With just four wins last season and no more than five since 2015, we could be forgiven for not getting too carried away with the Jets’ chances in the upcoming season. But there is a sense of renewed optimism in the organization that could end up surprising a few teams this year.
Bookmakers in Vegas are looking at 7½ games as the Jets’ win total this year, and the over is looking good. The best online NFL betting sites are favoring the Pats in the AFC East. But the Jets could make a play for the postseason. There are a number of reasons to be confident.
Sam Darnold is developing into a fine quarterback. His leadership will be vital for the team, but there is definitely the feeling that it will give him the chance to do that.
He has positioned himself as the main man and now has the opportunity to show what he can do.
Now that Le’Veon Bell has finally agreed to perform, the Jets offense has a more rounded look with Darnold able to use his running back if there is nothing going further down the field.
The Jets lost five games by seven points or fewer last season, and this offense should be able to change those stats this time around.
With Todd Bowles leaving, the Jets went for Adam Gase, an offense-minded coach, and that change in outlook should be able to turn around the problems that the team had on that side of the ball last season.
Gase did not come from three years with the Dolphins with the best record (23-25), but then, who would? A change in head coach is exactly what the Jets needed, and he will be able to mold Darnold into an even better player.
The Jets were 3-3 after six weeks of the 2018 season, but then only won one more game the rest of the year as they lost to a strong group of NFC North teams. This year, the Jets look more evenly matched within their own division and face a mixed NFC East as well as AFC North teams. With Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and Baltimore likely to take wins off each other, the Jets could come through with enough wins for a wild card spot.
There are still a lot of good teams in the AFC that could get in the way of the Jets making the postseason for the first time since 2010. But with odds of around +350 to make the playoffs, there seems to be a little bit of value in backing this team.
A lot will depend on how Darnold develops and how he organizes his offense. The Jets might be able to go further than the sportsbooks are expecting.