The New York Jets will finish .500 in 2017, despite most fans and pundits not expecting it.
Since the Rich Kotite debacle, the New York Jets have yet to follow up a season with as bad of a record the following year. Kotite finished his Jets career 4-26, and Bill Parcells joined the franchise. Including the 1-15 season under Kotite, the Jets have had six wins or fewer in a season five times. Every other time they have followed up a bad season with a record of .500+.
The question you’re probably asking yourself is, “Where are the Jets going to get eight wins?” Well, let’s examine this deeper.
Since the merger, the Jets have played their current division opponents 327 times. They always keep those games close, despite a 159-166-2 record.
They have a combined margin of 7,146-6,865 with the Jets losing by a total of 281 points in those 327 games. That’s less than one point per game.
Even though the Jets are young, division games are the most unpredictable, even against the Patriots.
Expectation: Series split against all three teams, 3-3 record
The Jets do have a tough road schedule, including going to Oakland. Expect that to be a loss for a young team because they probably can’t deal with the Oakland crowd. In addition, the Jets are 3-9 in Oakland since the merger. Expect a loss in Oakland (0-1)
The last time the Jacksonville Jaguars came to MetLife Stadium it was a barn-burner, and Blake Bortles lit up the Jets defense. The Jets defense is much different than that 2015 defense, and their offense can beat the Jaguars deep. Expect a back and forth game with Gang Green coming out on top (1-1)
The game against the Browns is in Cleveland, and many expect it to be the Sam Darnold Bowl. However, the Jets are entering this game 2-2, and it is still the Browns, and they still don’t have even a viable option at quarterback. The Jets will pick the Browns secondary apart, expect this game to go into garbage time early in the fourth quarter. Jets win big (2-1)
Here comes the first shootout of the season for the Jets. This won’t be a game for defense on either side. Expect the Jets and Falcons to throw the ball all over the yard. Just don’t expect the Jets to come out on top. Jets lose a close one (2-2)
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Next up a game in Tampa Bay. The Bucs won’t be able to generate enough pressure to fight off the deep threat of Bryce Petty and the Jets offense. In the end, it will hurt the Bucs in a close game, even though the game is in Tampa. Jets win close (3-2)
The Jets now enter their bye at 5-5 having beaten the Patriots, Bills, and Dolphins at home, losing to the Bills and Dolphins on the road and having a 3-2 record against their non-division opponents.
The Jets begin the post-bye-week parts of the schedule at home against Carolina. The one major problem with the offense in Carolina may have been solved by drafting of Christian McCaffrey, but that doesn’t solve Cam Newton‘s turnover issue. The Jets will force Newton into mistakes and may even return one for a touchdown. The young duo in the defensive backfield will confuse Newton, and expect the Jets to win this one. (4-2)
The next three weeks will be tough for the Jets, as they will go up against the best two defenses they will face all season. They also have to go to the Superdome. Don’t expect this young team to be able to win against Andy Reid or travel to Mile High Stadium and win. Also, expect Who Dat Nation to affect a young Jets team. It will be their first big bump in the road as they lose three in a row for the first time (4-5).
The Chargers were able to land two interior linemen and a weapon for Philip Rivers, but the game is at MetLife Stadium. It will be the final home game of the season for Gang Green and expect the Jets to send their fans home happy, as they will clinch a non-losing season. (5-5) The final game of the season will be a blowout, in New England, but the Jets will finish 8-8.