The New York Jets got hammered in their newly released schedule.
However, that is not an excuse.
One of the famous sayings around New England’s building is, “No Excuses,” which is part of the reason they have been as good as they’ve been for as long as they’ve been.
This is the National Football League and the top General Managers need to be able to play whatever hand they are dealt.
They need to be able not only to play it, but be able to run the table.
Jets’ General Manager Joe Douglas was hired on May 9, 2019. It is now May 15, 2022.
Douglas has had more than enough time to have his work judged this season.
Back when I was with the Jets and Bill Parcells was there, the team was turned around in two seasons. New York went from being the worst team in the league in ’96 (1-15) to winning the AFC East and going all the the way to the AFC Championship Game in ‘98 (12-4).
Needless to say, I don’t vibe with “Six-Year Plans.”
Douglas, has been able to hand pick his coach, his quarterback (QB), and the entire roster.
It is time for this team to either win or start over and clean house. Jets’ fans deserve a winner.
I think it’s ironic that 9 out of the first 10 games of the season play to the greatest weaknesses of this team that I identified and have been writing about for months now.
One thing is for certain, we will find out what this team is made of. New York will be lining up against many of the best QB’s and most prolific offenses in the league. I’ve been banging on my keyboard for the Jets to improve their anemic pass rush since last November. I’ve been begging in articles for Kayvon Thibodeaux, Aidan Hutchinson, Devin Lloyd, Cameron Thomas, Arnold Ebiketie, Myjai Sanders, Logan Hall, Perrion Winfrey and Danielle Hunter. Someone, anyone who can get to the QB. Alas, instead Douglas gets edge rushers Jacob Martin and Jermaine Johnson, two guys who I think are duds.
Months ago I wrote about how the success of Jets’ Head Coach Robert Saleh’s entire defensive scheme in San Francisco was dependent on being able to get to the QB.
It is easy math.
Last season, the Jets defense ranked No. 25 in the league averaging 1.9 sacks per game and that equaled a 4-13 last place divisional finish.
While I love cornerback Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner, I also know if you give QB’s Lamar Jackson (BLT), Deshaun Watson (CLV), Joe Burrow (CIN), Tua Tagovailoa (MIA), Aaron Rodgers (GB), Russell Wilson (DEN), Mac Jones (NE) and Josh Allen (BUF) all the time in the world to throw, it might be asking perhaps a little too much of the all-world rookie.
That’s the lineup the Jets face in their first 10 games.
This is going to put pressure on Matt LaFleur’s offense to control the clock, to keep these high-flying offenses on the bench. It is also asking a lot from running back Breece Hall and wide receiver Garrett Wilson, who are also both rookies.
If the Jets fail to keep these opposing offenses off the field, it will put QB Zach Wilson in position to do what he worst at doing, which is accurately driving the ball downfield.
This especially does not bode well, considering all but 3 of these teams the Jets will face in the first 10 games did not have a top-8 ranked pass defense in 2021.
While Wilson was the best receiver in this draft class, all the rest of the returning featured receivers were part of the 4-13 effort last season.
As I have been saying all along, today’s game comes down to being able to pass the ball and stop the pass and a lot of it comes down to matchups.
Throw in the Jets have to face three prolific offenses twice in their own division (BUF, NE and MIA) and they also have to face QB’s Justin Fields (CHI), Kirk Cousins (MIN) and Jared Goff (DET) down the stretch.
If Wilson starts all 17 games, the ceiling for this team is 5-12 and they will not win until they face Minnesota in week 13.
If backup QB Mike White were to start beginning in week four at Pittsburgh I can see the Jets going 9-8 and challenging for a wildcard spot.
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