For the final month leading up to the regular season, I will be featuring two “Over/Under” pieces per week. I’ll take a New England Patriots or AFC East topic and give you my opinion of whether we will see more (over) or less (under) than the number provided.
It is time for piece number 5 in my 8-piece “Over/Under” series. This time, we look at the New York Jets and their regular season schedule. The Jets have decreased their win total every year since 2010. Last season, they finished 6-10, tied for last place in the AFC East. Will they continue the trend, or finally show an improvement in wins?
New York Jets: Over or Under 5.5 Wins
As I mentioned earlier, the Jets have not improved since 2010… And this season will be no different. New York is already lacking in talent, and in my opinion, this quarterback competition will end poorly.
Aug. 18, 2013; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez (6) in the huddle with players against the Jacksonville Jaguars during the first half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports
Mark Sanchez has already lost almost all of his credibility with Jets’ fans. He has regressed immensely since his back-to-back AFC championship appearances. The Jets had a much stronger defense in both those seasons, and Sanchez has proven to be incapable of stepping up to the next level. The one thing keeping him in this QB competition is his experience.
Geno Smith is battling rookie mistakes, but to this point it sounds like the competition is somewhat even. Several Jets players (retired and active) have said they believe Sanchez should be the starter. I think it’s a bad decision for a player to voice an opinion on this contest; they should be prepared to back either Smith or Sanchez. If Sanchez starts, the fans are not happy… If Smith starts, the players are not happy… Good luck Rex Ryan.
Santonio Holmes may not be available for week 1. That would leave New York with Stephen Hill, Jeremy Kerley, and Braylon Edwards starting at WR. Once Holmes returns, he will be playing for his contract next season. Holmes would give the Jets a $10.75M salary cap hit in 2014; it is unlikely that the Jets will keep Holmes at that cost. He is the best player on their offense, but he will essentially be trying out for other teams for next season.
The main reason I pick the “under” for the Jets, is not just their lack of talent. It’s also their brutal schedule (shown here with my W/L predictions):
Week 1) vs. Buccaneers (L)
Week 2) at Patriots (L)
Week 3) vs. Bills (W)
Week 4) at Titans (W)
Week 5) at Falcons (L)
Week 6) vs. Steelers (L)
Week 7) vs. Patriots (L)
Week 8) at Bengals (L)
Week 9 ) vs. Saints (L)
Week 10) Bye
Week 11) at Bills (L)
Week 12) at Ravens (L)
Week 13) vs. Dolphins (L)
Week 14) vs. Raiders (W)
Week 15) at Panthers (L)
Week 16) vs. Browns (W)
Week 17) at Dolphins (L)
That stretch of games from week 5 to week 13 is overwhelming. I have them losing 8 games in a row, and even if they steal a win somewhere in that stretch, they would end with 5 wins. Last season they finished 2-4 against divisional opponents, and here I have them going 1-5 against AFC East rivals.
I think the New York Jets will finish the season 4-12.