The Jets have missed the playoffs four years in a row, so maybe they will be better this season with new head coach Todd Bowles, but I don't see how this franchise can be as interesting without exiled coach Rex Ryan, now in Buffalo. That guy made any press conference entertaining. I haven't heard Bowles yet promise a Super Bowl, and I'm guessing I won't. Even Rex learned his lesson with that. Bowles is like Ryan in that both are defensive guys, and if the Jets are going to get back to the postseason in 2015, that unit will have to dominate (because of a lousy QB). And it might. The talent is there, but the guys have to learn a new scheme for the first time since 2009.
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I really like this home schedule because other than New England's Tom Brady, the Jets don't face a truly elite quarterback in my opinion. The best one after Brady? Miami's Ryan Tannehill? Washington's Robert Griffin III? Philadelphia's Sam Bradford? None of those are Top-10 guys, and the latter two might hurt by the time the Jets play them.
The Jets were an ugly 2-6 last season at MetLife Stadium, 3-5 against the spread and 3-5 "over/under." Their 2015 home schedule ranks as the sixth-easiest in the NFL with an opponents' combined 2014 winning percentage of .430. Alas that's not the easiest in the division -- that belongs to New England (.398).
Here's the schedule with very early (opponent) odds.
Sept. 13 -- Browns (+3): Probably can't ask for a better opener than against the team with the worst quarterback situation in the NFL in Cleveland. Presumably it will be Josh McCown for the Browns. So, yeah, take that Jets defense Week 1 in your fantasy league. Jets won last meeting, 24-13 in Cleveland in December 2013. Key trend: Jets are 6-4 ATS in past 10 at home vs. AFC North.
Sept. 27 -- Eagles (-2.5): Short week to prepare for Chip Kelly and Co. as the Jets are in Indianapolis on Monday night in Week 2. Philly is home to Dallas in Week 2. Two totally different offensive teams here. Eagles will play fast, while the Jets will be a plodding, physical team. First meeting since 2011 -- Jets have never beaten the Eagles in nine tries. Key trend: Jets have covered just two of past 10 at home vs. NFC East.
Oct. 18 -- Redskins (+2): Jets come off their bye week, while the Redskins are in Atlanta in Week 5. I could seriously see Washington's RGII in Jets green and white for the 2016 season when the Geno Smith experiment is finally over. Or, shoot, maybe Kirk Cousins. First meeting since 2011 and first Redskins visit since 2007. Key trend: Jets 5-5 ATS in past 10 after a bye (any location).
Nov. 8 -- Jaguars (+5): New York is off a trip to Oakland in Week 8, while Jacksonville is off its bye week. I don't see Jags second-year quarterback Blake Bortles having much success in this game. First meeting since a 17-10 Jets win in Florida in 2012. Key trend: Jets 4-6 ATS in past 10 as a home favorite of at least 4 points.
Nov. 12 -- Bills (-1): It's the return of Ryan, and I bet he's actually warmly received by the fans. They loved him. It's also a Thursday night game. Buffalo is home to Miami in Week 9. The Jets lost to the visiting Bills 43-23 in Week 8 last year. It was the most points New York gave up all season. Both Jets quarterbacks, Smith and Michael Vick, had three turnovers each. All three Smith picks were in the first quarter -- no team had thrown three first-quarter picks since 2012. Smith finished with a zero rating: 2-for-5 for five yards before being yanked. That was also Percy Harvin's Jets debut, and he had three catches for 22 yards and four carries for 28. He's now back with Ryan on the Bills. Key trend: Over has hit in past five Jets home games in series.
Nov. 29 -- Dolphins (-1.5): New York is off a trip to Houston in Week 11, while Miami is home to Dallas the previous Sunday. I'm sure the Jets would prefer very wintry conditions against the warm-weather Fins. The Jets lost 16-13 at home to Miami in Week 13 last year. How do you lose a game where you rush 49 times for 277 yards? Well, Smith was just 7-for-13 for 65 yards and a pick. Nick Folk missed two field goals, and the Jets had a punt partially blocked. Key trend: Under has hit in past five in series at Jets.
Dec. 13 -- Titans (+4): The Jets are off a "trip" to the Giants in Week 13, while Tennessee is home to Jacksonville the previous Sunday. Interesting here in that the Jets were trying to trade up for the Titans' No. 2 pick in this year's draft for Marcus Mariota. Teams met in Week 15 in Nashville last year, and the Jets won ugly 16-11. Chris Ivory scored on a 1-yard touchdown run with 3:09 left as New York got its first road win of 2014. Smith threw for 179 yards and a TD. A questionable hit on him in the third quarter started a nice little brawl between the clubs. Key trend: Jets 7-3 ATS in past 10 at home vs. AFC South.
Dec. 27 -- Patriots (-4.5): Jets are off a Week 15 trip to Dallas, while New England is home to Tennessee the previous Sunday. Of course, the Jets were fined $100,000 back in April for tampering with Darrelle Revis while he was still with the Patriots. That's chump change considering New York got Revis. The Jets lost Ryan's final home game in Week 16 last year to the Pats, 17-16. Folk had a 52-yard field goal attempt that could have given New York a lead with just over five minutes left, but it was partially blocked. The Jets sacked Brady four times. Smith threw for 210 yards, a TD and a pick. Key trend: Jets 7-3 ATS in past 10 at home vs. any team as at least a 3.5-point dog.
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