The New York Jets have certainly split opinions on them heading into the 2020 seasons. Some think Adam Gase finally bottoms out and the Jets are looking at a top 5 pick with an outside chance of getting the top pick in the 2021 draft. Others look at the 6-2 finish to 2019 as real momentum and think the Jets can build on their 7-9 from last year to be a dark horse playoff contender especially with 7 playoff spots this year. The Jets have a better roster then they did last year but the schedule is harder than last year. I approached my schedule predictions for the Jets by breaking it into 4 parts much like a football game instead of just going game by game.
A Rough Start – @Bills, Vs 49ers, @Colts, Vs BroncosThe Jets do not get an easy start to the schedule as they face off with 4 teams that all have expectations to be in the playoffs this year. The Jets have 4 new starters on the offensive line and that unit has not had much time to gel with no preseason and limited training camp. The Bills, Broncos, and 49ers are top 10 front 7’s in all of football and the Colts are going to be a lot better with the addition of Deforest Buckner. I think the offensive line will eventually right the ship but September is going to be a rough month for them and due to this I think the offense is going to have some early season struggles.
Record after 4 games 1-3
Does it even get Easier? – Vs Cardinals, @Chargers, Vs Bills, @Chiefs
In weeks 5-8 the Jets get a balanced dose of explosive offenses in Arizona and Kansas City and stout defenses in Buffalo and LA. I think by now the offensive line will have gelled better and Denzel Mims will have become a main part of the offense. Going into Arrowhead is going to be a bloodbath but there is no reason the Jets should not be competitive in their other 3 games.Record after 8 games 3-5
A Real Opportunity- Vs Patriots, @ Dolphins, Bye, Vs Dolphins, Vs Raiders
This is by far the easiest part of the Jets schedule especially with the bye week sandwiched in-between the 4 games. New England is a still a threat in the AFC but with a new QB and all their opt outs they are going to be a worse team then they were in 2019. I think Miami has so many new pieces and are going to be starting a rookie QB and are a team that is one year away. The Jets are plain better than the Raiders and get to play them at home in December and Derrick Carr is a significantly worse QB in cold weather.
Record after 12 games 6-6Can Gases Show He’s Changed? – @Seahawks, @Rams, Vs Browns, @Patriots
Adam Gase in his career has sucked on the road as a HC. He is 8-24 in 4 seasons as a head coach on the road. I think he will get the chance to prove he’s changed and to play meaningful games in December with the Jets 6-6 going into the final quarter of the season. They have 3 out of their last 4 on the road and if they want to end the 9-year playoff drought there going to have to go 3-1 or better to finish the season. I just do not believe Gase has changed. Going on the road to face Sean McVay, Pete Carroll, and Bill Bellicheck three of the ten best coaches in football for my money I think the Jets are going to limp to the finish. The Browns game mixed in between the road trips is no picnic either.
Final Season Record 6-10
Season Fallout – I think the Jets are going to crash and burn at the end of the year and if this is to happen Adam Gase will be fired as there is no way he can come back from that. I think Sam Darnold will be good and even with the late season collapse he will prove that he is the guy and should be given an opportunity to work with the next coach that is brought in. It’s hard to preach patience to a fan base who will now have gone a decade without reaching the postseason but I do think this scenario is not the end of the world. The Jets will have a lot of cap room and 4 first round picks in the next two drafts to lure in a top head coaching candidate. With a new coach and another offseason under Joe Douglas the Jets should have expectations of contending for the division in 2021.