The New York Jets Are For Real


The Jets have shown major promise this year in the AFC East. (Courtesy of Twitter)

The New York Jets shocked just about everyone this season with a 6-3 record heading into their bye week. Many people predicted the Jets season to be over before the bye week, with CBS Sports analyst Brady Quinn forecasting them to start the season 0-9. The Jets, coming off their biggest win of the season against the Buffalo Bills, head into their bye week looking stronger than ever with true hopes of making the playoffs for the first time since 2010.

Now the real question is, are the New York Jets legit? The answer is yes. General Manager Joe Douglas has nailed each pick from the past two NFL drafts, adding players such as quarterback Zach Wilson, right guard/right tackle Alijah Vera-Tucker, cornerback Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner and running back Breece Hall. The Jets have one of the youngest cores in the entire league, yet they are not playing like a team full of rookies. They have a top 10 defense according to Pro Football Focus, along with an offense that has been able to produce points against almost every team they have faced so far. Although Wilson’s stats have not been what many Jets fans have been looking for, he still has a 5-1 record all while scoring points in the clutch when he has needed to. Gardner has already proven himself to be a top cornerback in the league, holding notable wide receivers to season low stats when they’ve been matched up against him. He is the frontrunner for defensive rookie of the year and has been nothing else but a defensive stud for the Jets’ secondary.

Head coach Robert Saleh brought a new attitude to the Jets which has seen the team winning games that they have constantly lost in the past. His defensive game plan has brought the best out of his players, including fourth-year defensive tackle Quinnen Williams who has a career-high seven sacks only nine weeks into the season. He has been a defensive force and leader for the Jets’ front line and has put himself in the same conversation as players like Aaron Donald.

These are not the “same old Jets.” Saleh and the team have shown that this season. Josh Allen, arguably the best quarterback in the league, had his worst game of the season against the Jets, only completing 53% of his throws along with two interceptions. Not only did they contain Josh Allen, but they contained the entire Bills offense to just 17 points, their lowest point total of the season. Along with their defense playing at such a high level against the Bills, Wilson had a quietly good game for the Jets offense as well. He completed 72% of his passes along with a touchdown and no interceptions. Wilson was able to control the game with consistent accurate throws, especially on third downs. After a rough week eight performance against the New England Patriots where he threw three interceptions, Wilson showed the team that he has what it takes to beat the top teams in the NFL.

With eight weeks left in the season, the Jets are looking to make their final push towards the playoffs.
The Jets still have many winnable games left on their schedule, with matchups against the Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions and Jacksonville Jaguars. Only time will tell if the Jets truly have what it takes to be a competitive playoff team in 2022.