New York Jets: What does the preseason really mean?


For the New York Jets and the rest of the NFL, football is finally back! Well sort of, preseason kicked off this past Sunday for the Hall of Fame festivities and now teams can really begin to evaluate what they truly have. The Jets start their preseason on Thursday, August 13th, against the Detroit Lions. So what will the Jets be looking for in the preseason?

Well we saw in a microcosm how the team is looking in the Green and White practice over the past weekend. The quarterback situation continues to develop but some changes are probably coming. Geno Smith was leading the pack until his unfortunate injury even though he was impressive for the most part throughout camp.

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Now that we are in the thick of training camp, fighting through blazing hot temperatures and pad-on-pad contact, injuries have begun affecting the team. The Jets have lost Antonio Allen to a season-ending Achilles injury, former first-round pick Dee Milliner is going to miss the next 6-8 weeks due to wrist surgery, and Chris Owusu is working through the NFL concussion protocol.

But ultimately what does the preseason mean? Once we reach the NFL regular season, the only thing that matters is wins and losses. Do preseason records mean anything? Well before the Jets start their preseason, I thought I’d do some research on how preseason records translate to regular season success.

Which led me to the Jets-Wiki page, which has their preseason records dating all the way back to 1979. So I thought that maybe taking the last decade of records and comparing it to the following regular season records would indicate the importance of records in preseason. Take a look below:

2005 Preseason record: 3-1

2005 Regular Season record: 4-12

2006 Preseason record: 2-2

2006 Regular Season record: 10-6

2007 Preseason record: 3-1

2007 Regular Season record: 4-12

2008 Preseason record: 3-1

2008 Regular Season record: 9-7

2009 Preseason record: 2-2

2009 Regular Season record: 9-7

2010 Preseason record: 2-2

2010 Regular Season record: 11-5

2011 Preseason record: 2-2

2011 Regular Season record: 8-8

2012 Preseason record: 0-4

2012 Regular Season record: 6-10

2013 Preseason record: 3-1

2013 Regular Season record: 8-8

2014 Preseason record: 2-2

2014 Regular Season record: 4-12

2015 Preseason record: ?

2015 Regular Season record: ?

As you can see over the last decade, we have quite the sample size. Clearly doing well in the wins-losses category in preseason, doesn’t necessarily equate to success in the regular season. Out of the 10 seasons above, only one team that was above .500 in the preseason equated to an above .500 regular season campaign.

So what does the 2015 preseason hold for the Jets? Perhaps preseasons wins and losses don’t really mean a whole lot in terms of measuring the future success of a team. But this preseason will be important for the Jets on a ton of fronts, specifically figuring out what they’re going to do at the right guard position on the offensive line. There’s been a few birds chirping about the Jets possibly jumping into the Evan Mathis sweepstakes. While he is still a perennial all-pro he looks to be paid as one, something the Jets have stated publicly they’d be unwilling to do.

As stated earlier, the progression and maturation of Smith will be another key storyline, especially on how he returns after his broken jaw injury. Jets fans got reamed by the media for booing Smith throughout the Green and White practice. Expectations are high this season for the Jets as fans will now have to get use to the likely scenario that Ryan Fitzpatrick will be leading the charge.

And of course finally the biggest storyline will be the deeper positional groups on the roster and when all is said and done who makes those final roster pushes. Especially at the wide receiver and cornerback positions where the Jets are deepest at. Injuries breed new opportunities, the preseason is the stage for these bottom of the roster guys to make an impact early and often.

In the end of it all, first impressions are huge in meeting your girlfriend’s parents for the first time, that job interview and of course trying to make an NFL roster.

Next: New York Jets: Team reaching out to Rex Grossman?

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