2020 New York Jets Predictions and Season Win Total Picks
I’m not sure what is more ridiculous about the 2019 New York Jets season: the fact that their Las Vegas season win total was posted at 7.5 prior to the season or the fact that they actually threatened to surpass that number.
Adam Gase’s first season in New York was barely distinguishable from the last three years of the Todd Bowles era. From 2016-2018, the Jets won just 14 games in three seasons while being outscored by an average of 108 points per game. On the surface, last season would seem like a step in the right direction, with the Jets going 7-9 and getting outscored by “just” 83 points on the year.
But a closer look at the details of the Jets season tells a different story. They actually had the statistics of a 5-11 team, which would have been equal to their previous three-year average. The Jets finished last in the league in total yards and second-to-last in scoring, with their 276 points as the second-fewest (by one) from a Jets offense since 2007.
New York was also extremely fortunate in close games, going 5-1 in games decided by a touchdown or less. They were outgained in three of those games.
Also, the Jets “accomplished” all this while playing against the third easiest schedule in the NFL.
The fact that the Jets were significant overachievers with their actual win total versus their expected win total would be a major red flag for a regression this year. When you add in the fact that New York is slated to face the second most difficult schedule in the NFL, by virtue of their opponents’ 2019 winning percentage, which seals the deal for me.
Here’s the thing though: the Jets should be a better team this year, even though I don’t expect any improvement to show up in the standings.
The Jets were forced to play three games without Sam Darnold last season. And even when he did play, he was shackled with the worst offensive line in the NFL. New York has completely overhauled its front five, and getting a full, healthy, Year 3 season from Darnold should only help.
Defensively, the Jets were outstanding last season. Perpetually underrated defensive coordinator Gregg Williams forged a group that finished No. 7 in yards allowed despite being on the field the for the eighth-most snaps in the league. They held on to stud safety Jamal Adams and were able to add reinforcements to the secondary.
However, none of the improvement is going to matter against this year’s schedule. The Jets are, at best, the third-best team in their division. They have seven games against teams that made the playoffs last year – including games against the defending NFC champion 49ers and defending Super Bowl champion Chiefs – and 10 of their 16 opponents this year have played in the postseason within the last two years.
This team looks like it may be pointed in the right direction. But New York still has a long way to go before it gets back to what I consider respectable. There is no way that the Jets are going to be able to hold up against this schedule. They are overmatched in too many spots. And after their good luck in close games last year, I can see them on the wrong end of several close games this season.
Take New York Jets ‘Under’ 6.5 wins.
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