Welcome to the 14th edition of ‘The Super Bowl Race in the Perspective of Chase’, an almost daily article on your favorite NFL team. We have done similar, rebuilding teams like the Jaguars, Seahawks and Lions. However, the difference is that the Jets are always bad! They haven’t made the playoffs since 2010! This season also is worse than the others already with Zach Wilson’s injury. As they always say, especially this year “Just End The Season” for the Jets…for the 12th season in a row!
I would like to let you know that we’re doing something very similar to this for the NBA on the Cool Sports Newsletter if you want to check that out. We are also ranking the top ten players at different NFL positions and we started with wide receivers if you also want to check that out. But with that out of the way, lets, get into this!
Again, it has been a very long time since the Jets have had success. In 2020, the Jets were the clear cut, worst team in football, winning zero games through the first 14 weeks of the season, until they finally turned it around and beat the Rams and the Browns towards the end of the season. Even though that success may have seemed fun at the time for the Jets, it was actually an issue. The Jacksonville Jaguars had won just one game the entire season and New York’s two wins was too much for the #1 overall pick. So they landed the 2nd pick, and selected BYU quarterback, Zach Wilson. This also ended a very unsuccessful era with Sam Darnold, as they decided to let him go and eventually sign with Carolina.
The Jets decided they needed a new core. To start, they wanted to surround Wilson with receivers to develop him. So they signed a near 1,000 yard receiver in Tennessee, Corey Davis. They drafted Elijah Moore, they continued to develop Braxton Berrios, they already had Jamison Crowder and they had picked up Keelan Cole from Jacksonville. Even though they had all of these weapons, the Jets didn’t really succeed. Partially because of injury. Corey Davis would have been on pace for almost 1,000 yards again but played just nine games and only finished 492 yards. Elijah Moore played just 11 games, and would have been on pace for almost 850 yards but instead finished with 538. Crowder missed some time. Berrios wasn’t much of a true receiver. AndWilson missed some time, only playing 13 games. However, their lack of success was also predicated on the fact that Wilson had nine touchdowns to 11 interceptions in those 13 games. Not to mention he had a 55.6% completion percentage. This was the risk everyone knew the Jets were taking on Wilson.
They finished the season 4-13, and finished with the 4th worst record in the league. Which of course, gave them the 4th overall pick. With that pick they selected Cincinnati cornerback Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner. Gardner is one of the best players in the draft with his speed and agility. He is a future top corner in the making. They also had the 10th overall pick from the Jamal Adams trade, which the Jets have easily won in hindsight. With that 10th overall pick, New York selected Ohio State wide receiver Garrett Wilson. Wilson is an incredible route runner with speed and athleticism. He has a lot of potential. The Jets also traded back into the first round at #26, where they took Jermaine Johnson, who was mocked (on some drafts) to go to the Jets but at #10! Their draft just continued to get better, as they selected Iowa State running back Breece Hall in the early 2nd round. They were one of the biggest winners of the draft!
They also made some moves in the free agency market. They decided to let go of some their wide receivers. So say goodbye to Jamison Crowder and Keelan Cole. But say “Hi” to some great quality players now in New York. They signed Jacob Martin, which improves their pass rush. They signed D.J. Reed from Seattle to improve their secondary. But then they made the big moves. They signed Cincinnati tight end C.J. Uzomah and Buccaneers safety Jordan Whitehead. Uzomah is a developing tight end who is great in the passing game with his strength and route running. Whitehead is a Super Bowl proven safety who is great in the secondary.
But not everything is amazing, especially for the New York Jets. Injuries came their way. Offensive tackle Mekhi Becton is out for the season after suffering a ‘very serious knee injury’ per ESPN. Becton has a lot of potential but suffered injuries which has held him back to only 15 games in his two season career. Another very serious injury hurts the possible potential he can hit. They did the right thing to replace him though, signing 5x Pro Bowler Duane Brown to replace him. Brown will play better than he did and help develop the running game. But then it got worse! In New York’s preseason game against Philadelphia, Zach Wilson limped off the field after a non-contact injury, which usually hints to an ACL tear. Luckily for the Jets, it is just a bone bruise, that will sideline him for some time, all depending on how his surgery goes. But for now, he seems to be doubtful for Week 1, which would put Joe Flacco as the starting quarterback against his former team.
Not to scare Jets fans, but a bone bruise could sometimes be worse. As a Ravens fan, I know, since Lamar Jackson missed their final four and a half games because of it. However, with surgery taking care of it, Wilson should have a quicker recovery than Lamar had. But when he’s healthy, the Jets have a lot of talent. A developing Wilson, an athletic rookie running back and a plethora of receivers makes this team dangerous. It’s one more year of Elijah Moore. Garrett Wilson. Berrios will develop. Davis is now healthy. Their offensive line still has Alijah Vera-Tucker and now Brown. And then on defense, they have all of the talent between their new additions in free agency, Sauce Gardner and they still have Qunninen Williams and C.J. Mosley. Mosley quietly had 168 tackles last season in his first healthy year since 2018.
They have the talent. However, they don’t have the abilities to continue to win yet in a tough division. They will make progress in the right direction, but not a huge jump up Jets fans are looking for!
My prediction: New York is more competitive, but with how their schedule plays out, finishes with just a 4-13 record!
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