As usual contenders that both missed the postseason, the Jets and Colts will face potential shake-ups this offseason.
The Jets arguably have every piece of the puzzle except for a consistent quarterback. The Colts have the inverse.
Mark Sanchez threw for 3,474 yards, 26 TD, 18 INT, with a passer rating of 78.2 this year. While these are not terrible numbers for a third-year quarterback, Jets fans are impatient for the championship that Rex Ryan has promised them.
Sanchez’s season culminated with 7 INTs in his last three games, which were all losses. The Jets finished a disappointing 8-8 and missed the Playoffs after making it to two consecutive AFC Championship games. If Sanchez had not overachieved in his first two years in the league, Jets fans would probably be more forgiving.
But the fans are not alone in their discontent with Sanchez, as teammates anonymously criticized their quarterback to the NY Daily News at the end of the season. With the Jets' locker room now in turmoil, it is hard to see inaction as a possibility for Jets management.
While the Jets may be a few moves short of being a championship team, the Colts are on the brink of a rebuild.
Their abysmal defense ranked 29th in the league against the rush and 15th
against the pass. Their offense was completely inept without Peyton Manning at the helm, scoring only 243 points total. Last year they scored 435. Owner Jim Irsay has already started dismantling the team by firing general manager Bill Polian and coach Jim Caldwell last week.
Will the Colts actually consider shipping Peyton Manning out of town considering Andrew Luck (or Robert Griffin III) could be NFL-ready? Or will they let Luck ride the pine until Manning decides to retire?
The answer to these questions hinges greatly on Manning’s health and whether he can rebound from injury.
It is hard to imagine that Manning would retire anywhere but Indianapolis. Then again, at one time it was impossible to envision that Brett Favre would play his last game wearing purple.
The only thing that seems certain in Indianapolis at the moment is that the Colts will have a decent quarterback with or without Manning in the lineup. Andrew Luck is expected to have the capacity to step right into a starting role in the NFL.
One of the criticisms Sanchez faced from his teammates was that he does not work hard enough in practice because he knows he has a guaranteed starting position, according to the NY Daily News. Sanchez probably was not as ready three years ago as Andrew Luck is now. He could have used some time to learn from a great veteran quarterback - like Peyton Manning perhaps.
Peyton Manning could provide the type of mentorship that Sanchez needs to become an elite quarterback.
Could Manning possibly be headed to Metlife stadium in exchange for some much-needed defense and/or Draft picks? Jets fans would like to think so.