jets … Continue reading

Ryan Fitzpatrick’s small legacy with the Jets

What a difference a year makes for the Jets. At this time last year, many fans just wanted them to resign Ryan Fitzpatrick, who surprisingly led the Jets just 1 win shy of a playoff berth, leading the team to a 10-6 record. The team was full of older players including Brandon Marshall and Darrelle Revis, and the feeling was to resign Fitzpatrick with the hopes of making a deep playoff run in 2016.

During the 2015 season, Ryan Fitzpatrick set the Jets single season record for touchdown passes in a season (31), so it seemed critical for the team to resign him. The Jets realistically have not had a consistent franchise quarterback since Joe Namath. The hope with Ryan Fitzpatrick was that he would win games with dangerous weapons around him and a tough defense. Well, 2016 was nothing but a disaster for the team, and to conclude, Ryan Fitzpatrick is now a backup quarterback for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers here in 2017.

But, 2015 was just another tease for Jets fans. A year where there was little expectations, but the results were off the charts to the passionate fan. Geno Smith was supposed to be the 2015 starting quarterback, but that fell apart when IK Enemkpali, a teammate to Smith, punched him in the face and broke his jaw. In comes a career journeymen who has always been that bridge quarterback. Never the guy that a team felt would be their longterm answer, but a guy who could win a game if needed. So, Jets fans had low hopes.

Move forward to December 27th, 2016. The Jets were taking on the Patriots, who always seem to be in the way. At the time, the Jets were 9-5, and in contention for a Wild Card spot, surprisingly to many Jets fans. A battle back and forth, the game went to overtime with the score tied 20-20. After the Patriots decided to defer and let the Jets receive for whatever reason, the Jets would get the ball first. That’s all Ryan Fitzpatrick needed. The drive got going when Fitzpatrick hit Quincy Enunwa for a 48 yard reception. After, a 20 yard reception by Brandon Marshall, Fitzpatrick hit Eric Decker in the endzone for the game winner. The Meadowlands (which I happened to be at that day), was rocking. As that happened, the Pittsburgh Steelers had lost to the Baltimore Ravens, which meant the Jets passed them for the final wild card spot. It was arguably Ryan Fitzpatrick’s best and most clutch game as a Jet, and maybe his career. He finished with 296 yards passing and 3 touchdown passes, a signature win what Jet fans would hope to be a memorable year.

The team then went into Buffalo to face the Bills led by former head coach Rex Ryan, in a win and they’re in game. The Jets were riding a 5 game win streak, but in typical Jets fashion, they laid an egg, and lost the game 22-17. The Steelers won their game, and passed the Jets for the final wild card spot. A frustrating end to what could have been one of the most surprising and exciting Jets seasons of all time.

Many Jets fans will remember 2016 for how poorly Ryan Fitzpatrick preformed. A disappointing season, the team is now in total rebuild mode, and is in contention to get the number 1 overall pick when all is said and done in 2017. People are writing the team off now, and the season hasn’t even started yet. But, the Ryan Fitzpatrick era shows why every season takes on a toll of it’s own. In 2015, the Jets were riding high. But, after a disastrous week 17 loss, the team has toppled down ever since. At the end of the day, Ryan Fitzpatrick is engraved in the Jets’ record books; with the most touchdown passes in a single season for the team. Two years later, and he is no longer a member of the Jets. Fingers have been pointed everywhere, but it’s just another chapter in the story of the New York Jets. What will the next chapter be?

All stats via NFL.com.

The Legacy of Michael Vick

Yesterday, Michael Vick announced his retirement from the NFL, after playing 13 seasons for the Atlanta Falcons, Philadelphia Eagles, New York Jets, and Pittsburgh Steelers. Vick was one of the most exciting quarterbacks of the 2000s, with the ability to make big plays with his speed and his strong arm. He finished his career throwing for 133 touchdown passes for 22,464 yards, as well as over 6,00 rushing yards for 36 touchdowns.

Vick started out his career with the Atlanta Falcons, where he was known for his explosive play. Defenses really had to focus on preparing for him, as he was a duel threat quarterback who could make big plays on his feet or in the air at anytime. Vick is also known for being one of the best players to use in Madden football video games, especially the 2004 edition when he was on the cover of the game. Vick’s career with the Falcons was cut short when he was sentenced to 23 months in Federal prison for his involvement in hosting dogfights on property in Virginia (ESPN). The Falcons then released Vick, and he was suspended for the 2007 and 2008 NFL seasons.

Vick was released from prison in 2009, and later that year signed a contract with the Philadelphia Eagles, being given a second chance. Many questioned this decision, and the hopes were he would show he was a rehabilitated man. Vick took criticisms all around the NFL universe, but he remained humble and admitted he made a mistake.

Michael Vick was accepting of what he had coming from the public, according to azquotes.com he said “I’m willing to deal with the consequences and accept responsibility for my actions.” He also said “use me as an example of an instrument of change.”

After being a backup quarterback with the Eagles for much of the 2009 season, he was given his opportunity to start for them in 2010, having arguably his best career season. During the 2010 campaign, he threw 21 touchdown passes in 12 games started for 3,018 yards, with over 600 yards rushing for 9 touchdowns. He had proven he was still capable of being a starter in the NFL, and during that season he led the Eagles to a division title and also made it to the Pro Bowl. He was mainly the Eagles starter until after 2013, and then he played 1 season for the Jets in 2014 and 1 season for the Steelers in 2015, mainly as a backup for both teams. It looked as though Vick’s career was going to be over in the NFL after 2007, but he certainly prolonged his career until 2015.

So, whether one wants to respect Michael Vick for admitting to his mistakes, and taking advantage of a 2nd chance in the correct manner, by not hitting the front pages of papers in a negative way is up to you to decide. From what I saw, Michael Vick has changed as a human, and become a much better person because of a huge mistake he made. I will not dismiss the fact that what he did was very wrong. But I respect that Michael Vick was able to accept the negative criticism across the country, and not fight back because he knew he was wrong. Today, Michael Vick is an activist against animal cruelty. According to a Washington Post article, Vick said “I was part of the problem. Now, my perspective can help reach people that activists can’t reach. I can help others become agents of change.” In that article, it also stated that Vick supported the Animal Fighting Spectator Prohibition Act, which makes it a federal crime to attend an organized animal fight, which was later signed by President Barack Obama in 2014. So what is Michael Vick’s legacy? Michael Vick was an exciting quarterback who messed up big time. He took advantage of his second chance, and is now a changed man. His goal in life now is to help people avoid making the same mistake he did, and also to not take anything for granted. Michael Vick’s legacy is much greater than football. I respect that.

All stats via Pro-Football-Reference.

Mike’s Super Bowl 51 Breakdown

Super Bowl 51 has the makings to be an all time classic. 2 of the best offenses in the NFL square off in a matchup that many expect to be very high scoring. A quarterback with all the Super Bowl experience in Tom Brady takes on a guy in Matt Ryan who is preparing for his first ever Super Bowl appearance.

How the Falcons can win:

The Atlanta Falcons are coming off of a very impressive win against Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship. In this game, the Atlanta defense impressed many, holding the Green Bay offense to 0 points in the first half, leading to a 44-21 dominating Falcon win. Going into the playoffs, everyone knew the Falcons offense could score points in bunches, but now their defense is starting to hold up, making them a very dangerous opponent for the Patriots. My x-factor for the Falcons is Vic Beasley. The NFL’s leader in sacks, he will need to lead the Falcons defense against a very tough Patriots offense. It is very tough to beat Tom Brady and the Patriots. 1 way to slow down Brady is by applying pressure on him. Who better to get pressure on Brady than the NFL leader in sacks? By putting pressure on Brady, it can get him off of his game if he gets hurried quick, resulting in him accepting the sack or throwing the ball away. For the Falcons, we all know their offense can score. If they want to find success in the Super Bowl, they need to find a way to stop Tom Brady by applying pressure on him, led by Vic Beasley.

How the Patriots can win:

Yet again, the New England Patriots are in another Super Bowl. Their 7th with Tom Brady at quarterback, with a 4-2 record. What makes the Patriots so tough is their ability to get the most out of every player. Look at guys like Chris Hogan and Dion Lewis, 2 players who have come up big for the Patriots in the playoffs. It doesn’t matter what personnel they have. As long as Tom Brady is the quarterback and Bill Belichick is the coach, the team will find success. The team just finds a way to get it done. They pretty much cruised through the AFC to the Super Bowl, and are the favorites in this matchup. My x-factor for the Patriots is Malcolm Butler. Butler, who is the Patriots number 1 cornerback is known for his game clinching interception on Russell Wilson in Super Bowl 49. In this game, it appears he will be tasked with Julio Jones. If he can find a way to shut down Jones, that would take away a major element in the Falcons offense. Just like the Falcons, we expect the Patriots to put up points in this game with no problem. It all comes down to if their defense, which has been solid all year, can hold up against one of the best offenses in football. Their secondary has to lock down these Falcons receivers, and if they do, they should be victorious in this one. I think if Julio Jones has less than 5 catches, the Falcons will lose the game. I’m sure Malcolm Butler is up for the task, but so is Julio Jones.

And the winner is…?

This matchup should be exciting. It is headlined by the 2 quarterbacks, Tom Brady and Matt Ryan. 2 MVP candidates, they both will have their way in this one. However, it will all come down to which quarterback makes a mistake. Tom Brady has the experience, but I’m going with Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons in this one. They have been the most impressive team in the playoffs, and showed me a lot when they contained Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers. I think the Falcons defense, which has been playing solid football of late, will find a way to get to Tom Brady, leading to victory. I don’t think the game will be as high scoring as people say, with both defenses playing great football in the playoffs. I’ll say Falcons 27, Patriots 24. Not only do I think Matt Ryan will be lifting the Lombardi trophy after this one, but I believe he will also win Super Bowl MVP. As for the Patriots, I expect them to be back next season. I predict Super Bowl 51 will be a classic, and each team has a great chance to win this game.