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Are You Optimistic or Pessimistic?

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Syndication: The Record Chris Pedota, via Imagn Content Services, LLC

With the 2021 season right in front of us it is time to gauge your confidence of the team the Jets have assembled. You know Robert Saleh is optimistic about the season but what about you? Are you an optimist, a pessimist, or are you are sitting on the fence? If you’re a fence sitter, get off and make your feelings known. Still not sure? Well let’s take a look at various parts of the team to help you decide where you stand. We will go over some select areas to give a score on how optimistic or pessimistic you are.

We will rate your feelings in black and red ink. You should answer each category with your optimistic score (in black ink) and your pessimistic score in red. Subtract the red from the black and you will have you confidence level on each category.

Then add them together. Good Luck!

Quarterback Optimistic

If you are an optimist you see Zach Wilson as a sort of revelation for the Jets. After decades of tries the Jets have never really replaced Joe Namath with an appreciable replacement. There has been Ken O’Brien, Chad Pennington, Vinny, Richard Todd and even Brett Favre but nobody has really been THE man the Jets could point to and say, “He’s the guy to lead us to the promised land.”

Now here comes this kid with an arm to rival Joe Willie himself. He is smart, tough, hard working; I mean really hard working. He has impressed everyone who has watched him since he has been with the Jets. His coaches rave about how well he picks up schemes plus he is a ravenous football film junkie. Tony Romo is a pretty good judge of football and how it is played. Romo was effusive in his praise for Wilson, he went out of his way to put himself and his reputation on the line with his comments. Here are some of them.

“I actually think Zach Wilson with the Jets is going to turn that franchise around. I think Zach Wilson is going to be in the discussion as one of the top three to five quarterbacks in the league very quickly. Within the next couple of years, I think you’re going to see him rise. I think he’s unbelievable. His ceiling is so high. It’s rare for me to say someone has the ability to get in the stratosphere of a Patrick Mahomes but I think this kid actually has that ability. So when you have a quarterback like that, I think there’s no telling how good you can be. He can make up for a lot of weaknesses in a lot of areas for a football team.”

That is truly high praise so why not believe an expert who actually played the game at a fairly high level. Romo knows what it is like to be in the spotlight as the Dallas QB so he would know something about pressure like it would be to play in New York.

Wilson had a nice preseason even if he only played two games. Wilson’s numbers for the preseason were impressive going 15-of-20, 191 yards, two TDs, no turnovers, no sacks, and a 137.7 passer rating. He didn’t run once because he wanted to stay with the play, but that should change come the regular season. He is said to have legit 4.50/40 speed so he should be able to steal a few first downs while scrambling out of bounds to avoid the hit.

Personally I agree with Romo, I have felt that way ever since I first watched his tape back in December. He will have some growing pains, but he is the type of kid that exudes confidence, a confidence that will be absorbed by team mates with every great drive.

So rate your optimism level from 0-5 with 5 being the highest level of optimism in black ink.

Quarterback Pessimistic

Zach Wilson has been solid through the preseason but that is just preseason. The regular season is quite different as the other teams defensive rookies will now be on the sideline and the real defense will be hunting him. This kid from Utah has seen nothing like what he is going to see. Defenders are licking their chops looking to pad their stats.

Plus you know that Wilson faced nothing but vanilla defenses in the preseason so now every DC will be like an evil scientist, wringing his hands as he devises blitz packages to sack Wilson. You also know every DC will throw the kitchen sink, bathroom toilet and every monkey wrench he has with exotic coverages to confuse the young QB. Wilson’s head will be spinning by the 2nd quarter of the first game.

Very few rookie QBs ever make it in the NFL. Those who go on to become legends are an ever rarer few. What are the chances (with the Jets’ luck) that they caught lightning in a bottle? You might say slim to none. The list of failed phenoms is too numerous to list. That is why it is so glorious when one succeeds.

So rate your pessimism level from 0-5 with 5 being your highest level of pessimism in red.

Defense Optimistic

The Jets will field one of the youngest, most athletic defenses in the league. John Franklin-Myers was a player I was ecstatic the Jets were to find on the waiver wire from the Rams a few years back. He was one of my sleeper selections coming out of Stephen F. Austin State in the 2018 NFL Draft until the Rams selected him in the 4th round. I knew he was a developmental prospect, but now he has matured and he’s ready for a break out year. He is strong and athletic as hell.He ran 4.75/40 at 283 lbs at the NFL Combine. He will help offset the loss of Carl Lawson as a defensive end for the Jets.

C.J. Mosley is back to continue his dominant play but also add the leadership the Jets were missing last year. With Adams an afterthought in Seattle, Mosley will be the unquestioned leader of the unit.

Sheldon Rankins and Quinnen Williams could develop into the best defensive tackle pair in the NFL. With solid rotational backups Foley Fatukasi, Nathan Shepard and rookie Jonathan Marshall who really showed out in the preseason the Jets may have the best interior run defense in the NFL.

Bryce Huff, Tim Ward, and Kyle Phillips are three exciting young edge players who along with newly acquired Shaq Lawson should provided a lot of pressure on QBs.

Veteran safeties Marcus Maye and Lamarcus Joyner provide quality backend play and leadership for a young but quick and fast secondary. Along with Robert Saleh’s defensive style the Jets should surrender much less points this year.

So rate you optimism level from 0-5 with 5 being the highest level of optimism in black ink.

Defense Pessimistic

The Jets defense was woeful in 2020 surrendering a ghastly 457 points last year which was 4th worst in the AFC conference. The Jets return no starting linebackers from the squad, and Bryce Hall and Marcus Maye are the only returning starters from a horrid secondary. The team tied for 23rd in the NFL with only 10 INTs while tying for 3rd in passing TDs allowed with 34 in 2020.

The Jets signed Carl Lawson and Vinney Curry to help with the pass rush, but they both are gone for the year with injuries before the season even starts.

This is a Jets defense that tied for the 7th most penalties but gave up the 2nd most 1st downs due to penalties with 46. This was a team that gave up the 5th most completions which probably would have been much higher if the Jets were not totally out of some games early in the contest. The Jets were by far the worst team in terms of plus - minus ratio in the NFL. They had 214 more points scored against them than they scored. That was the worst mark by 28 points over the 1-15 Jaguars and 72 more points than the 3rd worst, the Lions. Again that was probably not indicative of the actual situation as many teams benched their starters sometimes before the 4th quarter.

The Jets will probably start two rookie linebackers and a rookie CB who was a 6th round Draft pick. When you have over a quarter of your starting defense being rookies it invites disaster. If that is the best you have then who are the backups?

So rate your pessimism level from 0-5 with 5 being your highest level of pessimism in red.

Offense Optimistic

With a new offense that features the #2 pick in the Draft at the helm and a boatload of receivers to pick from the Jets could be an offensive powerhouse in 2021. The signing of Corey Davis plus the electric Draft pick Elijah Moore along with Denzel Mims, Keelan Cole, Tyler Kroft, and Jamison Crowder the Jets have a wealth of targets.

Tevin Coleman was brought in to help run the wide zone offense that Mike LeFleur brought over from the 49ers. he Jets have 3 RBs with the type of speed to be effective at this offense with Coleman, Carter and Ty Johnson. These stretch runs can be lethal when they are used to set up the passing game.

To help them open holes Joe Douglas traded up in the draft for stud guard Alijah Vera-Tucker who will slide right into the left guard position next to the behemoth Mekhi Becton. This will provide solid pass protection to Wilson’s blind side and when the Jets need a yard they will know which side to get it on.

The Jets also fortified their offense with the signing of Morgan Moses and guard/center Dan Feeney. So the Jets now have three quality tackles and better backups on the interior of the line. Also the offense will feature more zone blocking which works better with the type of great athletes along the offensive line.

So rate your optimism level from 0-5 with 5 being the highest level of optimism in black ink.

Offense Pessimistic

The Jets are going from a 3 year starter to a rookie QB on an offensive line that was horrendous last year and may only have one new starter. The Jets brought in a 28 year old RB (Coleman) to lead the offense, he had a mere 28 carries last year for a total of 53 yards which is an abysmal 1.9 yard per tote.

They traded away sometimes starting TE Chris Herndon then signed a near 29 year old Tyler Kroft who has started a grand total of 9 games the last three years combined which amounted to 22 receptions for 226 yards and 4 TDs. Why would Cincinnati ever let him go? (rhetorical) So the new starting RB and starting TE had a grand total of 172 yards combined last year. Defensive coordinators will be burning the midnight oil.

The Jets are relying on a bust of a Draft pick they paid big money for (Corey Davis). Their leading receiver from last year who already might miss time (Jamison Crowder) 3 veteran RBs who did nearly nothing last year, and a diminutive rookie. There is also a WR 2nd round pick last year who spent most of the year hurt (Mims) and Keelan Cole who was let go by a team with less talent than the Jets (Jaguars). Their TEs are a collection of Kroft (ugh) plus Griffin, Wesco and Brown who all run slower than a man pushing a wheelbarrow.

So rate your pessimism level from 0-5 with 5 being your highest level of pessimism in red.

Special Teams Optimistic

Our special teams should be much better first off with a more athletic roster which in turn should be better blockers for returns. Kicker Matt Ammendola has a super strong leg and has shown well so far in camp. Braden Mann returns as the punter and should rebound from a shaky rookie season. He has the talent. The Jets also have a number of good returners including Braxton Berrios, Michael Carter, Ty Johnson, and Keelan Cole. The Jets should get better field position with this upgraded group which will definitely help the offense. Plus LS Thomas Hennessy is solid.

So rate your optimism level from 0-5 with 5 being the highest level of optimism in black ink.

Special Teams Pessimistic

We have another new kicker, who is better than the last. However, the last guy was also supposed to be an improvement. That didn’t work out. It’s sad the amount of kickers the Jets have had lately. It makes you wish for Nick Folk back. If that doesn’t make you cry than you probably didn’t cry when you watched Old Yeller. (Look it up, kids. It’s a 1957 movie classic with Fess Parker).

The entire group of special teams players will probably have opposing special teams coordinators working until noon to figure out how to dominate them. No one on that list will scare anyone, and if the Jets do well on a kick or punt it just means someone slipped or there were only 10 players on the field for the opponents.

So rate your pessimism level from 0-5 with 5 being your highest level of pessimism in red.

Now add up the points; if you are in the black you are optimistic. If you are in the red you are pessimistic. If it came back zero you are still on the fence so get off the fence.

So how did the Jets do on your card? Let everyone know.

This was a serious/not so serious look at the season before it begins.

Truth of the matter is no one knows how things will turn out or how the Jets will do. I myself am hopefully optimistic that the Jets might be turning a corner. Hopefully a car is not coming around that same corner coming at them.

No matter how you analyze the coming season there will always be something that takes you by surprise or you never thought would happen. Let’s hope it’s something good.

You never know. That’s why we watch... That, plus fantasy football.

Enjoy the season all