The New York Jets have performed well above expectations so far this season. Many analysts in August called for the Jets to suffer through a winless year, but the team currently stands at 5-7 and still technically in playoff contention. While it will take a miracle (and a little more) for New York to hop over a pack of teams and reach the playoffs, the season has been an unequivocal success. And the future looks bright—Robby Anderson is emerging as a star at wide receiver and safeties Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye look like they will be part of New York’s secondary for a long time.
The immediate future, however, looks a little less bright. The Jets face a tough end to their season. The following are my predictions for each of the team’s remaining games.
Week 14 at Denver
The Broncos have completely collapsed, bottoming out after their Super Bowl win in 2016. Denver’s quarterbacks are complete disasters—whether Trevor Siemian or Brock Osweiler is at the helm is irrelevant. Both are awful and will throw the game away with interceptions. The Broncos have lost eight straight games after entering the early weeks of the season with playoff aspirations. At this point, the organization’s only hope is for a high draft pick.
This is a winnable game for New York. If Jets fans thought the Kansas City Chiefs were a disaster, they have not seen anything yet. Denver’s coaches, players, and management are all under fire, and the team was blown out 35-9 by Miami last week.
Prediction: Jets Win (6-7 record)
Week 15 at New Orleans
After years of mediocrity, the Saints broke out this season thanks to a fearsome running game. Rookie Alvin Kamara and veteran Mark Ingram have set the tone on offense, combining for 1,528 rushing yards, 869 receiving yards, and 20 total touchdowns. Drew Brees has taken a more passive role since he no longer has to manufacture every single score for New Orleans, but he is still an upper echelon quarterback. Brees has thrown for 3,298 yards and 17 touchdowns with only 5 interceptions.
The Jets will not be able to run with the Saints. New York’s defensive line will have to halt a season-long drought and get to Brees consistently. If the Jets cannot win the battle at the line of scrimmage, Kamara and Ingram will run on New York all day long.
Prediction: Jets Lose (6-8 record)
Week 16 vs Chargers
I would have predicted a New York win just a few weeks ago, but Los Angeles is on an absolute tear right now. After starting off the season with four consecutive losses, the Chargers have scratched and clawed their way back into playoff contention with a 6-6 record, drawing even with the Kansas City Chiefs and Oakland Raiders for first place in the AFC West. Quarterback Philip Rivers is the team’s leader as always, but it has been Los Angeles’ defense that has made all the difference. Linebacker Melvin Ingram and defensive end Joey Bosa form a duo that can take over a game and leave an opposing offense gasping for breath.
The Jets are going to struggle once again. New York’s offensive line has been suspect and quarterback Josh McCown cannot be relied upon to make the right decision when under pressure.
Prediction: Jets Lose (6-9 record)
Week 17 at New England
The Jets always seem to play the Patriots tighter than expected, but it is simply impossible to predict a New York win. When the other side has Bill Belichick, Tom Brady, and Rob Gronkowski and yours has Todd Bowles, McCown, and Austin Seferian-Jenkins, it takes a certain amount of innocent optimism to feel good about the Jets’ chances. We’ve seen this movie again and again—New York will be close to New England through the first three quarters, but will then collapse in the game’s closing minutes.
The good news is that when (and eventually it will happen) New England’s dynasty finally comes to an end, the Jets will be there to capitalize. With a strong core of young players and another high draft pick on the way, New York is slowly but surely building a team to be reckoned with.
Prediction: Jets Lose (6-10 record)
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