NFL Preview: Is There Any Hope for J-E-T-S This Season?

Can you believe that in the 2015-2016 NFL Season, the first with Todd Bowles as its head coach, the New York Jets won 10 NFL Regular Season games? That’s not a joke. The New York Jets went 10 and 6 in Todd Bowles first season as coach.

There were high hopes that the  Jets would improve off the stunning 2015 NFL Regular Season by making it to the AFC Playoffs in the 2016-2017 NFL Season. For anybody who wasn’t paying attention, that didn’t happen. In fact, the New York Jets once again became one of the worst franchises, if not the absolute worst, in the NFL.

The New York Jets went a horrible 5 and 11 last season. After a long, drawn out process where QB Ryan Fitzpatrick decided to hold out, the Jets proved why they didn’t want to pay Fitzpatrick $16 million a year. Fitz was as bad as he’s ever been during his long career.

New York Jets 2017 Preview

Fitz is no longer a Jet, which begs the question, who, exactly, will play quarterback for the New York Jets this season? Also, has the defense, a Todd Bowles staple, improved at all? What’s up with the rushing attack?

Then, there’s the biggest question, are the 150 to 1 odds on the New York Jets to win Super Bowl 52 truly justified?

I attempt to answer the most important questions in my New York Jets 2017 preview.

Who Will Play QB for the New York Jets this Season?

Here are the candidates:  Josh McCown, Christian Hackenberg, and Bryce Petty. Of the 3 on New York’s roster, the easy answer is Josh McCown. McCown has the most experience. He’s been in the NFL since the 2003-2004 season. But, he’s only had moments of being a starting QB in the NFL.

McCown’s most effective coming in as a back-up. He plays hard. He’s also got a rocket for an arm. However, he has virtually no leadership skills. For the Jets, starting McCown could be the worst thing that the team could do this season.

NYJ should make a decision. Who’s the future QB of the franchise? Is it last year’s rookie, Christian Hackenberg? Or, is it former Baylor great Bryce Petty?

The decision that’s made could go a long way in determining what the future holds for the Jets. It may do nothing to help the Jets make the playoffs this season. That’s how horrible the QB situation is with New York’s B Team.

Hackenberg has never thrown a pass in the NFL. While at Penn State, he appeared to have great upside. He was a decent quarterback for the Nittany Lions. But, so far, he hasn’t been able to get into a regular season NFL game yet.

I doubt he does this season. So far during the preseason, Christian Hackenberg has looked bad. No, wait, he’s looked worse than bad. He’s looked worse than Ryan Fitzpatrick. That’s saying a lot.

How bad has Christian Hackenberg played during the NFL Preseason?

He’s played so badly that some NFL analysts wonder if he even knows the Jets’ system. The reason he sat on the bench in 2016, it’s only a guess, was so that he could grasp the system.

Well, it appears he hasn’t grasped it. Hackenberg, like McCown, has zero leadership skills. Unlike McCown, he doesn’t appear to have enough football knowledge to at least make things interesting.

That leaves the Jets with Bryce Petty. Petty goes into his third season in the NFL. Like Christian Hackenberg, Petty didn’t throw a single pass in an NFL Regular Season game during his rookie year. Petty did, however, start 4 games last season.

How did he do? Not well, but there were glimmers that he could turn into an actual starter, on the New York Jets at least. Petty completed 75 passes from 133 attempts. His completion percentage came out to 56.4%. He threw 3 touchdown passes to 7 interceptions.

Those are terrible stats. But, there’s a silver lining. Petty did throw a 52 yard completion. That’s way more impressive than anything Christian Hackenberg has ever done on the football field in his life.

In the Jets second preseason game, Petty completed 15 out of 24 passes. He threw for 160 yards. He threw an interception. He appeared way more comfortable under center than Christian Hackenberg, who was 2 for 6 for 14 yards. Hackenberg also got sacked twice.

McCown is listed as #1 on the Jets’ depth chart. Don’t be surprised if Petty ends up the starter in Week 1. He appears to be the only Jet that has any shot of providing the franchise dividends at the QB position.

Doe it Matter Who Plays QB for the Jets?

In a way, it probably doesn’t.  The Jets best offensive player remains RB Matt Forte. Forte’s form has been headed down hill for a while. Bilal Powell still has a job with the New York Jets. He might start in Forte’s place at the RB position.

What’s sad is that Forte is NYJ’s best option at RB. At wide receiver, the Jet’s appear destined for another year of horribleness. Yes, Quincy Enunwa is a decent wide receiver. He’s definitely the Jets WR1. But, Enunwa is having surgery next week due to a bulging disk in his neck. Enunwa may never take the field again.

This is another reason the Jets must start Bryce Petty at QB. Any advantage NYJ had by starting Josh McCown and his rocket arm has already gone down the drain. After Enunwa, there just isn’t another WR on New York’s roster that can do much of anything versus defenses in the tough AFC East.

Has the Jets Defense Improved?

This is the biggest question. Only 1 other team in the NFL is likely to lean on their defense more than the New York Jets this season. That team, the San Francisco 49’ers, have an okay starter in Brian Hoyer. Matt Barkley has starter’s experience as well while new Niners’ head coach Kyle Shanahan is one of the more creative play-callers in the NFL.

San Franciso’s offense should be better than the Jets. The Jets have a chance of being one of the worst NFL offenses in history.  That’s how bad it is.

What it means is that for the Jets to be competitive, the defense must carry the football team. It’s almost like Todd Bowles knew that. He spent the Jets Round 1 and Round 2 draft picks on 2 of the best safeties in college football.

Jamal Adams, the Jets Round 1 pick, is an absolute beast. I had him as the lone can’t miss draft prospect from the 2017 class. Bowles drafted rookie Marcus Maye from Florida in Round 2. Both Adams and Maye are expected to start. Adams will start at strong safety. Maye will start at free safety.

The Jets defense won’t be a lock down unit. It will, though, play hard. If the Jets’ D doesn’t suffer too many injuries, who knows? It might lead the team to 2, maybe, 3 wins this season.

2017-2018 New York Jets Schedule

NYJ plays 10 games before their bye in Week 11. By then, the Jets could be anywhere from 1 and 9, to 2 and 8, to 0 and 10. The Jets only figure to win 1 or 2 games before their bye. I’ll give them 2 wins. The wins are on the road versus Cleveland on October 8. I also believe the Jets upset either Miami once, or Buffalo once.

The record is 2 and 8. That’s where the wins end. I don’t see the Jets beating a single team after their bye. They’re at New Orleans, at Denver, and at New England. That’s 3 losses. The Jets’ 3 home games are versus Carolina, Kansas City, and the L.A. Chargers. The Jets’ offense shouldn’t be able to stick with any of those teams’ offenses.

The Jets should go 2 and 14 this season.

New York Jets Super Bowl 52 Odds

At 150 to 1, the New York Jets aren’t worth a wager. The Jets project to be one of the worst teams, if not the absolute worst team, in the NFL this season. I don’t see the Jets winning more than 2 games.

If you want to bet on NYJ to win Super Bowl 52, by all means, go for it. Just remember the true odds of the Jets winning Super Bowl 52 are closer to 500 to 1 than 150 to 1. Don’t get angry if J-E-T-S is knocked out of the playoff race by Week 8.

What do you think?

Written by D.S. Williamson