There isn’t a coach we feel worse for in the NFL than Todd Bowles. He’s a dead man walking.
Bowles enters his third year with the New York Jets, and he’s been dealt one of the worst hands in football. There’s absolutely no talent on this team, particularly at the quarterback position. And when you don’t have a quarterback, and Eric Decker is your best skill player, you’re destined for a terrible season.
However, Bowles should be given some credit. This isn’t his fault. Sure, he only won five games with a terrible team in 2016, but the Jets were generally competitive. They lost four games by a single score before the wheels more or less came off in December. It’s highly likely that New York is one of the more underappreciated teams in our NFL Pick ‘Em Contests this year, and when that happens you’ll usually find value.
Why the Jets Will Overachieve in 2017
The Jets defense realizes its potential with six starters, all of which were first-round draft picks, on that side of the ball. The offense expectedly struggles, but New York finds a way to eke out a few ugly 16-10 victories. The defense improves from No. 28 in the league in scoring and becomes a top 10 unit, and that’s enough to take three out of four games against Miami and Buffalo.
The Jets start the year at 3-2, and they feel like they might actually have a chance to contend before New England sucks the life out of them with a resounding Week 6 beatdown. After losing a couple more games to the Dolphins and Falcons, most begin to fade the Jets, only for them to win a few home games down the stretch. Playoffs? Fuggetaboutit! But New York scrambles its way to seven wins despite the fact that Bowles is a lame duck.
Why the Jets Will Underachieve in 2017
It won’t be 0-16 bad for the Jets, but it’s going to be bad. Josh McCown starts off his New York tenure by throwing seven interceptions in his first two games, giving way to Bryce Petty, who is much worse. New York gets shut out at home by the Patriots in Week 6 with a sparse crowd in attendance, most of whom are donning paper bags on their heads. Rumors swirl that Bowles spent the bye week on his knees at Jets headquarters begging to be fired. He is finally put out of his misery after a 1-9 start.
Christian Hackenberg spends the first 16 weeks of the season tugging on the pants legs of various coaches, pleading his case to play. When he finally gets his chance in Week 17 at Foxboro, he proceeds to throw three pick-sixes against the Patriots’ second-team defense, reminding the world why everyone thought it was ludicrous that the Jets invested a second-round pick on him.
When it’s all said and done, the offense musters a measly 18 total touchdowns for the season and the New York defense stages a mutiny in the locker room that ends with the lopping of Hackenberg’s head. Worst of all? One of the team’s two wins on the season comes at Cleveland, and that’s what keeps the Jets from receiving the No. 1 pick in the NFL Draft.
2017 New York Jets Schedule
Week 1: at Bills
Week 2: at Raiders
Week 3: vs. Dolphins
Week 4: vs. Jaguars
Week 5: at Browns
Week 6: vs. Patriots
Week 7: at Dolphins
Week 8: vs. Falcons
Week 9: vs. Bills
Week 10: at Buccaneers
Week 11: Bye
Week 12: vs. Panthers
Week 13: vs. Chiefs
Week 14: at Broncos
Week 15: at Saints
Week 16: vs. Chargers
Week 17: at Patriots
Jets Pick ‘Em Contest Best Bet: Week 1 at Bills
It might seem crazy to pick the Jets in Week 1, but Buffalo was swept by New York last season. The Bills did score 31 points in the first of the two meetings, but go back and watch that game. Tyrod Taylor was largely a deer in headlights, and he happened to find a couple wide-open guys for long touchdowns. Take those two plays away and Taylor’s numbers were garbage. Toss in a new offensive scheme for the Bills and absolutely zero vote of confidence for Taylor in the offseason, and the makings are there for Buffalo to be a mess early on.
Jets Pick ‘Em Contest Top Fade: Week 2 at Raiders
Right after we jump on the Jets’ wagon in Week 1, we’re going to be on the fade train in Week 2. New York won at San Francisco last season, but that was its first win on the West Coast since 2010. Mark Sanchez was the quarterback. The Denver team the Jets beat featured Kyle Orton at quarterback, Tim Tebow running some Wildcat and Jabar Gaffney, Brandon Lloyd and Eddie Royal as the top receivers. This Oakland team isn’t that Denver team or last year’s 49ers squad. It’s the home opener and the triumphant return of Derek Carr to the Coliseum after he broke his leg last December. There’s no way the Jets get out of the Black Hole alive.