The NY Jets somehow managed to finish with a 7-9 record in 2019, but ESPN’s season predictions have the team’s 2020 over/under win total set below that.
The NY Jets managed to simultaneously overachieve and underachieve in 2019, miraculously finishing the season with a 7-9 record after starting the year 1-7.
That 6-2 stretch to close the year could be seen as progress and momentum that could be carried into next season. But ESPN doesn’t seem to think so.
The sports media juggernaut recently released their complete 2020 projections for all 32 NFL teams and they showed the Jets no love with their predictions.
Gang Green was given an over/under win projection of just 6.5 — only five teams were given lower totals. That figure is noticeably lower than the number of games the Jets won last season, predicting a step back as opposed to the step forward many fans are hoping for.
The Jets were relatively quiet in free agency and are instead relying on the 2020 NFL Draft to do most of their dirty work. For that reason, predictions this far out are as speculative as speculative gets.
But it is interesting just to see how the media views the team at this point.
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ESPN also labeled the Jets as 50-1 longshots to win the Super Bowl and gave them 20-1 odds to emerge as the victors of the AFC. And while some fans might complain, it’s hard to argue that those odds aren’t fair at this point.
Only three AFC teams — the Miami Dolphins, Cincinnati Bengals, and Jacksonville Jaguars — were given worse odds to hoist the Lombardi Trophy in February than the Jets.
Whether these are fair projections or not is up to the individual, but it does seem apparent that the Jets will have a much more difficult road ahead of them in 2020.
The team was fortunate enough to have one of the easiest schedules in the entire NFL in 2019, not only in terms of quality of opponent, but in terms of traveling. Incredibly, the Jets were the only team to play all of their games in the same time zone as they never left the Eastern Time Zone.
But in 2020, the Jets will travel to Los Angeles twice to play both the Rams and Chargers as well as take a trip to the notoriously rowdy CenturyLink Field to take on the Seattle Seahawks.
The Jets will also play host to the San Francisco 49ers and travel to Kansas City to take on the Chiefs as they will compete against both Super Bowl LIV participants.
With all of that in mind, maybe the 6.5 over/under doesn’t look too unreasonable after all.
The Jets will certainly be out to prove their doubters wrong next season and a standout haul in the 2020 NFL Draft later this week will go a long way towards helping them achieve that goal.