I have had this question directed to me multiple times this offseason…
Why should I watch jets football this year?
— Robert Z (@Rob_Z_31) July 30, 2017
…Let’s take a quick stab at answering why and how you should consume New York Jets football in 2017.
On paper, it is more than fair to assume the Jets will be one of the worst teams in the NFL. Their offseason strategy is clearly looking towards the future, rather than finding a way to be as competitive as possible in 2017. This strategy is logical and while it may not have been executed perfectly, the roster is young enough to offer copious amounts of playing time to the team’s draft picks from 2015-2017. This season is a testing ground for Mike Maccagnan, Todd Bowles and the infrastructure they have built to scout players.
You are watching this year to see if the current front office and management has any modicum of an idea of what they are doing. The Jets very may well have assembled a collection of promising young talent who will make up the backbone of an ascending team or they have missed the mark and will need an even larger rebuild than expected. This season is about figuring out if Christian Hackenberg, Brandon Shell, Juston Burris, Lorenzo Mauldin, Darron Lee, Deon Simon and Jordan Jenkins can play. It is about figuring out the actual ceiling of players like Quincy Enunwa, Robby Anderson, Brian Winters and Wesley Johnson. It is about getting a glimpse of just how good Jamal Adams could be and seeing if it was crazy to follow his selection with another safety in Marcus Maye.
If you are reading this site, presumably you like football. You are watching because football is only on a few months a year. What else are you watching on Sunday rather a sport you profess to enjoy watching? The Jets may be bad but the hope is they will not be dumb and lazy, which they were last season (along with being bad, of course). It is more enjoyable to watch players in their young 20s trying to prove themselves than Darrelle Revis trudge around after his third plate of ribs with his Patriots Super Bowl ring on.
This is the type of year where some fans like to get preachy to other fans. Don’t fall into this. Nobody wants to hear a lecture on how to be a “real fan.” Putting aside blogging and tweeting, this fan is aware it is likely better for the Jets long term future to be 2-14 rather than 7-9. This does not mean I’ll be actively rooting for the team to lose (especially early in the season). It does mean losses will sting a little less than in a normal season and each week will be approached with a different level of expectations.
That is just me. Some fans will be openly rooting for losses starting in week 1. Some fans will be openly rooting for wins in December even if the team is 2-12. To each his own. The players aren’t tanking and it is good for the team long term if the players are improving and are more competent than expected. At the same time, the front office making business decisions down the stretch if/when the playoffs are out of the question, is completely logical.
This team has a handful of players who are worth your time each week and another handful who may be worth your time. You need to watch to figure it out.
Overall, be happy football is back. You like football. I like football. Have a sense of humor about the team’s situation. Root for them to win…or don’t. Run your mouth to Bills, Dolphins, Giants and Patriots fans when applicable because if you can’t run your mouth a little, what’s the point of being a fan and watching sports?
Photo Credit: NewYorkJets.com