I don't think it will come as a surprise to hear that many pundits don't believe in the 2017 New York Jets. It's easy to see why, we lack a lot of quality in a lot of positions. Well maybe we don't lack it, we just have unproven players who are yet to show their NFL credentials. Is it possible that this team is a lot better than anyone thinks it is? Absolutely. If Petty or Hackenberg step up to lead the team. If Kelvin Beachum improves another year removed from injury. If our linebackers can generate pressure under new coach Kevin Greene. If our offense is more balance under new OC John Morton.
It's possible... it's just not probable. NFL analysts go on what they see, and what many see is a team devoid of established talent.
The Jets look like a team tanking for one of the top QB prospects in 2018. As valuable to a team as he is as a player/coach, Josh McCown’s at the end, and he will legitimately compete for playing time with Bryce Petty and the passer drafted to be the quarterback of the future in 2016, Christian Hackenberg. The ace rusher, Matt Forte, turns 32 this year and is coming off a 3.7-per-rush season. Tight end is a wasteland. There’s a very good receiver being hatched, Quincy Enunwa, but will he be able to get the ball enough from the passers? Imagine being new offensive coordinator John Morton; you have to be aware you’ll be judged on the performance of this offense in the future, and you have to be aware that if the team goes 2-14, the whole staff could get wiped out. Tough assignment. On defense, two things disturb me: How can a team with this talent have given up the 28th-most points in football last year? And will a player as good as Muhammad Wilkerson (granted with ankle and knee problems for part of 2016) who played so poorly last year rebound? I’m skeptical the defense will turn back into the force it once was, even with the draft-weekend additions of Adams and Marcus Maye on the back end.
It's hard to disagree with a lot of this. However my point stands, if some dominos fall for the Jets, it's not impossible for this team to be a lot better than many people think. Matt Forte may be at the end, but nobody ever speaks about Bilal Powell and his impressive performance last year. It's nice to have Quincy but Anderson showed enough in year one to be excited about his potential, we still have Decker as a veteran presence and a number of other promising young players.
Could we go 2-14 and end up with the number one overall pick in 2018? Absolutely we could, and if Darnold ends up coming out... it may be the best thing to happen to the Jets since we took home the Super Bowl.