The Emergence of the Young New York Jets

December 7, 2017

     Before the season it was commonly accepted that the Jets will be the worst football team in NFL history.  The best odds given to the jets to win a game at a point in the summer is 64%.  These same New York Jets that were supposed to win no games and be the new clown franchise of the NFL have 5 wins.  The draft of the rookies Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye, the top two picks who are both safety’s, had an immediate impact on the defense.  Their effort, guts, and most importantly will to win gave the Jets an identity.  The Jets are tough on defense, especially with Buster Skrine, a normal nickel corner, starting at the cornerback position regularly. Buster’s attitude and physicality cannot be quantified in any number, which makes many football fans ignore him considering most just pay attention to fantasy football on Sundays.  Morris Claiborne the other corner back had a stint with the Dallas cowboys, but came to the jets in the off season by the way of contract.  Morris is a physical, lockdown corner that is under rated and helps cover the number one wide receiver of the other team some being Brandin Cooks and Tyreek Hill.  The defensive line was criticized, because of Sheldon Richardson being traded to the Seahawks.  What was underplayed is all the players the jets got in trades and picked up for their line.  Kony Ealy, a previous Carolina Panther got picked up in the off season and has made his presence felt every game with his strength, ability to sack the quarter back, and ball skills.  Leonard Williams continued his success, and even gets double teamed most of the time due to people respecting his play on the field.  Mohamed Wilkerson has always been a beast and the combination of him, Williams, and Ealy gives trouble to every offensive line and quarterback in the league.  The linebackers Demario Davis and Daron Lee are also underrated in their ball skills and ability to blitz the quarterback.  Damario Davis has made many plays to win the Jets games, or put them in the position to win games.   Daron Lee is especially quick when blitzing the qb and is very good at spying a running qb when necessary. 


     The other side of the ball is especially key considering in preseason people had no hope in Josh Mccown and the offense.  At quarterback Josh Mccown was considered by most to be the worst qb in the whole league considering his history, but he certainly doesn’t look like a bottom of the league qb this year.  Josh Mccowns ability to scramble when in trouble in the pocket was severely underrated and has helped them in games such as against the Chiefs and the Bills the second time.  The combination of his toughness in the pocket and chemistry with Robby Anderson and Jermaine Kearse have made him a solid passer in the pocket.    The speed and quickness combined with the route running skills of Robby Anderson make him a tough cover for the best corners as shown by him getting 6 touchdowns in the last 5 weeks with at least one in each of those games. Jermaine Kearse is more of a consistent all year receiver that has the ability to run any route and make plays for the team at the most important time as shown by his super bowl performance.  He and Josh Mccown both also provide a sense of veteran leadership to keep a really young team focused at all times.  The tight end position has been a missing piece in the Jets’ offense for years, but with Austin Seferian Jenkins coming off injury the position has been critical for the Jets exceeding their expectations like they did this season.  He has been a difference maker especially in two-minute drills and in the red zone because of his size and ball skills.  The offensive line has had trouble protecting Mccown, as shown by being one of the most sacked quarterbacks in the NFL.  They have easily exceeded their expectations by not allowing Mccown to be sacked at the critical times of games. 


     The coaching staff has even done an outstanding job this season.  The head coach Todd Bowles has got a team that was supposed to be 0-16 to focus and play their hearts out at all times of the game.  This difficult task is why the Jets are 5-7, and his leadership should make him coach of the year.  There has not been another coach that has done this much with a roster of players in which at most three players were respected initially.  The offensive coordinator John Morton has done an extraordinary job of calling plays that Mccown and the offense are comfortable with such as the wheel route Robby Anderson runs. The smart play calling has made the offense a solid unit that has the ability to score points against good defenses.  Todd Bowles defensive expertise cannot be under estimated, especially the ability for him to put the rookie safeties Adams and Maye in there most comfortable places.  The continuous blitzes called by bowles gives the Jets a defensive identity and gives havoc to all the quarterbacks they face. 


     What’s so surprising to most people about the jets is that this 5-7 team is the same team that “should of” went 0-16.  People are now playing the Jet players Robby Anderson, Jermaine Kearse, and Josh Mccown in their fantasy football lineups weekly.  If a fan was asked to draft a Jet in the fantasy draft at the beginning of the season everyone would laugh, but now Robby Anderson is a player that a lot of fantasy owners really want.  This can teach football fans the valuable lesson of not underestimating some teams will to win and playing hard every down.  The amount of heart the Jets paly with is shown every week and has led to them still with a slim chance to get the wild card.  

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