The New York Jets enter the 2019 NFL season with some optimism.
Even though they lost nine of their last 10 games to end their 2018 campaign and fired head coach Todd Bowles, the hope is that growth from second-year quarterback Sam Darnold – along with some offseason spending – will propel the team to new heights.
Are the New York Jets ready to take that next step or will they suffer their fourth consecutive losing season?
In: Le’Veon Bell, Jamison Crowder, C.J. Mosley, Ty Montgomery, Adam Gase
Out: Darron Lee, Josh McCown, James Carpenter, Isaiah Crowell, Jason Myers, Todd Bowles
Evaluating The Changes
There’s no question that the New York Jets had a bit of an odd offseason. They hired Adam Gase as head coach, who was previously fired from the Miami Dolphins. He’s viewed as a shrewd offensive mind and he did OK with the Dolphins, but he hasn’t exactly impressed. It’s not an exciting hire.
And then the General Manager who hired him, made all of the offseason moves and ran their draft was fired. Bizarre as it sounds, the Jets canned Mike Maccagnan three weeks after the draft.
Even so, it does feel like the team made positive steps. Bell should be a big help to Darnold both as a runner and as a receiver. Crowder is an underrated option in the slot, who should also give Darnold a safe place to look on third downs.
With Robby Anderson as the deep threat and Quincy Enunwa as a possession threat, this now feels like a much more complete offense than it was a year ago.
On defense, Gregg Williams takes over the team and he’s mostly been good running that side of the ball in his career. The New York Jets have talent with Leonard Williams, Quinnen Williams, Mosley, Marcus May, and Jamal Adams.
They need to put it together, though, as this is a young group, one that finished with just 39 sacks (16th) and 13 interceptions (15th) last season.
Jets 2019 Odds
- Regular Season Win Total: Over 7.5 -115, Under 7.5 +105
- Odds To Make The Playoffs: ‘Yes’ +300, ‘No’ -400
- Odds To Win AFC East: +550
- Odds To Win AFC: +4000
- Odds To Win The Super Bowl: +6600
The Jets Will Win More Than 7.5 Games If…
Darnold takes that next step. The cast around him is better and Gase is a smart offensive mind. This offense should be significantly improved from what they put on the field last season – especially if Bell is still an All-Pro caliber player after a year off.
If Darnold is in fact more comfortable and starts to settle in as the franchise quarterback, this team could push for 8-8.
On defense, the Jets will need a lot to go right. Williams will have to coach up the unit, May will have to be healthy and Johnson will have to look like the shutdown corner back the Jets signed a year ago and not the bust that showed up on the field.
If all goes well, this team will be a tough weekly opponent and could push for .500/a Wild Card spot if things go really well.
The Jets Will Win Less Than 7.5 Games If…
Darnold continues to tease. He had good games as a rookie (three touchdowns, no picks against Green Bay in Week 16) and bad games (no touchdowns, four picks against the Miami Dolphins in Week 13). If that type of inconsistency continues, the Jets are going to be inconsistent all season long.
On defense, there’s a lot that could go wrong. If the run defense continues to struggle (26th in the NFL last season), the team isn’t better at getting to the quarterback and Johnson is not a lockdown corner, this will be a long season.
The cornerback position feels thin as Darryl Roberts, Briane Poole and Kyron Brown are the depth. If Johnson isn’t elite, this defense will be very leaky.
If all goes wrong, this will again be a four or five-win team.
What Are The Best Bets?
It’s a lot of juice to lay here but I like the ‘No’ in terms of the Jets making the playoffs. This is a team that’s undergone a lot of change in the offseason and it’s unclear how much better they’ll be.
They should be significantly improved but the defense concerns me quite a bit. Adams and Mosley are studs, but the team looks like they’re lacking depth in the secondary and at linebacker.
The Jets are also in a division with the New England Patriots, which means they probably have to get in through a Wild Card berth.
Are they better than a team like the Los Angeles Chargers, the Baltimore Ravens, the Pittsburgh Steelers or Baltimore Ravens?
The answer to that is no, which is why I like the ‘No’ on the Make The Playoffs prop.
In terms of their regular season win total, I would also bet the under here. They have a really tough start to the season and with so many new parts – including the coaching staff – I think it will take them some time to sort things out.
They’ll host Buffalo and Cleveland to start, then visit the Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles, then come home and face the Patriots again and the Dallas Cowboys. They could be 1-5 or 2-4 at that point.
The middle part of their schedule is quite soft but they also finish with a game at Baltimore, home to the Pittsburgh Steelers and at the Buffalo Bills.
I think the Jets improve this season but I see them landing right on seven wins, so I would take the under. It’ll be a good year for them but eight wins is ambitious with this schedule.