Thumbs-up or down? Just shy of two years into the Mike Maccagnan/Todd Bowles era, it’s pretty tough to tell. At this point, best call appears to be an emphatic "meh."
Thirteen wins, 14 losses. Barely missing the playoffs one year, barely missing out on the No. 1 pick in the draft the next.
It certainly appears as if every step forward has been accompanied by a slightly bigger one back.
On the plus side, you had Brandon Marshall’s 2015 season, when the 10-year vet played receiver about as well as anyone on the planet. On the minus, there's Marshall’s 2016 campaign, during which he has caught less than half the balls thrown his way and avoided the end zone as if it were filled with poison ivy.
On the plus side, you had future Hall of Famer Darrelle Revis returning to his rightful place in the Big Apple following quick stints with Tampa and then the Evil Empire up in Foxboro. On the minus, you had Revis playing like he’d gotten his AARP card while up in New England. Wait, did he just get burned again? No, just seems as if it’s happening 24/7.
On the plus side, Ryan Fitzpatrick led the Jets to a 10-win campaign last year after replacing the injured Geno Smith. On the minus, Fitz apparently forgot which team he was supposed to pass to in his second season as a Jet. Hey Rifle, quick hint: it’s the ones with the same color jersey as yours.
On the plus side, GM Maccagnan was able to sign Muhammad Wilkerson in the off-season, thereby keeping together what was expected to be a terrifying trio in Wilkerson, Sheldon Richardson and Leonard Williams. On the minus, Wilkerson and Richardson have been so ineffective that the biggest contribution they made was when they were forced to sit out the first quarter a few weeks back, allowing more productive subs to play.
On the plus side, John Idzik no longer runs Gang Green’s drafts. On the minus, the front office still sometimes acts like Idzik is whispering in their ears. Devin Smith and Christian Hackenberg -- second-round picks in the past two drafts --silently scream “Ghost of Idzik!” with each passing Sunday of inactivity. OK, no one thought Dak Prescott would be this good, but can Maccagnan please explain why he thought Hackenberg, who was inferior in college to Prescott in just about every way, would be better?
Hey, it could be worse. During the Idzik/Rex days, there were basically only steps back, to the point that before long the organization was backed up against a wall so big President-elect Donald Trump wishes he had built it.
But when you make the kind of dramatic changes owner Woody Johnson made after the very forgettable 2014 season, you’re not just hoping to break even. If the Jets keep backtracking every time they make progress, it won’t be long before someone else is doing the stepping.