Another year, another season, and another turn for Jets fans to feel drunken hope for what could finally be the turnaround season everyone has been waiting for the team to have. But unlike other years, the future for once is starting to look bright for the Jets, with NFL odds outlets even starting to show the “Gang Green” some love in their initial season predictions.
But, before all Jets fans start putting the champagne on ice, thinking about what this new season might bring, it’s in everyone’s best interest to bring the hype down and take it all back to reality. Las Vegas oddsmakers still have the Jets as a bottom-tier team not only in the AFC but in the NFL in general.
Still though, with 2nd year starting QB Zach Wilson, a spruced-up defense thanks to the addition of Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner to the secondary and a receiver core that looks like a decent unit, NFL lines websites are not shying away from allowing Jets betting fans the chances to dream a little.
While we wait until the season starts, let’s run down what the Jets will be bringing to the table and if the idea of them taking flight is a reality for 2022.
New York Jets Last Season Performance
The 2021 season was yet another one of sorrow and hardship for the New York Jets organization. Even after having a good draft haul that included franchise QB Zach Wilson, OG Alijah Vera-Tucker, WR Elijah Moore, and RB Michael Carter amongst others, as well as bringing in defensive ends Carl Lawson and Sheldon Rankins and WR Corey Davis, the Jets couldn’t catch a break in Robert Saleh’s first season as head coach of the organization.
With a final season record of 4-13, the Jets once again showed why they have been being taken as a perennial joke in the AFC East division for the last few years. But with that said, even when being down, the team, under Saleh’s coaching began to show some signs of quiet improvement.
Key players like Wilson, Moore, Braxton Berrios, CJ Mosley, Nathan Shepherd, and Quinnen Williams started stepping up and putting in the work to show that all jokes aside, this team can ball. A clear sign of said efforts especially came to fruition in week 4 and week 8 with their wins over the Titans and Bengals, two of the stronger teams in the conference last season.
New York Jets Off-Season Changes
After finishing the 2021 season with a 4-13 record and more doubts than answers, general manager Joe Douglas and head coach Robert Saleh got to work right away to try and start shaping up a new, more competitive version of the New York Jets for 2022. The mission was clear and continues to be the same moving towards the new season, making this team a competitive squad that can have a Bengals-style leap of quality from one season to the next.
Yes, I know, comparing the Jets to the Bengals right now is as farfetched as comparing a Michelin Star restaurant hot dog to a 7-Eleven glizzy at 2 am after a night out partying, but, hear me out on this, the Jets are doing things right this time.
Both Douglas and Saleh have made it a point to cover up all the holes and gaps in the roster to not go through yet another season of being the punchline to every single football joke in the land. They have managed to address most if not all of the issues surrounding the team, and most importantly, a new culture of hard work and winning is being instated anywhere and everywhere within the team.
New York Jets Key Additions
Can we please take a moment to talk about how good the Jets did in the 2022 draft? If you were to look at draft grades everywhere, you would see that the Jets, for once, actually have not only a passing grade but a score that makes them one of the best, if not the best team to hit the draft market this year. With Joe Douglas leading the charge, the Jets dealt around pieces and put their premier draft capital to use, drafting CB star Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner, WR Garret Wilson, and edge Jermaine Johnson II, all in the first round of the draft, while also picking up the best RB in this year’s draft class Breece Hall and another top-tier weapon for the offense in TE Jeremy Ruckert.
All and all, the Jets did the best job they could and more, leaving them as one of the biggest winners, if not the biggest winner in this year’s draft.
Also, some strong free agency moves were made, like bringing in former San Francisco 49ers G Laken Tomlinson to continue fortifying an offensive line that was in dire need of help. But that was just the tip of the iceberg for as well as former Bucs S Jordan Whitehead to cover the loss of Marcus Maye, former Bengals and Vikings TE’s C.J. Uzomah and Tyler Conklin to further strengthen the tight end department, former Seahawks CB D.J. Reed to help out in the secondary and former Raiders DE Solomon Thomas as well as former Texans DE Jacob Martin.
New York Jets Key Subtractions
Of course, not all have been fun and games in “Gang Green” land as the Jets saw a couple of their most important pieces leave for greener pastures during the offseason. Former starting safety Marcus Maye decided to take his talents to New Orleans after not being able to strike a deal suitable to his status as one of the best up-and-coming defensive players in the league.
Staying on defense, DT Folorunso Fatukasi, one of the best players in the Jets defense last season also decided to take his talents south, joining Doug Pederson and the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Aside from that, on offense, OT Morgan Moses packed his bags after one year with the Jets and headed over to Baltimore to protect Lamar Jackson in the Ravens. Jamison Crowder, the veteran WR that was one of the stronger points in New York’s offense last season jumped ship from the Jets to the Bills to further strengthen an already massively talented Buffalo offense.
New York Jets Head Coach Analysis
After Adam Gase’s tenure with the Jets, any new head coaching option would’ve been welcomed with open arms, but once again, the Jets managed to strike gold with the hiring of former 49ers DC Robert Saleh last season.
From the get-go, Saleh made it a non-negotiable that a strong, work-driven attitude was to be had from all of his players, and even with the first season that saw many more downs than ups, a true change in the team’s culture started to show. Saleh’s influence on the team can be seen throughout all of the rosters, with the Jets looking like a shadow of the wreck they used to be, even if the wins are still on their way.
Now in 2022, with a roster whose necessities have been met, Saleh and his player-friendly, no-quit mentality, plus all of his defensive knowledge to pair up with Mike LaFleur’s offensive schemes are ready to transition from a good scenario on paper to great results on the field.
New York Jets Injured Players at the Beginning of the Season
The New York Jets have been hard at work this offseason gearing up for what promises to be a surefire turn-around season for the team. Of course, given the high levels of expectations and demand that players have been going through with coach Robert Saleh and his team, injuries are bound to be inevitable.
As of now, the most note-worthy injured players continue to be DE Carl Lawson who is expected to be fully back in action for week 1 as well as rookie TE Jeremy Ruckert. OT Mekhi Becton who needs the 2022 season to be a bounce-back season for the ages, especially after missing most of last season to an injury and with his weight problems being a glaring issue among reporters and fans, is also out for now but is expected to be fully healed and ready for week 1.
New York Jets Offense
The Jets offense will be relying heavily on what 2nd-year franchise passer Zach Wilson can bring to the table, especially after a second half of last season in which he showed some true signs of promise, even while playing for the Jets. But not just that, as mentioned before, the Jets hit the 2022 draft with a clear mission in mind and they came out as clear winners as well. By selecting former Ohio State WR Garrett Wilson, the best receiver in the draft, and Breece Hall, the best running back in the draft, the Jets have ensured themselves a couple of premier offensive weapons for the foreseeable future.
If you add to that the addition of Laken Tomlinson to continue sprucing up the offensive line and tight ends CJ Uzomah and Tyler Conklin coming in to take over the TE department alongside rookie Jeremy Ruckert, we could be in for a total overhaul of New York’s offense for the new season.
New York Jets Defense
New York’s defense has been through so much in the past few years that it was hard to decide whether the whole line needed to be substituted or if it needed to go on a long rehab period to get going once again. But, once again, thanks to the draft and some good free agency moves, the Jets were able to bounce back and start putting together a defensive line that looks like it can do some damage against opposing offenses.
Team veterans such as C.J. Mosley, Quinnen Williams, and Nathan Shepherd will all be coming back again this season for another go, the most important move we could end up seeing is how well rookie edge rusher Jermaine Jones II and DE Carl Lawson will fit in once they are fully available to suit up for the Jets. As far as the secondary goes, remember the name Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner.
While it will take some time for him to reach his full potential, we could be looking at the next Darrelle Revis in the making for the Jets. With “Sauce” Gardner and DJ Reed manning the cornerback positions, new safety and probable starter Jordan Whitehead should fit in just right to make the Jets secondary a respectable unit down the field.
New York Jets Special Teams
For this season the only debate within the special teams unit falls on who will be taking over the kicking duties for the team. The battle between Greg Zuerlein and Eddy Pineiro will surely continue throughout the offseason with Zuerlein looking like the number one pick for now. In the punting department, the job will continue to fall on Braden Mann, who also doubles as the ball holder for field goals in the team. Lastly, the long snapper position will once again be taken by Jets veteran Thomas Hennessy.
In the punt and kick return departments, the responsibilities will once again fall in the hands of WR Braxton Berrios and RB Zonovan Knight who will be splitting the jobs throughout the season.
New York Jets Prediction for 2022 Season
When trying to come up with predictions for the 2022 New York Jets season, the panoramas can be either full of hope, or full of pessimism. For now, and given that it’s the Jets, a team that knows a thing or two, or maybe a million about pessimism and hard times, let’s go with hope and optimism for now.
The Jets front offices have done wonders this offseason to make sure Robert Saleh and his coaching staff have enough players to try and mount up a decent season in 2022. All of the holes and gaps within the rosters were dealt with to the best of their efforts, bringing in impactful players for right now and for the long run. While the hype around the league of thinking that this team could be in for a Bengals-style leap in quality this season is a stretch, it wouldn’t come as a shock if the Jets manage to strike up a decent to a good season with at least 6 to 8 wins in their record.
New York Jets Final Thoughts
I’m a Jets fan, I’ve never shied away from my love of the green and white, so believe me when I say that I know what it’s like to be scraping in the bottom of the barrel, always coming into each season with the same hope as ever. But unlike other years in which hopes have become sorrows, this year feels like it could be the start of something new and good not only for the team but for Jets fans in general.
Believe in Zach Wilson’s progress in his second year as a starter. Believe in what “Sauce” Gardner and the rest of the 2022 rookie class will be bringing to the table. Above all, believe in what Robert Saleh can do as a coach now that he has a competitive roster to work with. It would be fairly unrealistic to say that we could be in for an amazing season of football for New York, but, hey, the team has already been dwelling at the bottom for too long, so it’s time to start going up again. J E T S JETS JETS JETS!
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Which Jets Players Are Poised for a Breakout Season in 2022?
People say that the good thing about being at the bottom is that there’s only one way to get out, and it’s going up to the top. That is exactly the mindset that should be the driving force for a few New York Jets players who could be poised for a breakout season in 2022. Starting with 2nd year QB Zach Wilson, who showed signs of good football late last season, to 2nd-year receiver Elijah Moore and rookie RB Breece Hall, these three players could be looking at 2022 as their year to put the AFC on notice because of what they can bring to the table.
Over on the defensive side of the ball, it’s time for Quinnen Williams, one of the team’s most important players to break out and finally show everyone why he was drafted 3rd overall in the 2019 draft. Aside from Williams, Carl Lawson will surely be looking to use the 2022 season as one where he can finally quiet all of his doubters, who don’t see him as a true defensive star for any team.
Should Mekhi Becton Be Considered A Bust?
A lot was expected from former Louisville standout offensive tackle Mekhi Becton once he entered the NFL after being drafted by the New York Jets in the 11th position of the 2020 NFL draft. Yet, since entering the league, Becton has given more to talk about because of his off-the-field injury and weight issues than anything else.
Nobody has ever doubted Becton’s abilities on the field, as he has proven to be a force to be reckoned with when healthy and ready to play. The problem lies in the fact that his playing time in the pros has been limited to almost none whatsoever, all while the team continues to hope that Becton will be able to turn his career around soon enough to finally become one of the last missing puzzle pieces in a Jets offensive line that could become great with him, Alijah Vera-Tucker and Laken Tomlinson leading the helm.
So, for now, no, Mekhi Becton shouldn’t be considered a bust, but with that said, if he doesn’t do his part in getting in playing shape for the season, the window of opportunity for a player like him will shut down faster than anything else.
When was the last time the New York Jets were in the playoffs?
To remember the last time the Jets were in the playoffs, we have to go back to 2010 when New York, with Rex Ryan as head coach and Mark Sanchez as QB, lost their chance to go to that season’s Super Bowl after losing the AFC Championship game by a score of 24-19 against Mike Tomlin, Ben Roethlisberger, and the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Ever since then, dark times have taken over the Jets organization with their streak of zero playoff appearances expanding until right now. Nowadays, while thinking that this might be the season in which the Jets finally make it back to the playoffs is a bit of a stretch, keeping a close eye on the evolution of the team, especially for the next three to five years will be key, as we could be looking at the next big squad to come out of the AFC East division.
Will The Jets Ever Win The Super Bowl Again?
For those of you who didn’t know, the New York Jets already know what it’s like to win a Super Bowl. Granted that it happened back in 1969, with then-rookie and now legendary QB “Broadway” Joe Namath leading the team, the Jets can brag about being one of the teams in the league that has won a Lombardi trophy.
Sadly, ever since then, Super Bowls have come and gone but the Jets have not been able to make it back to one. Chances have been had, like in 1982 when they lost against the Dolphins, 1998 when they lost against the Broncos, and most recently in 2009 and 2010 when they lost against the Colts and Steelers respectively. Still, the Jets haven’t been able to make it back to the biggest game of the year in the NFL since their 1969 win against Johnny Unitas and the Colts.
For now, the panorama for the Jets does not have a Super Bowl trip written down any time soon, but with proper management and coaching as well as a group of players that truly believes in the team and the mission, like the one the team has right now, it wouldn’t be impossible to see the Jets causing seriously big splashes in the league in the next five to seven years, with a trip to the Super Bowl even in the plans.