PATH OF TOTALITY, USA – I hope you all enjoyed the solar eclipse. If you’re a fan of the NY Jets, I hope you recognized the opportunity to fry your eyes ahead of the season. Expectations are low as the Jets under/over number for wins is 4.5 and the under is the getting the action. But can the Jets surprise and win five games?
The Jets kick off their “Suck for Sam” campaign on September 10th in Buffalo. Sam Darnold is the USC QB, who could potentially be the top pick in the draft. Clearly, this a ploy to trick their fans into thinking they are actually trying to suck this year.
Other than the Patriots, the division looks mediocre. The Bills punted on Sammy Watkins, parted ways with Sexy Rexy, and new management is in rebuild mode. The Dolphins looked like an improved team until Ryan Tannehill went down. Jay Cutler seemed genuinely shocked that someone was willing to pay him ten million to come out of retirement. Is it a good sign that Cutler’s wife had to talk him into playing another year? I reckon his primary goal will be avoiding injury.
The Rest of the Schedule
Outside of their division, the schedule is not great. They play five playoff teams from last year, have tough road games in Oakland, New Orleans, and Tampa, and have tough home games against Atlanta and Kansas City.
This might be a short section. Unlike the offense, the defense has a few talented players. Leonard Williams is a dominating player who’ll be a force in the middle for years to come. Though Jamal Adams missed several tackles in his second preseason game, the instincts and athleticism are there. These are two players the Jets can build around. Linebacker Darron Lee is a player could be ready to take the next step.
You’re not in a great situation if journeyman Josh McCown is far and away the most capable QB on your roster. They can’t even really give lip service to a competition for the job. Bryce Petty is making small strides, but Christian Hackenberg is definitely not. He played the entire first half against the Lions and was two of six for 14 yards. Bilal Powell was the only other offensive player to touch the ball when Hack was in there. Yikes. This guy is looking like a humongous bust.
Quincy Enunwa, the only mildly exciting offensive player on the team, is out for the season. Some Jets’ fans celebrated like it’s a good thing he’ll miss this abomination of a season. Jets’ fans are pumped for 2017! That leaves the pass catching duties to Robbie Anderson, that three-named-TE from Tampa Bay who never does anything, and I assume, some other players. Expect a lot of check downs to Powell and whatever’s left of Matt Forte.
You know your secondary is an issue when have holes all over the place and you take safeties with your top two picks. They don’t have much in the way of edge pass rushers and the cornerback situation is thin. Their best linebacker plays for the Patriots. Add that all up, and teams shouldn’t have much of a problem airing it out on them.
It’s not a pretty picture. Let’s be generous and say they split with Miami and Buffalo, they’ll still need three more wins. Maybe they can beat the Jags in Week 3, but they might be better. Week 4 at Cleveland is no gimme for this squad. They might have an outside chance at beating the Chargers on Christmas Eve at home, but only because of the rough travel circumstances for San Diego. The Chargers have a load of offensive weapons this year and the Jets will be in full tank mode. It’s hard to find three wins and it’s not hard to imagine them going 0-16.
Take the under. And Darnold might not even come out next year. It could be Peyton Manning all over again. Maybe Jets fans will still want to fry their eyes in 2024, the next solar eclipse.
Come back tomorrow for Angry Ward, the Christian Hackenberg of MTM. Follow us on Twitter at @benwhit, @MeetTheMatts, @Matt_McCarthy00, Instagram @MeetTheMatts and like our Facebook page, Meet The Matts.