After managing a surprising 8-8 record during the 2013 season despite boasting minimal talent on offense, the New York Jets appear ready to take the next leap toward solidifying themselves as a legitimate contender in the AFC East.
The Jets flaunt several up-and-coming players who could be on the verge of breakout efforts.
General manager John Idzik is in the process of deliberately executing a long-term rebuilding plan that will ideally land the Jets in the Super Bowl.
If the team receives valuable contributions from some of its younger players earlier than expected, that has a chance of happening in the foreseeable future. While the Jets remain far from a championship-caliber team, they have several key pieces in place.
The biggest difference between the 2014 version of the Green and White and past versions is they now boast legitimate playmaking ability on offense.
Free-agent signing Eric Decker may not be a true No. 1 wide receiver, but he's a big-time upgrade over disgruntled wideout Santonio Holmes. Second-round draft pick Jace Amaro also figures to have a substantial role in Marty Mornhinweg's West Coast offense.
For the Jets to exceed expectations and claim a wild-card berth in the 2014 season, they need several breakout performances from key players on both offense and defense.
The following slideshow highlights five players poised for big performances in the upcoming season.