The New York Jets are halfway through their 2017 season with a 3-5 record. Let’s hit the pause button before their Thursday night game against Buffalo kicks off the second half, review our predictions, discuss what we have learned and predict how the back half of the year will play out…
I still feel very good about most of these, particularly the big ones on the final record, who will be back next year (outside of Wilkerson) and thoughts on the rookie class/a handful of the second year players. The Jets better than expected start was not surprising when you looked at their schedule and neither was the reality that it was foolish to pass on Deshaun Watson, no matter how well Jamal Adams plays.
The Jets have generally been more competitive than I expected, most specifically in the New England and Atlanta game. They are punching above their weight class most weeks but the reality remains they are a bottom eight team in the NFL as most advanced metrics show. This is a team that plays with substantially more energy and sense than last year’s abomination but still remains constrained by their talent limitations and inability to coach around those limitations in close games.
Moving forward, the sooner the Jets accept the reality that a team built on the backs of Josh McCown, Jermaine Kearse, Matt Forte, Jeremy Kerley and Muhammad Wilkerson is going nowhere of consequence and start thinking ahead to the future, the better.
10 Things We Learned
- Josh McCown is Ryan Fitzpatrick 2015-Lite and most Jets fans have not learned their history lesson when discussing McCown and his future with the team.
- A strong two weeks aside, Muhammad Wilkerson’s 2016 season wasn’t an aberration.
- Leonard Williams isn’t the the surefire “All-Pro” yet that many dubbed him before the season.
- Marcus Maye is ending the Jets second round curse.
- Robby Anderson is a legitimate starting receiver in the NFL and one of the better outside the numbers receivers in the league right now.
- There is hope for Darron Lee as a useful defensive player moving forward.
- The Jets found their tight end of the future in Austin Seferian-Jenkins.
- The Jets are still clueless at the running back position, particularly when it comes to player usage…also they cannot run the football.
- Years of only addressing the outside linebacker position with mid round picks who are light on athleticism but high on intangibles has not built a successful pass rush.
- Brandon Shell is the mid round pick Maccagnan apologists should be happy about. Juston Burris certainly isn’t.
The Rookie Report (THE MACC NINE!)
Jamal Adams – 39 tackles, 2 TFLs, 2 sacks, 1 FR, 3 TDs – It has been an up and down eight games for the 6th overall pick in the NFL Draft. Adams has shown tremendous versatility in the positions he can play and been dynamic near the line of scrimmage. However, he has struggled in coverage, allowing five touchdowns (most for any safety in the NFL) and grading out lower on PFF than fellow rookie safeties Eddie Jackson, John Johnson III and his teammate, Marcus Maye. As of now, it doesn’t look Adams will be in the DROY discussion.
Marcus Maye – 42 tackles, 2 INTs, 2 PDs, – Maye has been impressively steady for a rookie second rounder starting from day one. He has been consistent in coverage and routinely prevented big plays over the top, while also playing well in run support. Maye has also grabbed a pair of interceptions. Considering where he was taken, he has been better value than Adams so far.
ArDarius Stewart – 4 receptions, 36 yards, 3 carries, 18 yards, 18.4 yards per kick return – After playing 39 snaps in week one, Stewart has had his role marginalized on offense thanks to the signing of Jeremy Kerley, culminating with him being inactive last week. He has struggled as a kick returner and likely is out on that role for the rest of the year. Hopefully. he gets more chances in November and December because as of now he hasn’t added much.
Chad Hansen – Hansen has played a handful of snaps this year but hasn’t received any targets and has also played some special teams. He hasn’t contributed anything of note yet this year. Similar to Stewart, hopefully that changes down the stretch.
Jordan Leggett – Leggett has remained hurt/inactive most weeks and is yet to see any reps. It wouldn’t be surprising if he ended up on IR sooner rather than later. Even if he does come back, he will have an uphill battle getting reps ahead of Seferian-Jenkins and Eric Tomlinson.
Dylan Donahue – Donahue made a minimal impact on defense and special teams before being knocked out for the year with an injury. He will be 26 by the time next season starts, which means the clock is already ticking loudly on him ever being an impact player here.
Elijah McGuire – 48 carries, 207 yards, 1 TD, 5 catches, 55 yards, 1 lost fumble – McGuire had a monster game versus Jacksonville but hasn’t done much outside of that week. The Jets should be giving him more opportunities to jump start a completely dormant running game.
Derrick Jones – A regular inactive. It will be interesting to see if Jones gets a few defensive and special teams reps down the stretch as the Jets drift further and further from .500.
Jeremy Clark – Unlikely to suit up at all this year due to injury.
Second Half Predictions
- I’m not changing my record prediction. 5-11 it stays.
- Barring injury, Josh McCown will start at least 12 games this year.
- Christian Hackenberg will not play any regular season snaps.
- Muhammad Wilkerson will finish with less than 4 total sacks and will not be back next year.
- Robby Anderson will finish with over 1,000 yards receiving.
- Austin Seferian-Jenkins will score at least 3 more touchdowns.
- Leonard Williams will have 3 or less total sacks this year.
- Marcus Maye will finish with 5 interceptions.
- Jamal Adams will not receive any votes for Defensive Rookie of the Year.
- The Jets will have zero All-Pro players and no Pro Bowlers who are not alternates.
- Kansas City: 12-4
- New England: 12-4
- Pittsburgh: 11-5
- Houston: 10-6
- Buffalo: 10-6
- Tennessee: 9-7
- Philadelphia: 12-4
- Seattle: 11-5
- New Orleans: 11-5
- Minnesota: 11-5
- Dallas: 10-6
- Los Angles: 10-6
Photo Credit: NewYorkJets.com