Opinions vary if the Jets can be competitive this season, but most recognize that the team is in rebuild mode. I don’t see the team making the playoffs, but I do think we’ll see a lot of improvement from last year. I’m not talking about record-wise, but improvement via the young, developing players. John Idzik has done an excellent job, so far, with the draft and signing free agents. For most teams in a rebuilding stage I’d expect three to six wins, but this Jets team is in better shape than that.
I’m projecting an 8-8 season for the Jets if they get the quarterback situation sorted out and baring any major injuries.
Here's how it happens:
Week 1 the Jets play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, at MetLife. I think the Jets defense will be too much for the Bucs offense. New Jet, Chris Ivory, will win the game for the New York with his brutal running style. On a note of later season concern, the Jets' passing game will struggle against a much improved Tampa Bay secondary (*cough* Revis *cough*). (W)
Week 2 (TNF) is at New England. It’s tough to win in Foxborough and Tom Brady will always be the difference maker. The defense will struggle against Brady in the primetime spotlight, and New England will pull off a win in a shootout. (L)
Week 3 is at home against the Bills. Geno Smith will have a big game and torch the now Mike Pettine-led Bills defense, in a blowout win. As seen in 2012, I believe the Jets defense will have trouble stopping Bills running back C.J. Spiller, but they’ll protect the end zone. Smith takes the first game against first round pick, QB EJ Manuel. (W)
(More after the jump...)
Week 4 is at the Titans. It's how the Jets fell out of playoff contention last year and, once again, the Jets D won’t be able to stop Chris Johnson. However, I don’t think the Titans defense will be able to stop Chris Ivory, either, and it will be a battle of the running backs. The Jets have greater depth at the running back position, which I think will be the key to victory. (W)
Week 5 (MNF) is at the Georgia Dome. I think the Falcons will win by a large margin, because they are one of the most well-rounded teams in the league. Their great receiving corps of Julio Jones and Roddy White will be tough to stop along with new RB Steven Jackson. The Jets won't be able to keep up with Atlanta's side of the scoreboard. (L)
Week 6 ia at home against the Steelers. The Steelers always give the Jets problems and if QB Ben Roethlisberger can stay healthy I believe the Steelers win in a defensive battle----very little scoring, yet, surprisingly, plays will be made through the air. (L)
Week 7 is game two against the Patriots, in NJ. I think this game will be closer than the first game, with a somewhat more experience Jet squad, but Tom Brady will do what he’s good at and put together a late game touchdown drive. I don’t think it’ll be a blowout, though, like many a game Mark Sanchez started. (L)
Week 8 takes place in Cincy. The Bengals pass-rush will get after the quarterback all game long and thus Geno Smith will have a bad game. The Jets defense will do well other than a few great catches by A.J. Green, and big plays by draftee RB Gio Bernard, to win the game for Cincinnati. 4th loss in a row for Gang Green. (L)
Week 9 is a home game vs. the Saints. Chris Ivory will play inspired, having a big game against his former team, but it won’t be enough to beat Drew Brees and the Saints. It’ll be another shootout game for the Jets but they’ll struggle against most elite quarterbacks. This will put them at 3-6, on a 5-game losing streak. (L)
Week 10 is the bye week. The Jets will use the week to regroup and work to get back on a winning track.
Week 11 is in Buffalo. The Jets will improve after the bye and Geno Smith will start to take over games and prove he is the franchise quarterback. (W)
Week 12 is at the Ravens. I think the Jets win this game pretty easily. The Ravens don’t have much left of their Super Bowl team, after losing players to retirement and free agency. The Ravens won’t be able to stop the rebooted Jets offense, and the Jets defense will contain Ray Rice, giving them an easy win. (W)
Week 13 is the Jets' first game against the Dolphins (at home).The Dolphins look to have improved their roster, but they and the Jets always play a close game. The Jets will surprise them by throwing the ball most of the game to avoid Miami’s great run stopping line. The Jets will win a close game between the two. (W)
Week 14 is a home game against the Raiders. Everybody will beat the Raiders if they can stop RB Darren McFadden and, by this point in the season, he most likely won't be healthy, so it should be an easy win for the Jets. (W)
Week 15 is at the Panthers. Cam Newton is a problem for any defense and he will be against the Jets. I don’t think the Jets will stop him. NYJ will lose in a high-scoring game. (L)
Week 16 home against the Browns. The Browns have improved their roster, but did play a very passive role in this year's draft. Gang Green has this game. There isn’t much of a Browns defense to play, so Geno Smith and the Jets should score a lot. (W)
Week 17 is the Jets' second game against the Dolphins. This could be a match-up to make the playoffs, but it's too early to go that far into projections. The Jets usually split the games with the 'Phins and, in Miami, this'll ring true once again. Ryan Tannehill avoids a sophomore slump, as he didn't get too high on anyone's charts in his rookie season. (L)
The Jets finish 8-8, which definitely isn’t bad for a team that is in the process of rebuilding, but the team will surely improve over the next few years under GM John Idzik.