Thanksgiving is quickly approaching us and the NFL season is quickly getting away from us. It’s this time of year where most take a minute or two to sit back and think about what they’re thankful for. I usually do the same but most of what I think about revolves around the Jets (sad, I know). So here’s five Jets related things I’m thankful for so far this season.
1. Robby Anderson becoming a legit NFL starting wide receiver.
When Anderson was trying to make the team in preseason just one year ago, it was very hard to find someone higher on him than I was. He flashed signs of being a deep threat in his first season even with passes consistently thrown five yards behind him. In his second season, and with better deep passes to him, he has given us a bright spot in what was supposed to be the worst receiving group in NFL history according to some.
I was so high on Anderson coming into this season that I even picked 11 as my number for my flag football season, which is a very high honor (I don’t care what anyone says). He has not only proven that he can beat almost any corner one on one deep but we are also starting to see him become more of a complete receiver. He’s making plays on shorter routes and is starting to get more YAC as well. Whoever ultimately ends up being the Jets quarterback after this season, they will have a nice weapon in Anderson to throw to.
2. Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye
I couldn’t pinpoint one particular thing that I’m thankful for from these guys but I love them like they are family. Would I have loved to have drafted Deshaun Watson? Of course, who wouldn’t. But taking Adams has certainly shifted the way this defense plays. They’re having more fun as a unit and while they’re not the best unit in the league, they are taking steps in the right direction. For the first time in a long time, the Jets have a vocal leader on defense. Darrelle Revis and David Harris were leaders on this defense but they were more lead by example guys. It’s tough to find a play where Adams isn’t being vocal. He’s only a rookie and there are certainly parts of his game he needs to improve on but he’s been one hell of a player so far.
On the flip side, Maye is the silent assassin. Over the course of the season, Maye has played better than his counterpart and even has a couple interceptions to brag about. You don’t hear Mayes name a ton when you’re watching the games but that’s usually a good thing when it comes to safeties. He’s quietly been the best Jets defender this season that’s played in every game (sorry Mo Claiborne). These two guys still have a lot to learn but the production we’ve seen in year one is an exciting look into hopefully the next 10 years of the Jets secondary.
Coming into this season the Jets were widely looked at as having the worst roster in the entire NFL. It seemed like the people making those claims were people who hadn’t watched more than the highlight package that comes on Football Night in America every Sunday. This is a young, hungry team with guys that are looking to prove something and it’s been that way since training camp opened.
This could be due to the parity in the NFL this season but the Jets have yet to get their doors blown off this season compared to last season when it was a “when” not “if” season. The Raiders game was closer than the final score showed and other than that, the Jets have been in every game for four quarters. Todd Bowles having his guys ready to play every game (besides the Tampa Bay game) is a testament to how this group of guys has bought into his philosophy. It also shows improvement as a coach. He’s limiting the dumb coaching blunders that plagued the Jets his first two seasons. Coaching has cost this team a few games but not in an embarrassing, blown out kind of way.
Whether you’ve been rooting for the tank or you’ve been rooting for a surprise playoff push by this Jets team, being competitive in every single game this season is a very encouraging sign moving forward. It might not be good for the heart or the health of Jets fans but using this as a look into the future, it’s something to smile about.
4. This Jets team is fun and easy to root for
When you have a very mediocre to bad team as the one you root for every Sunday for 16 weeks, having a team like this to root for makes things easier. There are no internal locker room disputes separating the team. There are no over priced veterans who are sleep walking through a debacle of a season. I don’t think I’ve ever had this much fun rooting for a 4-6 team. Hell, we even had a positive meme sweep the internet for a week and a half!
5. I’m not a Bills or a Giants fan
At the time this is written, the Buffalo Bills started Nathan Peterman over Tyrod Taylor and Peterman threw five (5) first half interceptions. Bills fans were on their high horse when they started 5-2 forgetting that they are still the Bills and still haven’t made the playoffs this century. In Buffalo, jumping through tables and setting yourself on fire is more important than winning football games.
The other team that plays in MetLife is 2-8 and has been a laughing stock all season. From their coach insisting that he has to watch the tape 800 times to players walking out of practice to your best player peeing like a dog after a touchdown before losing the game, watching the Giants fail this season has never been sweeter. Remember all of the Super Bowl predictions and Brandon Marshall insisting he had to leave the “doomed Jets”? Fun times!
Photo courtesy of: nyjets.com