The New York Jets spent the offseason clearing the aging veterans from their roster with an eye for a much needed youth movement. With a question mark at the quarterback position and the need for young players to fulfill significant roles, many analysts are expecting the Jets to be one of, if not the worst team in the league. Despite these low expectations, there are actually some aspects of this team to be excited about for the upcoming season. Here are three reasons why I think the Jets can exceed expectations and will not be the worst team in the league this year.
A Reasonably Soft Schedule
The Jets were a dumpster fire last year, but their brutal schedule to start the season certainly did not help the team’s chances to succeed. On paper, the Jets’ opponents for 2017 look much more favorable, as the team will be playing a fourth place schedule. The Jets will face four teams (Buffalo twice, Jacksonville, Denver, and San Diego) that have newly hired head coaches, which is should be an advantage for Todd Bowles. Additionally, the Jets will face Cleveland, who could very well end up tanking again in hopes to land one of the top QBs in the 2018 draft. Nobody expected the Jets to beat Baltimore last season, and I think they can pull out a few extra wins similarly in 2017.
The Browns and Rams Still Exist
Even with Myles Garrett on the roster, the Browns in my opinion are clearly still the worst team in the league. After making a bizarre trade to acquire Brock Osweilier and drafting DeShone Kizer this offseason, the Browns will enter training camp with a similar quarterback conundrum as the Jets. Adding David Njoku will certainly help whoever ends up playing QB, but outside of him and Corey Coleman, the Browns’ offense is seriously lacking playmakers. I expect the Browns to win more than one game in 2017, but to automatically assume they will be better than the Jets is silly.
For the Rams to be decent in 2017, they need Jared Goff to make huge strides as he enters his second year in the league. Unfortunately for Rams fans, this may be asking a lot of the former California quarterback. Goff looked lost in his seven starts last year, as he completed only 54.6% of his passes and threw for five touchdowns with seven interceptions. Not only was he bad, but the Rams lost in all seven of the games he started. In five of Goff’s seven starts last year, the Rams lost by double digits. If new head coach Sean McVay cannot salvage Goff and Todd Gurley does not return to his rookie form, Los Angeles could be picking first in the 2018 draft.
The Defense Will Bounce Back
Heading into the offseason, it was clear that the Jets needed to retool their defense, particularly the secondary. After parting ways with Darrelle Revis, who was a liability last year, the Jets signed Morris Claiborne. The former Cowboy has shown flashes of being a solid cornerback in the league, however, his health has always been a concern. Additionally, the selections of Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye in the draft gives Todd Bowles two young, talented playmakers in the secondary. If Morris Claiborne can stay healthy, and the Jets two rookie safeties can play to their potential, the Jets’ secondary will no doubt be much improved in 2017.
Although the defensive line and linebackers will look mostly the same next season, I expect both units to be a lot better. Leonard Williams is arguably the best player on the roster, and if he continues to progress, he could potentially be an All Pro in the near future. For the Jets’ defense to truly take the next step, however, they need better production from Muhammad Wilkerson and Darron Lee. Wilkerson was unreliable coming off of an injury last year, but he should be able to return to his double-digit sack form in 2017. Darron Lee, on the other hand, struggled at times as a rookie. With an improved defense surrounding him, there is no doubt that Lee should be able to progress as he heads into year two. Todd Bowles will need to do his part coaching up the young defense, but if he does, this unit has the potential to be good enough to win the Jets a few games on their own.
The Jets are big long shots this season, and not just to win the Super Bowl, but also to win the AFC East and the Conference Title. The Gang Green is listed at 20/1 in the NFL betting future lines to win the AFC East, which is the worst odds in that Division. They are behind the Cleveland Browns to win the AFC title, and are also listed at 80/1 to win Super Bowl LII, so make your own conclusions” says David Strauss, line manager at MyBookie.ag.
NFL – 2018 Super Bowl LII – to Win Odds
New York Jets: +8000
Odds By MyBookie
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