The New York Jets have been been a pleasant surprise this season. After an offseason of cleansing the roster of veterans and setting the season expectations so low that Vegas had their over/under win total at 3.5, the Jets have proven the critics and analysts wrong. Todd Bowles has instilled a fight in this young team and are no easy win, while at the same time general manager Mike Maccagnan’s plan to get a top pick is still very much in play. With the combination of competing and losing, Jets fans can’t ask for anything more in 2017.
Reality and Expectations
The projected 2018 NFL draft order, according to the Football Power Index. pic.twitter.com/SKBpZyUPrA
— ESPN (@espn) November 27, 2017
The Jets right now stand at 4-7 with five game remaining. Their last five games will be against the Chiefs, then a two game road trip to Denver and New Orleans, back at home for the last game at MetLife against the Chargers, and then finish the season in New England. It wouldn’t be shocking at all if they go 0-5 in these games, finishing the season at 4-12, which would likely land them in the top five in the 2018 draft.
Do you want to see your favorite team lose? Absolutely not. But both in football and basketball, when it’s clear you aren’t going to compete for the division, nonetheless a championship, losing games is both encouraged and beneficial. The acceptance of losing obviously comes with preseason expectations. That’s never been more clear with the role reversal of the New York Giants and Jets this season. Giants fans were talking NFC Championship and Super Bowl before this season kicked off, while Jets fans were already looking at mock drafts. When the season turned for the worst, Giants fans felt anger, while Jets fans are happy their team was competing but also losing games.
Coaching Decisions and Player Progression
Has Todd Bowles shown enough to be the Jets coach in 2018? It can go either way. With the way this team fights every week, Bowles has definitely earned every right to be the Jets head coach for the foreseeable future. However, if Maccagnan wants to point the Jets’ fourth quarter losses on Bowles, he can go that route. He can also decide it is best for the team to bring in a young, offensive minded coach to pair with a possible highly drafted quarterback. The decisions that Maccagnan will make on both the coach and quarterback will impact this Jets franchise for the next decade. It is by far the two biggest decision of his young general manager career.
As for the players the Jets have now, it’s definitely more positive than negative. The decision to lay a defensive foundation with Jamaal Adams and Marcus Maye is looking like a fantastic one, along with players such as Leonard Williams, Darron Lee, Josh Martin, Jordan Jenkins, and Kony Ealy.
On the offensive side of the ball, it’s tough the judge the product as a whole without their franchise quarterback, which isn’t a slight to Josh McCown, he’s played exceptionally well and far better than expected. Robby Anderson and Jermaine Kearse are a very capable duo, but a pure #1 receiver would really excel this offense. Austin Seferian-Jenkins has been flashing his potential and should be welcomed back with open arms next year, as it seems like the Jets never have a good tight end. The offensive line isn’t great, and that is where Maccagnan should focus his efforts on this season, of course along with a franchise quarterback.
An Important Next Five Weeks
The next five weeks will be crucial in how this team will be constructed for next season and beyond. The players have shown they are going to give it all every game and that they have the talent to compete at a high level. Jets fans have seen enough out of them to be proud of their team. The Jets will face tough opponents in the last five games of the season, and with them already proving people wrong with their 4 wins, it’s totally fine for fans to proud of their team and to root for a loss at the same time.