Please, do not be ignorant enough to call the Jets a lost cause simply due to a rough early schedule. Remember, at their peak, they can topple each and every team in the dreaded first six games.
Here are the opening games that have been deemed impossible:
- Week 1: vs. Bengals
- Week 2: @ Bills
- Week 3: @ Chiefs
- Week 4: vs. Seahawks
- Week 5: @ Steelers
- Week 6: @ Cardinals
Yes, that is an opening slate which is harder than what most teams will have to face. Perhaps that is good for the Jets. The worst thing this team can possibly do is come out of the gates sleepwalking.
Knowing that they will be buried if they do, expect the men in green and white to bring their ‘A’ game week in and week out. Besides, which team on that schedule do the Jets have trouble matching up with?
Five of those six teams were playoff teams, with the other being the Bills, who they were 0-2 against, but Todd Bowles’ squad was of playoff caliber last year and is again this year.
To think they will come out of that stretch with a record less than 3-3 is naive. And, with a 3-3 split, they are perfectly set up for a playoff push in their final 10 games.
- Week 7: vs. Ravens
- Week 8: @ Browns
- Week 9: @ Dolphins
- Week 10: vs. Rams
- Week 12: vs. Patriots
- Week 13: vs. Colts
- Week 14: @ 49ers
- Week 15: vs. Dolphins
- Week 16: @ Patriots
- Week 17: vs. Bills
Expect the Jets to drop one in Foxborough and handle the Pats at MetLife as per usual, resulting in a 1-1 split. As for the rest, 5-2 seems like a realistic expectation — at the very least — against some lesser opponents.
Looks like 10-6 all over again. By beating the AFC teams potentially in their path, they will own tiebreakers in order to avoid another heartbreak. 10-6 will be enough, earning the Jets their first playoff appearance since 2010-2011.
The rest … well … let’s save that for another time.