Jets Can Fly Over Projected Season Win Total, but QB Is Key

Doug Upstone

Thursday, July 12, 2018 3:16 PM UTC

Thursday, Jul. 12, 2018 3:16 PM UTC

Since Brett Favre joined the New York Jets in 2008, eight different quarterbacks have played for the Flyboys and they have drafted five at that position since 2011. Is Sam Darnold the solution?

The New York Jets have taken a curious journey under head coach Todd Bowles. They were a huge surprise in 2015, a major disappointment the following season and more competitive than expected last year with a 5-11 record and an 8-6-2 ATS mark.

After searching for a dependable quarterback for years, they drafted Sam Darnold, who looks like an NFL quarterback compared to the motley crew that was drafted over the years. This does not guarantee immediate success, because Bowles has stated Josh McCown is his starter and it's not like Gang Green is loaded with ability. Heck, as you can see below, even Cleveland has lower NFL odds to win the AFC than the Jets at 5Dimes:

Odds to win AFC East: +1600 - 4th
Odds to win AFC: +4500 - 16th

One would think Bowles has to do better than five or six wins no matter if Darnold plays or not. Otherwise, another coaching change will occur in the Big Apple.

2018: Un6
2017: Un4.5 (5-11 record)
2016: Ov8 (5-11 record)
2015: U7.5 (10-6 record)

Nonetheless, Buffalo is not really trying to win and Miami has not proven they know how to win, so why can't the Jets come close to .500? Yet, can a team that was 28th in total offense and 25th in total defense last season make that kind of leap?

Jets Outlook

Offense: Chances are we will see Darnold sooner than later because of McCown's penchant for getting hurt. Whoever plays quarterback, they will have some good targets in wide receivers Robbie Anderson, Quincy Enunwa and steady Jermaine Kearse. The loss of TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins hurts, however, adding big-bodied Terrelle Pryor will help in the red zone. The addition of Isaiah Crowell and Thomas Rawls adds consistency and versatility to the run game. New offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates will have to figure how best to utilize them and main holdover Bilal Powell. The backs need holes and quarterbacks time to throw and that did not happen a year ago. Signing center Spencer Long from Washington helps in the middle and having a healthy Brian Winters at guard would very beneficial for an offense that needs balance.

Defense: The off-season was a mixed bag of results for this unit, which allowed an NFL-worst 2.05 touchdowns to field goals in 2017. Muhammad Wilkerson might not be the player he was a couple years ago, but his leaving for Green Bay creates a massive void in New York's defensive line. Leonard Williams should remain a force, but draft picks Nathan Shepard and Foley Fatukasi will have to contribute immediately. New York did not want to pay tackling-machine linebacker Demario Davis and he went to New Orleans. Instead, they signed Avery Williamson, who is three years younger and he plays the run well but is below average in pass coverage. The Jets have a formidable secondary led by second-year safeties Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye. They also brought in a quality cornerback in Trumaine Johnson to play along Morris Claiborne. The secondary is the best unit on this team.

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Always on the same page.

Position spotlight: Safeties 📸

— New York Jets (@nyjets) July 11, 2018

Bottom Line: This is a young team and Bowles had them playing aggressively last year and the talent overall continues to improve. If McCown plays at least the first eight games and Darnold can learn, that would be plus instead of throwing him into the fire. In deciding what to do with Gang Green for NFL picks, if they play to talent, New York can win six or seven games if they are 3-3 in the AFC East. A nod to the "over" for the win total.

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