The New York Jets are a broken record, but it’s worth wondering whether it’s time to toss out the record player.
The Jets have exceeded the loftiest expectations by winning four games in 2017. That’s an accomplishment, no doubt about it. But Sunday’s loss to the Carolina Panthers was another indication that this team is much farther away from playoff contention than its 4-7 record would indicate. It’s time to think about the future.
Incredibly, a sane person could argue the Jets would be a playoff team if not for their fourth quarter woes and a no-show performance against the Buccaneers in Week 10. You can thank the abysmal AFC for that.
Alas, the Jets find themselves stuck in neutral once again. Too many wins to get a coveted top-5 draft pick, but too many losses to really be in the race.
NFL purgatory is a harsh world, folks, which is why the Jets would be better off losing out.
The 2017 season has been similar to a lame movie sequel. The Jets have been mildly entertaining on occasion, but the overall product is still lousy.
Gang Green has squandered any hope by finding an uncanny variety of ways to lose games this year. Fourth quarter meltdowns have been the crux of their downfall and those have been spurred by back-breaking penalties, bone-headed turnovers and poor coaching. In the end, the Jets are too depleted from a talent standpoint to overcome their self-inflicted wounds. Like a broken record, the Jets always seem to skip in the same spot.
The Jets have offered plenty of positives to build around for the future. Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye might be as good as advertised. The fearsome defensive line is playing better even though the sacks aren’t abundant. Bilal Powell, Elijah McGuire, Robby Anderson and Austin Seferian-Jenkins have emerged as reliable playmakers despite a shoddy offensive line and an aging quarterback under center. Darron Lee is improving on a weekly basis.
Last-minute acquisitions of Demario Davis, Kony Ealy and Jermaine Kearse have paid off and exemplified Mike Maccagnan’s sense for talent evaluation.
The season hasn’t been nearly as bad as anyone expected, and that’s a positive. But it’s time for the Jets to close an encouraging season with an even more encouraging draft pick.
New York would currently pick seventh in the 2018 NFL Draft if the season ended today. However, there are nine other teams with either an identical or worse record than Gang Green and seven teams with five wins.
Another win or two in the final five games could prove disastrous for the Jets when it comes to draft position. The 2018 draft could feature three or four studs at quarterback . The scarcity at the position leaguewide means plenty of teams could attempt a trade up to enhance their chance at landing a franchise gunslinger. The closer you’re positioned to the No. 1 overall pick, the better.
No prospect is ever a given. But, might I point you to Los Angeles, Philadelphia and even Houston. Those three teams have been rejuvenated by quarterbacks with incredibly high ceilings. Carson Wentz could be the league MVP, Jared Goff could lead the Rams to a playoff berth, Deshaun Watson electrified the NFL before his sobering knee injury.
Kirk Cousins and Tyrod Taylor are fine players, but their upside is capped. The Jets would be best shooting the moon on a young prospect. Before they can do that, they’ll have to take some lumps on the field to close out 2017.