There were plenty of people that thought the New York Jets wouldn’t win a game in 2017. New York had made it clear they were in rebuilding mode and it just didn’t look like there was enough talent to compete.
To the Jets’ credit, they managed to finish the season at 5-11, which was better than anyone anticipated. The problem is, winning a few more games than expected ended up costing them. Had the Jets simply won two fewer games and finished 3-13, they would have at worst had the No. 3 pick in the draft.
Instead they had the No. 6 pick and ended up swapping that pick, along with 3 second rounders to the Colts for the No. 3 pick. New York used that pick on USC quarterback Sam Darnold, who they think will solve their never-ending search for a franchise quarterback.
The thing is, Darnold isn’t expected to be ready to play in 2018, which means incumbent starter Josh McCown or free agent pick up Teddy Bridgewater will likely be calling shots this season.
As far as the offense is concerned, there’s plenty of room for improvement. The Jets ranked 28th in total yards (305.2 ypg) and 24th in scoring (18.6 ppg). John Morton is out at offensive coordinator, as quarterbacks coach, Jeremy Bates has been promoted to fill Morton’s shoes. Bates has received high praise for his West Coast attack and was mentored by both Jon Gruden and Mike Shanahan.
The big question has to be whether the Jets have enough play-makers to be a potent offensive attack. The unit lost veteran running back Matt Forte and tight end Austin Seferian Jenkins. The loss of Forte isn’t a big one. He’s well past his prime, plus they added in the likes of Isaiah Crowell and Thomas Rawls. The departure of Seferian-Jenkins is a bigger concern, as there’s nothing proven at the position on the roster right now.
New York’s receiving corps was one of the worst in the league last year and that was with a breakout campaign by Robby Anderson, who caught 63 passes for 941 yards and 7 scores. They added in Terrell Pryor and get back Quincy Enunwa from injury, but you have to wonder if it’s enough.
Defense use to be the calling card of this franchise, but it was one of the worst in the league in 2018. New York ranked 21st against the pass (234.3 ypg), 24th against the run (117.9 ypg), 28th in sacks (28) and T-23rd in turnover differential (-4).
The only real big name they added on defense was Trumaine Johnson, who gives them a legit lockdown corner. The problem is there’s just not enough difference makers on this side of the ball. The only other two guys you can really count on being good is defensive end Leonard Williams and safety Jamal Adams. It feels like the Jets are hoping for a lot of best case scenarios with guys having breakout seasons at the other positions.
Despite all the questions and concerns surrounding this team, there’s definitely a much better vibe with the Jets going into this season compared to last year. Some of that has to do with the team overachieving last season, but most of that has to do with the drafting of Darnold.
2018 Jets Schedule & Projected Odds
Below you will find the early odds released by Vegas for Weeks 1-16, as well as my projected number for Week 17. Using the lines we are able to give a game-by-game win probability, which we used to come up an expected win total.
|1||at Lions MNF||+6||0.29|
|3||at Browns TNF||+2.5||0.46|
Projected Wins: 5.66
Over/Under Wins Prediction: UNDER 6
Would it be a total shock if the Jets improved their win total from last year by two games and finished 7-9? Not at all. There’s definitely a few scenarios where I could see that happening. Though I think the most likely scenarios for that is either Darnold is ready to play sooner than expected and does so at a high level or Bridgewater takes hold of the starting job and plays like he did before that awful injury.
If McCown ends up starting all 16 games, there’s just not enough talent from top to bottom on this roster for the Jets to be close to a .500 team. Keep in mind we are talking about a team that didn’t rank inside the top half of the league in any major statistic on both offense or dense.
Another thing I think gets overlooked is how different it was going into last season where everyone was talking about how bad you are going to be. Last year’s team was thrown under the bus before they ever stepped on the field and there’s no question the players played with a chip on their shoulder. At the same time, when a team is expected to be that bad, you don’t typically get the full respect of your opponents.
Lastly, I’m not sold on head coach Todd Bowles being the right fit. There’s no denying that the players love playing for Bowles, but that can only get you so far. Bowles has widely been criticized for his in-game decisions and poor time management. I just wonder if he’s not one of those guys that is better suited as a coordinator than a guy calling all the shots.
Odds to Win the Super Bowl: +20000
Oddsmakers certainly aren’t buying into the Jets being a serious threat. They have New York listed with the worst odds of any team in the league to win the Super Bowl at +20000 (200 to 1).
To give you an idea of just how little the books think of this team, the Browns have drastically better odds to win the Super Bowl at +9000 and they didn’t win a single game last year.
If you are a die-hard Jets fan and believe in miracles, sure throw a few bucks on them to win it all, but you are wasting your hard earned money. Just getting to .500 would be an accomplishment for this team.
Odds to Win the AFC: +4500
Same story here. New York has the worst odds of any team to win the AFC at +4500. Note that 10 of the other 16 teams are all listed at 20 to 1 or better.
There’s no reason to be running to the ticket window to be placing a bet on the Jets to win the AFC. New York is once again at the back of the
Odds to Win the AFC East: +1400
Unless you are anticipating Tom Brady suffering a season-ending injury early in the year and Bill Belichick randomly retiring mid-season, there’s no reason to expect the Jets to have any shot at winning the AFC East.
New England has won the division each of the last 9 years and 15 of the last 17 overall. Not to mention they have won a minimum of 12 games each of the last 9 seasons. There’s a reason the Jets have the worst odds of any team to win their respective division at +1400.