TOJ Roundtable – New York Jets Playoffs Edition?

The TOJ Roundtable discusses the New York Jets playoff chances

The Turn On The Jets Roundtable is back to debate issues surrounding the New York Jets. Make sure to give all of the writers a follow on Twitter and if there is a question you want to see us debate, leave it in the comment section!

How serious of a playoff contender are the New York Jets in the AFC? 

Joe Caporoso – This week will be a good measuring stick for the Jets as a playoff contender in the AFC. Losses to Tennessee and Pittsburgh loom large, as conference tie breakers will come back to haunt the Jets unless they start getting some AFC wins. Cincinnati is more than likely going to win the AFC North, so going into their building and getting a win would be a nice statement and also set the Jets up well at 5-3 to make a second half run. Their schedule is manageable in the second half to an extent. This isn’t a team who is going to finish 7-1 or even 6-2. 5-3 sounds more realistic and if they can get to 5-3 with a win this week, that adds up to a 10-6 record that just may sneak them in.

Mike O’Connor – Oh no, the inevitable question when a team is above .500. Realistically, the Jets are right in the heat of the AFC contention, but it’s still to early to even start monitoring the “playoff race. seven games into the season. The Jets’ remaining schedule has two sides to it: a rough stretch (in the thick of it right now), and an easy finish. If the Jets can fight through the next three games with some wins, than they will have certainly proved themselves as a contender.

However, the Jets are simply to inconsistent of a team to think they can string out wins when they should be winning. After all, this is the team that had a bomb dropped on them by the Titans with a side of Ryan Fitzpatrick, and were stoned by the winless Steelers. The Jets win not only have to claim a win in these tough games upcoming, but they’ll need to beat the teams inferior to them down the stretch. We should definitely revisit this question 12 or so games into this season, but I’d say it’s in the Jets’ hands if they want to be a legit contender or not later in the 2013 season.

Dalbin Osorio – I usually agree with the OC, but this week doesn’t seem like one of those weeks. Next week doesn’t look too good either. Ha! Ok, all jokes aside, before the season started I thought the Jets were a 10 win team. My line of reasoning was that they won six games last year with the worst QB play in the league, drafted four key pieces that I thought would all contribute, and I trusted Rex (because, gasp, I actually think Rex is a good coach) to get the most out of this team. Plus, I looked at their schedule and thought there were 10 games I expected them to win.

There’s not a team, out of any of the teams currently occupying the 6 playoff spots in the AFC, without issues; Denver can’t stop the pass, New England’s wide receivers make the Jets wide receivers look like all-pros, Indianapolis can’t run the ball, Cincinatti has an inconsistent Andy Dalton, Kansas City’s offense doesn’t score enough points, and San Diego is inconsistent. Yes, the Jets lost to Tennessee, but that’s a much improved Tennessee team that plays similar to how the Jets played in 2009; run the ball and play good defense. Yes, they lost to Pittsburgh, but Pittsburgh is a team that always gives Rex fits (the 1-3 all time record is not a fluke).

Meanwhile, they’ve beaten Atlanta on the road, New England this past week, Tampa Bay (a team pegged by many to be a “legit” contender after the offseason spending spree) in Week 1 and they now travel to Cincinnati, where the Jets won on the road in the playoffs in 2009. The Saints game, albeit at home, is really the toughest game of this rough stretch because Drew Brees (despite struggling outdoors in his career) is still Drew Brees. Can they finish 4-12? Sure, anything’s possible. However, 5-4 at their bye seems much more realistic. They can rush the passer and stop the run, which almost always travels well. The second half of their schedule is lined up perfectly for a 5-2 run (the games against Baltimore and Carolina on the road are the daunting ones as of right now), but Baltimore has been inconsistent as well and Carolina is led by a QB who’s averaging 7 wins a season through his first two seasons. My point is that anything can happen, but I do believe that the New York Jets will be a playoff team this season much to the dismay of the rest of the league. I think they are a serious playoff contender in the AFC.

Frank Giasone – Following Sunday’s big win over New England, the Jets’ ‘hype-train’ is boarding. And considering the fact that they were tabbed as the worst team in football (that’ll never get old, ESPN), it’s pretty amusing that they’re even in the conversation right.

While this team is exceeding most expectations, it still needs to prove to me that it can win consistently before I even start considering a playoff appearance. The Jets are proving that they’re not as horrible as the pundits thought they’d be before the season, and at the same time (sorry guys), that they’re not as great as some Jets fans would like to believe. They’re a middle of the road type team right now, and while going through the season alternating wins is nice through seven weeks, the reality is, 8-8 isn’t going to get an AFC team into the tournament.

If the Jets can go into Cincy and win this weekend (something I think is very possible), and follow that up by, at the very least, remaining competitive with the Saints the following week at MetLife, then we can start dreaming about a post-season birth. Until then, it’s all about watching this team, led by its rookie QB, develop throughout the season. Remember, it was NEVER about this season. It’s always been about the future.

But a playoff appearance sure would be fun, wouldn’t it?

Dan Marcus – When I first saw this pop up in our TOJ Email thread, my first reaction was that “I don’t want to touch this with a ten-foot pole and I still don’t. Apologies for the lack of real insight or analysis here but I have tempted fate with the Football gods one too many times to even begin to talk about the “P” word after seven games. In case any of the aforementioned gods read TOJ, no I do not think the Jets are playoff contenders, I will be happy if they finish the season with a winning record (wink, wink).

Connor Rogers –  The Jets are off to a fantastic start in what was viewed as a “rebuilding” year by many. Geno Smith is flashing franchise quarterback ability and the young defense is one of the better units in the league. With that being said, they have a lot of work to do to be playoff contenders as we approach the halfway mark of the season. A road win over the Falcons and a home win versus the Patriots are signs that the Jets can hang with anybody. A home loss to the Steelers and road blowout to the Titans are also signs they are a young team still in the development stage. This may not sound bold, but the Jets playoff chances are about 50-50 right now.

The second half of their schedule, excluding the Saints, is quite soft. If they beat teams that they are better than, they should finish at least 9-7. The AFC is highly competitive with solid young teams like the Chiefs and Titans showing superb improvement, making the last playoff seed a tough grab. All that matters is the Jets are alive and well, with a lot of doubters left to silence as the season progresses.

Author: Joe Caporoso

Joe Caporoso is the Owner and EIC of Turn On The Jets. His writing has been featured in the New York Times, Huffington Post, MMQB and AdWeek. Caporoso played football his entire life, including four years at Muhlenberg as a wide receiver, where he was arguably the slowest receiver to ever start in school history. He is the EVP of Content at Whistle Sports