Prior to the start of the 2017 season, many had predicted that the New York Jets would end the season 0-16. Now, however, the team sits at 3-2 in a three-way tie for first place in the AFC East.
After dropping back-to-back games against the Buffalo Bills and the Oakland Raiders to open up the season, the New York Jets have now won three consecutive games heading into their pivotal Week 6 matchup against divisional rival New England Patriots.
Thus far, the Jets’ young team has shown signs of promise.
Bilal Powell and Elijah McGuire have been effective at times in the backfield and Jermaine Kearse has emerged as the team’s top wide receiver. Veteran quarterback Josh McCown has also performed better than many expected him to.
On the defensive side of the ball, 28-year-old Demario Davis has continued to establish himself as a force to be reckoned with, as he leads the team in tackles. Second-year player Darron Lee has improved as well, while rookie safeties Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye have also begun to prove themselves.
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Clearly, the Jets’ front office has some things to be happy about. On the contrary, however, we must not overlook reality.
Gang Green’s three victories have come against the Miami Dolphins, the Jacksonville Jaguars, and the Cleveland Browns. The combined record of these three teams is 5-9. While Jacksonville has started the season off strong, these are simply three teams the Jets should’ve beaten despite being a young team with many holes to fill.
Against the Patriots, the Jets will face a true test to see where exactly the team stands. It is important to note, however, that New England hasn’t had an amazing start to the season, as they too are 3-2.
The Pats opened up the season with a disappointing 42-27 loss to league powerhouse Kansas City Chiefs. They then dropped a 36-33 loss to the Carolina Panthers in Week 4.
Like the Jets, the Patriots have had their issues, but at the end of the day, they’re still the New England Patriots.
At age 40, Tom Brady may be slowing down, but he’s still an elite level quarterback, and many would likely still favor his team to win the division in 2017. And in recent memory, Gang Green hasn’t had much success against the Patriots, as New England has gone 11-4 against the Jets since 2010.
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That’s not to say the Jets don’t have a chance this week, however, because they certainly do. But more than anything, this game will give fans and the Jets’ front office a true assessment of where this team stacks up against the rest of the division as well as against the rest of the league.