I always hate when the New York Jets play a non-Sunday game because it makes NFL Sunday feel just a little bit off. That feeling gets a bit magnified for me on opening day because every other fanbase gets to see all of the new wrinkles on their team and how well they work, while we just get another day of speculating about how things might go.
But I figured I’d turn those non-Sunday game lemons into some lemonade for a change. Specifically, I now have a full week 1 slate worth of games from which to inform any pre-opening kickoff predictions on how this season might go for the Jets. With that in mind, here are my 2023 game-by-game guesses on whether or not the Jets win.
Week 1: vs. Buffalo Bills (Jets win): The energy around the Jets feels different this year and I think that shows up via the crowd atmosphere on Monday night. Pair that with the lack of tape on the Jets offense and the really strong Jets secondary and I think that’s enough for the Jets to win on opening weekend.
Week 2: at Dallas Cowboys (Jets loss): Maybe it’s because I just spent 3 hours watching the Cowboys thrash the New York Giants without seemingly breaking a sweat, but I think the Dallas offense does enough to complement their defense and win a close one.
Week 3: vs. New England Patriots (Jets win): There was a brief moment when the Philadelphia Eagles went up by 2 scores before the end of the first that I thought this might finally be the year that the Pats stunk... then they proceeded to take the Eagles down to the last drive. While I don’t think the Pats stink, I do think quarterback Mac Jones fails to do enough to beat the Jets on the road.
Week 4: vs. Kansas City Chiefs (SNF) (Jets loss): The Chiefs didn’t look like their typical selves on Thursday night as their offense sputtered at times. However, I think their offense is one of the few that matches up well against the Jets defense because they run their offense through tight ends and running backs instead of receivers, which lessens the benefits of the Jets very strong cornerback group. While I think it’s close, I think quarterback Pat Mahomes pulls some crazy play out of thin air and finds a way to win the game.
Week 5: at Denver Broncos (Jets loss): For the first time in some time, today’s version of quarterback Russell Wilson looked like the version of himself that used to scare opposing defensive coordinators. Pair that with a strong defense and I think the Broncos and the Jets are near mirror images of one another. In an otherwise evenly matched game, I think the home field advantage and the altitude give the Broncos a close win.
Week 6: vs. Philadelphia Eagles (Jets win): The Eagles have the most well-rounded roster of the teams the Jets will face in 2023 as far as I’m concerned, and they are probably the best measuring stick of the Jets’ 2023 potential. However, I think the Jets corners match up well against the Eagles wide receivers and I think that’s enough for them to find a way to win this game at home.
Week 7: BYE
Week 8: at New York Giants (Jets win): I am uncertain if the Giants could beat a high school team after watching that game against the Cowboys.
Week 9: vs. Chargers (MNF) (Jets win): The Jets corners are good enough to limit the Charger passing attack and the Chargers’ defense didn’t seem interested in stopping anyone on the Dolphins offense on Sunday.
Week 10: at Las Vegas Raiders (SNF) (Jets loss): The Raiders seem likely to play ball control all year behind running back Josh Jacobs and risk-averse quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. Because of that, I’ll give them the edge against a team like the Jets that are built around strong cornerback play.
Week 11: at Buffalo Bills (Jets loss): The Bills always seem to get better as the year goes on and I don’t think the Jets sweep them.
Week 12: vs. Miami Dolphins (Black Friday) (Jets loss): Great offense meets great defense. I think Miami’s offense is enough to pull one out against a Jets defense that will only be a few days removed from a heavyweight fight against Buffalo.
Week 13: vs. Falcons (Jets win): Maybe I’m undervaluing the effectiveness of their rushing attack, but this seems like a game the Jets should easily win.
Week 14: vs. Texans (Jets win): I mean “any given Sunday” and all that jazz, but a team helmed by quarterback Aaron Rodgers should not lose to a team that is expected to compete for the first overall pick in the draft.
Week 15: at Miami Dolphins (Jets win): I think the Jets split with Miami. The Jets defense should be better rested after the two weeks of blowouts that I’m anticipating to precede this game and I think that makes the difference in the second game between these two teams.
Week 16: vs. Washington Commanders (Jets win): Take a young quarterback with good and but not great wide receivers and play them against this Jets secondary and I expect turnovers to happen.
Week 17: at Cleveland Browns (TNF) (Jets lose): If there were one game on the schedule that I’d like to see the Jets absolutely thrash their opponent then it would be this one. However, I think the Browns are going to have the best run game in the league and run games take on an extra importance to me on a short week. Sadly, I think the Jets lose this one to a very good Cleveland team.
Week 18: at New England Patriots (Jets win): If the Patriots had even a league average quarterback then I think they find a way to split with the Jets this year... but they have Mac Jones.
Final record estimate: 10-7 (earn Wild Card spot)