As training camp finally inches closer, let’s break down the most basic question that has likely been asked to you no less than 10,000 times since last February: “So, are the Jets going to be any good?” I’ll do my best to avoid too many qualifying statements. Let us know below what you think and if you haven’t yet, grab our new shirt for sale right here!
The short answer is yes, particularly in comparison to last season. This team is going to win more than four games. Similar to how they were worse than their record indicated in 2013, they were probably a touch better than their record indicated in 2014. Seven losses from the Jets last season were by one possession or less, as they were historically incompetent in close games, turnover margin and in the red-zone. There is going to be some regression (or progression) to the mean.Schedule projecting is a crap-shoot in such a parity driven league yet at least on paper 2015 seems much friendlier than 2014. Outside of New England, the Jets only play two 2014 playoff teams: Indianapolis and Dallas. They also play the team who selected 2nd (Tennessee), 3rd (Jacksonville), 4th (Oakland), and 5th (Washington) in the 2015 NFL Draft.
There has been the most thorough upheaval of the organization in over a decade. Long standing influential voices like Terry Bradway and Jeff Bauer have been dismissed, Rex Ryan’s early success dried up in ugly fashion and his imprint on the organization has been scrubbed away. Historically, the organization has performed well in year one of a new regime and it is hard to argue that at an absolute minimum Todd Bowles has a resume that is strongly qualified to be a NFL Head Coach.
There has been an evident infusion of talent, most prominently in the defensive backfield and skill positions on offense. The depth is also substantially improved. There are multiple All-Pro caliber players and playmakers on both sides of the ball, enough where expecting meaningful games in December is reasonable and warranted.
The big qualifier will remain (as it seemingly always is) the quarterback and not to a much lesser extent, the offensive line. A shaky quarterback situation can be greatly helped by a steady offensive line. A shaky quarterback situation implode into a full disaster quickly with a struggling offensive line. These two questions prevent it from being fair to say the Jets should be a playoff team in 2015.This team should be relevant into the final quarter of their schedule. They will be better than 2014 but…four games better, which is a pretty damn big jump still only equals 8-8. The Jets will be a competitive, well organized football team in 2015. If your definition of “good” starts and ends with a playoff spot, you may be disappointed.
It is too early to throw out a record projection (is there ever really a good time?) but as somebody who is a little more bullish on Geno Smith than most, I would still give 9-7 as my optimistic projection for today.