Easy Schedule Continues for NY Jets vs. Washington
Wayne Root: Easy Schedule Continues for NY Jets vs. Washington
The New York Jets may ultimately go down as the worst 3-1 team in the 2015 NFL season. But, darned if they aren't still well-positioned to make a run at a Wildcard spot in the AFC East! The Jets host the Washington Redskins this Sunday in a game that could push them to 4-1 in the standings with a lot of manageable games still ahead:
Vulnerable opponents: Washington, at Oakland, Jacksonville, at Houston, Miami, Tennessee
Tough Calls: Buffalo (twice), NY Giants
Probable Losses: New England (twice), at Dallas after Romo returns
You longtime readers know that I follow the New York teams very closely. I grew up in Mt. Vernon, New York as a true S.O.B. (son of a butcher!). My sources are very good. But, I've been talking them down in recent discussions because I think they're too optimistic! It's very easy to look at a 3-1 start...pencil in six wins vs. the easy opponents, a split with Buffalo...and then losses to the Pats and Cowboys. That adds up to 10-6 or 11-5 depending on the Giants game! Typically, 10-6 is going to get into the playoffs in most seasons.
Why am I talking them down? Let's look backward for the Jets instead of looking forward:
Game One: Beat Cleveland when McCown got hurt early
Game Two: Beat Indy during a time of Colts turmoil
Game Three: Lost to unimpressive (so far) Philadelphia
Game Four: Beat imploding Miami before Dolphins coaches were fired!
It's possible that the Jets are just another version of Houston or Tennessee that's been catching some early breaks. Against a soft schedule, team offense is below league average, and passing offense is fairly pathetic (the touchdown/interception ratio is only 7/6).
NFL Passing Ranks
Passer Rating of 78.1 ranks #24 in the NFL
Completion Percentage of 60.7% ranks #24 in the NFL
Yards-per-Attempt average of 6.4 ranks #28 in the NFL
Ryan Fitzpatrick is a game manager in the best of time. He showed in the loss to Philly that he can't rally the team back when they fall behind. Note also that the Jets have played only one true road game this season...as "at" Miami was actually played on a neutral field in London, England.
The defense has excelled under new head coach Todd Bowles. How hard is it to excel against that slate of offenses since Luck and the Colts have struggled so much?
I'll be watching Sunday's Washington game very closely. Even though the Jets are coming in off a bye week (which is normally a good thing), a trip to Foxboro to face the Pats is on deck. Will NYJ look past the Skins to Tom Brady and company? Very possible. Then, the week after New England is a road trip out West to face Oakland. That's a terrible schedule spot. I wouldn't be shocked if New York lost either the game before, or the game after New England considering how big that rivalry is.
Bottom line, we'll know a lot more about the Jets after the next three weeks than we do now. What we learn may not make Jets fans (and my New York sources) very happy! If the team is going to have a great defense and a poor offense...it's just a continuation of the Rex Ryan years with different faces.
Right now...my personal Power Ratings would have the Jets as about a 7-9 caliber team that "could" make it to 10 wins against a weak schedule. I haven't seen any evidence to be more optimistic than that. Sometimes mediocre teams catch some breaks and get to play in January. This offense needs to improve significantly before NYJ because any sort of real playoff threat. I will say this. I think the Jets have a playoff caliber DEFENSE. Is that enough?
I'm really looking forward to this big weekend of football action. We have what might turn out to be the single best college football Saturday of the whole season. That's followed by an interesting Sunday card...and then my New York connections coming into play again Monday night when the Giants visit Philadelphia on ESPN.
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See you again early next week. Might be time for another baseball report as the American and National League Championship series get started this weekend. It's great to have so much to talk about and BET here in October.
More PINNACLE plays and other blockbusters are on the way in both football and baseball. That means it's time for YOU to go to W.A.R. alongside WAYNE ALLYN ROOT!
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