The last time the New York Jets were considered a good team, Rex Ryan was still the head coach, and Mark Sanchez was the quarterback of the future. If that seems like a lifetime ago—well, it was only a decade ago.
Neither Ryan nor Sanchez ended up being a long-term solution for the Jets. Ten years later, the team is still searching. But fans are hoping the team’s future will be new head coach Robert Saleh and another first-round quarterback, Zach Wilson.
It takes more than a head coach and a quarterback to succeed in the NFL, of course.
A coach needs talent to work with, and a quarterback (especially a rookie QB) cannot do it alone. But with Salah taking over and the talent added via the draft and free agency, could there be a reason for hope in 2021?
According to the NFL betting odds, the oddsmakers do not seem to think so:
|2021-22 New York Jets Odds||DraftKings||BetMGM||PointsBet|
|To Win The Division (AFC East)||+2000||+2000||+2000|
|To Win The Conference (AFC)||+5000||+5000||+5000|
|To Win The Super Bowl||+10000||+10000||+10000|
|To Make/Miss The Playoffs||+490/-715||+500/-700||+440/-667|
New York Jets 2021 Season Preview
But oddsmakers are not always right.
When you are a fan of a team like the Jets, it can be hard to get excited about a new season. We are talking about a team that won just two games last season and has had just one winning record in the last ten. Factor in a rookie head coach and quarterback, and it does not look good for Jets Nation.
But there is an outside shot fans could be pleasantly surprised with how the season plays out.
In 2020, the offense was just dreadful. Whether it was because of the talent (or lack thereof) or an incompetent head coach is hard to say. But the offense was just plain bad. It needed a lot of work heading into the offseason—and the Jets did just that.
They worked on improving the offense.
Could Sam Darnold have become a legitimate franchise quarterback if the team had ever put the right talent around him? Maybe, but we will never know since the Jets decided to go with an even bigger talent in BYU quarterback Zach Wilson.
If his play in the NFL comes anywhere close to how he looked in college last season, the Jets made a wise decision. With the receivers at his disposal, the stage is set for Wilson to have an incredible rookie season.
Denzel Mims, when healthy, is a significant downfield threat. If he can stay healthy and live up to his pre-draft hype, he could develop into a legitimate No. 1 receiver. But for now, the No. 1 receiver will be the Jets prized free-agent acquisition, former Titans wide receiver Corey Davis. Keelan Cole could end up being a free agent steal.
— Robby Sabo (@RobbySabo) June 2, 2021
Factor in one of the more reliable possession receivers in the game, Jamison Crowder and rookie Elijah Moore, and the Jets passing game could be downright dangerous this season. That is, if the offensive line gives Wilson time and he can pick up where he left off in college.
Developing a running game will help, and it looks like the Jets might be able to via the running back by committee approach. Tevin Coleman will lead the way; while he is not great, he is not bad, either. Ty Johnson showed some promise when he did touch the ball last season.
But fans should not be shocked to see rookie Michael Carter climb the depth chart during the season.
The problem on offense will be the offensive line. Mehki Becton is a solid player, but an offensive line needs more than one. Hopefully, rookie Alijah Vera-Tucker pans out at one of the guard positions. Since they did not do much to make the line better, it will be up to the offensive line coaches to make the unit better than it looks on paper.
As for the defense, it is hard to say just how bad the unit was in 2020. The offense did not do the defense any favors forcing them to play more than it should. But head coach Robert Saleh has made his name as a defensive coach.
Between Saleh’s influence, a handful of free-agent additions, and a better offense, the Jets defense could be respectable in 2021.
— NFL Update (@MySportsUpdate) September 8, 2019
NFL Sports Betting Recommendations And Predictions
It is not hard to see the potential in the New York Jets heading into 2021. With the weapons the Jets have surrounded Zach Wilson with, he could have a season worthy of Offensive Rookie of the Year honors– if he can live up to his pre-draft hype.
Saleh will have the defense playing better, so as long as Wilson is as good as people think, the Jets will be competitive. Competitive enough to win more than a few games?
They will not win enough to become legit contenders in the AFC or for the Super Bowl. But if someone goes wrong for the Bills, Patriots, and Dolphins while everything goes right for the Jets…
They could win the division.
Now, they probably will not win it or make the playoffs, but it is reasonably possible. At +2000 odds, there is significant value in taking the Jets to win the AFC East this year. The risk is worth the reward—just do not risk very much.