Why the New York Jets are your Best Investment of 2017
Being a New York Jets fan is one feature about myself I have trouble admitting to people but Gang Green this year can provide you with an opportunity to make a near guaranteed investment over the span over 4 months. How you may ask? Betting on the over/under of their regular season win total, each year betting websites everywhere post their prediction on the total number of wins that each team will win. The New York Jets have a number of 3.5, which has shrunk from the original 5.5 but they are the lowest among every team in the league, so let’s dive into why this is the case.
One statistic/website I like to use is Football Outsider’s DVOA rankings which rank teams from multiple perspectives but with a bit more in depth calculations to more accurately determine how good a team is. For example, the Jets were ranked as the 32nd total DVOA (both offense and defense) team in the league. DVOA explained: “DVOA breaks down every single play of the NFL season, assigning each play a value based on both total yards and yards towards a first down. A system that breaks down every single play and compares a team's performance to the league average based on situation in order to determine value over average” (as per Football Outsiders). Offensively they ranked as the 31st ranked DVOA team and defensively the Jets still finished on the wrong half of the league finishing up 21st in 2016. Why am I telling you all of these more advanced statistics of the 2016 season? Let’s look over who the Jets lost this off season:
David Harris LB (starter), Nick Mangold C (starter), Eric Decker WR (Starter), Brandon Marshall WR (Starter), Sheldon Richardson DE/DT (Starter), Darrelle Revis CB (Starter), Calvin Pryor SS/FS (Starter), Quincy Enunwa WR (Starter, lost to IR), Ryan Clady T (Starter).
These players listed were not only starters but most were actually some of the best talent New York had left. It was arguable that with Sheldon Richardson Jets had one of the best D lines in the league but with his departure they fall back to an average to above average D line. Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker when healthy proved in 2015 they were an explosive WR duo, Decker is a red zone machine who averages a TD every 2 games and Brandon Marshall has 8 seasons (1 with Jets) of 1,000 + receiving yards. Nick Mangold was the face of New York with his long rugged hair along with a beard to go along with it, a consistent starter who was known for being one of the best centres in the league, and Ryan Clady was a valuable piece to the O line that now ranks amongst one of the worst in the NFL. David Harris was the captain of the defense for a solid period of time but was aging so this move was not as hurtful to the Jets but with no signing this leaves a hole in a defense that can’t afford to have too many mistakes this season. Revis had some off field issues that caused his release from his second stint with New York and he as well is getting old but could have been used as a safety but the draft clearly outlined that wasn’t going to happen with the Jets taking two safeties in round 1&2 (still salty about the non-pick of Dalvin Cook). Honestly the biggest head scratcher for me was the release of Calvin Pryor; he was a player who I thought was a great mentor for Adams because he went through a tough start as a highly touted rookie but then turned it around as a sophomore who was clearly a vital piece of Gang Green’s defense. All in all these moves summarize the glooming idea that New York is wanting the number one pick this year and will do everything in their power to do that.
So let’s look at what these Jets have to offer this year with their newly released depth chart for this upcoming season. (All players underlined are rookies).
The additions include an old man they call a quarterback in Josh McCowan who only has 8 regular season wins since 2006 as a starter (yes you read that right). Morris Claiborne is the attempt to replace Revis which I do not mind since he looked above average last season but he is no way going to save this secondary. The O line is depleted and prior to this season has never played together as a unit and critics all around the league are ranking them in the bottom 5 for a team that has their 2 starting caliber running backs having an average age of 30.5. The receiving corps is bar none the worst in the league with nearly every receiver but the newly added Jermaine Kearse never having more than 5 games as a starting Wide out that isn’t listed higher than 3. Defensively, Darron Lee will get the chance to lead the team in tackles and probably be calling the plays if Demario Davis starts to fall off as the season progresses. There are plenty of question marks in the secondary because of the rookies starting at safety but if Adams can shake off his atrocious preseason and live up to the hype that led him to being the aforementioned ‘steal of the 1st round’ then this could be the strength of the Jets Defense which still ranks in the bottom half of the league. One thing I would like to point out as well, despite hitting reporters in practices (multiple times) and looking like a junior high school quarterback in preseason, Christian Hackenberg still made this team.
So after that quick roster analysis, the schedule is worth a peek to see how many games are achievable at winning:
When teams are this poor, I write off every road game that team plays because of the strength in home field advantage in the NFL but the Jets have three situations on the road where we should zoom in on. Week 1 it almost seems like the Bills are trying to throw away but these are bounces in which Buffalo could not account for. Tyrod Taylor might not start which would mean the rookie Peterman would be signal caller week 1, Jordan Matthews the newly acquired WR1 is also going through some injury problems and might not be available which could push the Jets closer to victory. Regardless of all these reports that are not confirmed yet, I still think an injury plagued Bills team can beat a fully healthy New York Jets team. The other game is week 5 against another bottom 5 ranked team in the Browns who as of now are starting rookie DeShone Kizer, depending on his game play weeks 1to4 this could be another win opportunity but the Browns did improve on both sides of the ball and I think more skilled overall as a team so this should be another loss for New York. Finally week 17, the second team week of the NFL where the Pats will have the division locked up and the starters will not be playing which will give the Jets an opportunity to literally play a second team NFL which I then think will be their first even matchup of the year. Let’s give the Jets a fair 1 win of the three achievable wins on the road.
Next let’s look over the home games where I see only two games that I think the Jets can win and it will depend on the other team getting injured beforehand or a lack of production from key players to the opposing teams. First being week 4 against the Jags, so the Jags on paper have the best defensive team in the AFC so they should be able to shut down the abysmal offense of New York but for arguments sake let’s say they struggle in New York that day. The reason why this is a manageable win revolves around the gameplay of Blake Bortles who has looked less and less like an NFL ready QB and the LSU superstar Leonard Fournette, I personally do not think the Jets can handle the playmakers on the Jags offense that also includes Allen Robinson who will be running all over the Jets D which makes me think this is another loss. You can take your pick on the Miami or Buffalo game at home, the AFC east has a weird tradition of always beating a division rival at least one time per year so I think the Jets can do that against whoever is struggling more at the time. Whether it be Jay ‘toss me a dart’ Cutler not knowing the playbook early in the season or in week 9 when the Bills could be less healthy. In all honesty I am being quite gracious with one of these games being a victory for the Jets and would not be surprised they lose both games.
This leaves us with a resulting win total of 2, which I think is their win total for this year but something to keep in mind if you are a true gambler is betting on a team going 0-16 which currently pays 13to1. I would like to add that multiple sources have come out and said this is the worst team to be fielded since the Lions 0-16 season and even possibly since 2000. Gambling is gambling but when you know the result is it really gambling?
PICK: Under 3.5 regular season wins NYJ
Thank you for reading,