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The New York Jets will be good this season (maybe)

The New York Jets come into this season with low expectations but lots of hope on the horizon.  They finished 5-11 last season, but their record is deceiving considering they were in nearly every game.  They nearly beat a plethora of good opponents but just couldn’t get over that hump.

It’s now do or die time for the Jets’ higher ups.  They have a revamped offense, a young and hungry defense, and most importantly a potential franchise quarterback.  Mike Maccagnan and Todd Bowles’ seats could not be hotter, and this season is the ultimate proving ground.

As said before, there’s a lot to look forward to.  While many predict the Jets will be a team that maxes out at six wins, they could be much better than that.  These are the reasons why the Jets will have a surprisingly good season;

Sam Darnold

The NFL is rapidly moving towards a pass-happy style and in order to compete in this league you really need a franchise quarterback.  If the Jets are to have success this season, it all starts with the quarterback.  They may have struck gold with Sam Darnold.

The young quarterback clearly has the confidence of the coaching staff as Teddy Bridgewater was shipped off to New Orleans for a third round pick.  Sam Darnold gained the confidence of the coaching staff by playing beyond his years.  You really can’t judge how good a quarterback will be based off preseason stats, but you can take a look at some intangibles the quarterback possesses.

Sam Darnold is calm in the pocket, has a tight spiral, and makes good plays with his legs.  He doesn’t hold onto the ball for too long, is in sync with his receivers, and has a moxie about him that can’t be described.  He’s built for New York, and based off of his past accomplishments at USC he is ready for prime time.  We also can’t always go off of college accomplishments (Hello Mark Sanchez & Matt Leinart) but it’s safe to say the Jets may have had just the right guy drop to them at number three.

Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye

On the other side of the ball, the Jets may have one of the biggest trash talkers this side of Jalen Ramsey.  While he’s not nearly as brash as Ramsey, Jamal Adams is the spark plug to this young Jets defense.  Adams had a very strong rookie campaign for the Jets, living up to the hype (so far) of a top six pick.

The young safety from LSU is looking to change the culture for the Jets and is using his strong personality as the lightning rod for it.  He can back up his talk with his play and is slowly but surely making the Jets defense a hungry one.  They may not be the most talented, but they do have a lot of good players and never give up on plays.  There’s a reason why they were in nearly every game last season.

On the flip side, his partner in crime in the secondary is much more soft-spoken.  He hits just as hard but carries himself with a lot more humility.  Marcus Maye may be the best young defensive player that nobody has heard of.  The Jets struck gold in the second round of last year’s draft as well, selecting Maye with the 39th pick out of Florida.

Maye may not get the praise in the headlines that Adams does, but he did total 79 tackles and two interceptions last season in the free safety spot.  He and Adams are a terrifying duo back there and are the heart and soul of the feisty Jets defense.  If Maye and Adams continue to improve, look for the defense to be even more improved this season.

Offensive weapons

Along with Darnold, the Jets look to some new weapons to help them get over the hump offensively.  The trio of Robby Anderson, Quincy Enunwa (returning from a neck injury) and newly signed Terrell Pryor are an interesting combination.  Enunwa is more of a tight end but can play anywhere, Pryor may someday return to his uber-athletic form at Ohio State, and Anderson could be a special receiver if he keeps his head on straight.

Along with the three receivers, Clive Walford has been serviceable after the loss of Austin Seferian-Jenkins to free agency.  He’s not going to factor in much, but having a serviceable tight end is still important.  Perhaps the most intriguing part of the Jets offense (besides the young stud quarterback) is the three-headed monster at running back.

This trio reminds many of a poor man’s “Earth, Wind, and Fire”, the running back committee of Ahmad Bradshaw, Brandon Jacobs and Derrick Ward in 2008.  Isaiah Crowell is the earth, a rumbling back with some decent speed behind those big pads.  Elijah McGuire is the wind, the speedster of the bunch.  He can run like the wind and given an open lane can easily take a touchdown for six.  The most important piece is the fire, and if Bilal Powell is destined to break out NOW is the time.  The veteran doesn’t have much tread under his tires and is fully set to be the utility back in the Jets’ offense.

The Jets could go 6-10 this year and it wouldn’t be a surprise at all.  They are a still a very young and very flawed team, but the future is extremely bright.  Sam Darnold, if he pans out, could be the franchise saving quarterback this team has been looking for since Joe Namath.  The defense is hungry, the weapons are there, and all the pieces are in place to have a surprising season.  The Jets may just sneak up on some people this year.

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Chris Passarelli
Football Editor - Hockey Editor - New York Islanders Lead Writer - New York Lizards Lead Writer - UConn Football Lead Writer
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