NY Jets: A look back at the team’s recent history of awful starts

NY Jets Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
NY Jets Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports /

Will the NY Jets actually win a game this season? We explore the team’s recent history of slow starts.

The NY Jets will almost certainly miss the playoffs for the 10th year in a row. When was the last time you expected the Jets to be a competitive team?

With seven games played, the Jets’ regular season is almost halfway over. Let’s take a look at the team’s record through seven games over the past four seasons.

  • 2020: 0-7
  • 2019: 1-6
  • 2018: 3-4
  • 2017: 3-4

Compared to the team’s record through seven games over the past two seasons, starting out 3-4 in 2018 and 2017 doesn’t seem too bad until you realize the team finished 4-12 and 5-11 in those years respectively.

At this point in the year, most teams are worried about their playoff positioning instead of when they’ll be picking in a draft that won’t happen until April. Once again, the Jets are well out of playoff contention just seven games into the season.

Let’s analyze the Jets’ expectations during those four previously listed seasons.

NY Jets’ 2017 season

After parting ways with key players such as Ryan Fitzpatrick, Brandon Marshall, Eric Decker, Darrelle Revis, and Sheldon Richardson, the Jets were expected to be the worst team in the league — and some even expected the team to go 0-16.

The team ended up going 5-11, which was good for Jets’ standards.

NY Jets’ 2018 season

With a rookie quarterback in Sam Darnold, the Jets were not expected to be a competitive team. In Darnold’s rookie season, the team ended up going 4-12 which led to Todd Bowles losing his job as the team’s head coach.

NY Jets’ 2019 season

With Darnold entering his second season along with key offseason acquisitions in Le’Veon Bell, C.J. Mosley, Quinnen Williams, and Jamison Crowder, there was optimism surrounding the Jets entering the season.

However, all optimism vanished after one game when it was announced that Darnold had mononucleosis and ended up missing three games.

The Jets started the year 1-7 but ended up finishing 7-9. The team’s 6-2 record in the final half of the season was fool’s gold, as Gang Green had an extremely easy schedule at the end of the season.

NY Jets’ 2020 season

At 0-7 and the only winless team in the league, the Jets are currently the laughing stock of the NFL. Adam Gase has gotten much of the blame for the 0-7 start, but do you really trust Jets ownership to hire the right person after Gase inevitably gets fired?

After missing the playoffs in the previous seven seasons, Gase made the playoffs in his first season as the Miami Dolphins head coach. Why hasn’t Gase been able to make or even get close to the playoffs with the Jets?

The point is, there has always been some built-in excuse for the Jets constantly underperforming. If the team selects Trevor Lawrence in the April’s NFL Draft, their likely struggles next year will be excused because they will be starting a rookie quarterback.

With zero All-Pro caliber players on the roster, the Jets would be unable to help Lawrence succeed, just like how they have failed to put the proper pieces around Sam Darnold.

Additionally, after the team’s rocky relationships with Jamal Adams and Le’Veon Bell, two big-name players, free agents around the league could be very cautious about signing with the Jets.

Lawrence is currently viewed as a “generational” QB prospect, but Darnold was viewed in a similar fashion before his final year at USC. The Jets have remained an embarrassment even with Darnold. Would Lawrence be able to succeed with the Jets?

If the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Cleveland Browns make the playoffs this season, which is likely, the Jets will have the longest playoff drought in the league.

If they haven’t already, the Jets are on track to become the NFL’s version of the New York Knicks — a New York team with constant losing and incompetent ownership while failing to win a championship in over 45 years.

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That’s just the reality of the situation.