Early win-loss predictions across the New York Jets 2017 schedule.
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Doesn’t it feel like the 2016 season just ended? Well it’s 2017 and we are getting ready. The New York Jets are coming off a disappointing 2016 campaign where they finished 5-11. Injuries and poor play from several sources did the team in and now they sit with the sixth pick in the upcoming NFL draft. At least for now, as Rich Cimini of ESPN writes that the team is looking to move down. They haven’t done it since Bill Parcells was in charge, but maybe that could change.
The veterans are out, for the most part, and the young players are in. On to 2017 we go. As you know by now, the 2017 schedule has been released. 13 out of 16 games will be played at 1:00 p.m. ET, making it easy to make Sunday plans. They are in primetime just once. There is now a real jumping off point to get ready for the NFL season.
Looking at the Jets, we don’t know who the quarterback is going to be. We also don’t know what the draft class is going to look like. But what do we do as bloggers and fans? Speculate anyway.
We are going to go game by game, give some really early predictions for wins and losses. Here we go!
Sep 15, 2016; Orchard Park, NY, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Eric Decker (87) catches a pass in front of Buffalo Bills defensive back Nickell Robey (21) during the second half at New Era Field. The Jets beat the Bills 37-31. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports
Week 1: at Buffalo Bills
The Jets open things up in Buffalo against their division rivals, the Buffalo Bills. It doesn’t carry the same weight as it has over the last couple of seasons with Rex Ryan gone, but any divisional game is an important one. Being in September, the weather won’t be the factor that it often is in Buffalo.
Last season, two of the Jets five regular season wins came over the Bills, including a 30-10 victory in Buffalo to finish out the season. Ryan Fitzpatrick easily did his best work during this season series, throwing for three touchdowns and no interceptions. Had that occurred more often, 2016 might have worked out a bit differently.
This is a very different Jets team, even before the NFL draft. Josh McCown may be the quarterback, but if the quarterback competition is legitimate, Christian Hackenberg or Bryce Petty could be under center. Either way, the key on offense will be if they can run the football. The offensive line is very young, can Matt Forte and Bilal Powell have success, opening things up for whomever is playing quarterback.
Regardless of the quarterback, LeSean McCoy remains on the other side for the Bills. In four career games against the Jets, he has rushed the ball at nearly a five yards per carry clip. He will give the defense fits, and opening week will not go well.
Dec 24, 2016; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (4) carries the ball in the third quarter against the Indianapolis Colts during a NFL football game at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Week 2: at Oakland Raiders
The Jets open the season with back-to-back road games for the first time since 1992. This week, they head out to the West Coast to face the Oakland, soon to be Las Vegas, Raiders. They haven’t beaten the Raiders out in Oakland since the Rex Ryan-led Jets did it back in 2009. The last Jets win over the Raiders was back in 2014 in an early September matchup at MetLife Stadium.
This is a stacked Raiders team. They have the All-World defensive end in Khalil Mack and the talented Bruce Irvin at linebacker. On offense, this team is the real deal. Derek Carr will be back and ready to go, looking to take their playoff run deeper than last year. On one side, he has his favorite target, Amari Cooper. These two will be taking their partnership to the next level. Michael Crabtree is back to help him out on the opposite side.
Now this team is clearly already good, and they haven’t drafted anybody yet. But, it sounds more and more like Marshawn Lynch will be joining this team. That’s right, Beast Mode is likely to be added to this group of weapons. Are you serious? Not only has he rushed for over four yards per carry against the Jets, but his mere presence will keep defenses from dropping too far back against Carr and company. This offense will, frankly, be scary.
This will be just too much for Gang Green to handle in enemy territory.
Dec 17, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets defensive end Sheldon Richardson (91) hits the arm of Miami Dolphins quarterback Matt Moore (8) after he throws the ball at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports
Week 3: vs. Miami Dolphins
“J-E-T-S! JETS JETS JETS!” will be whipping around MetLife Stadium for the first time in 2017 as the team heads home to open their home schedule against the Dolphins. So many memorable moments have happened in this series. “The Mud Bowl,” “The Fake Spike” and “The Monday Night Miracle” are just a few examples. It’s uncanny how, no matter what the situation is for either team, these games just end up being something to remember.
Last year, however, that wasn’t the case. The Jets were swept away by the Dolphins, on their way to a 2-6 division record. The matchup at MetLife will be remembered for the day that Bryce Petty got sandwiched by two Dolphins. He came out of that game and depending upon who you talk to, is now on the bubble of even making the roster. It was certainly a day to remember for Petty, but not a positive one.
Somehow, however, the Jets seem to find a way to play well in their home opener. The only time they have lost the game since 2010 was last year, and that was a one-point loss to the Bengals. Incidentally, the loss in 2010 was by one point to the Ravens as well. There is something about getting in front of that crowd for the first time that gets the team going.
This is a team undergoing a facelift, but they are going to find a way to give the home crowd something to smile about. Enjoy it, it won’t happen often.
Aug 11, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars kicker Jason Myers (2) kicks a field goal against the New York Jets during the preseason game at MetLife Stadium. The Jets won, 17-13. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
Week 4: vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
The Jets play their second home game in a row as Doug Marrone and the Jaguars come to Gotham. Last year was another rough year for the Black and Teal as they managed a mere three wins. With potential Hall of Famer Tom Coughlin in the front office and Doug Marrone in charge, Jacksonville looks to finally make that turn for the better as they move into 2017 and beyond.
These two teams have been even historically, with a 6-6 series record against each other. The Jets have won the last three, however, including a 28-23 win in November 2015.
Jacksonville has some exciting talent but they haven’t put it together. They have to get better quarterback play (sound familiar?). Blake Bortles finally has to show it in 16 games, and not just flash. As far as this game is concerned, I think the Jags get off the deck and win one. The wide receivers will be too much for this young secondary of the Jets, and Chris Ivory runs somebody over in the fourth quarter to seal the victory.
Jan 1, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Cleveland Browns kicker Cody Parkey (3) kicks an extra point from the hold of punter Britton Colquitt (4) against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the fourth quarter at Heinz Field. The Steelers won 27-24 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Week 5: at Cleveland Browns
A trip to the “Dawg Pound” is up next for Gang Green. It isn’t what it once was, is it? Some younger readers might not know that the first iteration of the Browns saw them in the playoffs quite frequently. They had a lot of bad luck, aka “The Drive” and “The Fumble”, but they did get there. Young Jets fans, ask your parents about the divisional playoff game from the 1986 season if you want to get them mad. I’m not going to go there, the memory is too painful.
This version of the Browns is, well, about as bad as the Jets are right now. They have no quarterback, which again sounds quite familiar. Cody Kessler might be the guy, but they just added Brock Osweiler. He got benched for someone named Tom Savage, so that situation is as problematic as it is for the Jets. Terrelle Pryor is off to Washington. They did add Kenny Britt, and Gary Barnidge is a talented tight end.
How is this one going to go? Well, it’s not going to get a lot of airtime on SportsCenter, that’s for sure. This could turn out to be one of the uglier football games of the entire season. Here we basically have two teams that will be seeing who is “less bad” than the other. It could be close, as they are on a similar level. But it won’t be one to remember. Jets fans might however, as they win a squeaker on a late field goal.
Nov 27, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) throws the ball as New York Jets defensive end Leonard Williams (92) defends during the second quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Week 6: vs. New England Patriots
“The champ is here!” The Jets return home from Cleveland and find the Super Bowl champion Patriots waiting for them. There isn’t a lot to be said about this group that hasn’t already been said. Doesn’t it seem like the Patriots have dominated the AFC East since the beginning of time? It was 2002 the last time someone other than the Patriots won the division, but it sure feels like longer.
As long as Bill Belichick and Tom Brady are together, this will be a tough team to beat. According to Marc Sessler of NFL.com, Brady plans on playing well into his 40s, and the way he keeps in shape, he can do it. As much as Jets fans dislike him, he is a special player. Why? Because he makes everyone around him better. Throughout his career, Brady has been given mid-level weapons. He hasn’t often had big stars around him, but he turns them into major players.
Now keep in mind, the Jets seem to play well against New England. Well, sometimes (Butt Fumble, anyone?). For the most part, however, they have played the Patriots tough. They can always come up with a scheme to get in Brady’s face, especially up the middle. They have rattled him in the past. But this is going to be a bit different. This team doesn’t have the horses those teams did.
Add to that the fact that Brady now has Brandin Cooks on the outside, and this team will once again, or still, be scary. You know where this is going.
Nov 6, 2016; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Miami Dolphins running back Jay Ajayi (23) carries the ball past New York Jets during the second half at Hard Rock Stadium. The Dolphins won 27-23. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Week 7: at Miami Dolphins
The Jets head to sunny Florida to finish up the series with the Dolphins earlier than normal this year. In the opener at MetLife, New York found a way to top the Miami and they will be looking for revenge against their rivals. Ryan Tannehill, Jay Ajayi will be looking to put a hurting on this aggressive, but still young, Jets defense.
Ironically, the Dolphins have been better in this series on the road than at home as of late. They have actually lost three out of the last four in Miami. If you include the London game, which was considered a Miami home game, it’s four out of the last five. They simply have had a tough time with the Jets at home.
Last year, however, the Dolphins swept the Jets. This year, they will get the series back on track in front of their home town throng. At around this time of year, we will all see Josh McCown for what he is. He will be turning the ball over left and right which will remind us of a certain bearded quarterback that was in New York over the last two years. The fan base will be calling for Christian Hackenberg by now if they haven’t seen him yet.
But what will he really bring to a lost cause? It’s hard to say at the point, but we can say that this one won’t end well. Miami wins this one going away.
Feb 5, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; Atlanta Falcons center Alex Mack (51) snaps the ball to quarterback Matt Ryan (2) against the New England Patriots during Super Bowl LI at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Week 8: vs. Atlanta Falcons
Isn’t it “great” that when the schedule is created, the division your team will face is pre-determined? This year it’s the NFC South for the Jets. That means that here in week eight, the Jets return home to face the NFC Champion Atlanta Falcons. Matt Ryan and the 2016 top offense will be bringing their high-powered attack to Gotham.
The last time these two teams met, the Jets won 30-28 back in October of 2013. That night, if you remember, was one of Geno Smith‘s shining moments. He was 16-of-20 on that Monday Night Football night with three touchdowns, and led the team to a Nick Folk field goal in the waning seconds to give the Jets the primetime victory.
These are not the Falcons of 2013. This team as Julio Jones and Mohamed Sanu on the other side. Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman make a top running back duo. With Freeman between the tackles and Coleman’s speed, the wide receivers don’t have to worry about extra defensive backs too often. If the defense cheats too close, Matt Ryan will beat you over the top. If the defense drops back, the running game will take you down.
In short, this team is going to take it to the young New York Jets. This will not be pretty.
Jan 1, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Buffalo Bills cornerback Kevon Seymour (29) tackles New York Jets wide receiver Jalin Marshall (89) as he tries to get into the end zone in the 3rd quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports
Week 9: vs. Buffalo Bills
The Jets return home to finish up their season series against the Buffalo Bills. It’s an odd near for New York, as they only have one divisional game after Nov. 2. Tyrod Taylor, LeSean McCoy and company come in to Gotham for game two of their AFC East rivalry for 2017. Rex Ryan always said that division games were worth 1.5 games in the standings. He’ll probably say it a few times on the ESPN pregame show as well.
New York posted 30 points the last time these two teams played at MetLife. Ryan Fitzpatrick played one of the better games he played all season long. He threw two touchdowns, and Bilal Powell added 122 rushing yards. The defense held their upstate rivals to 230 yards and 10 points, making it a successful end to the 2016 season.
As we have talked about all post long, this is a very different Jets team. Veterans are gone, and a young, inexperienced team is in their place. However, the Bills stars are still there. LeSean McCoy is still running the football. Sammy Watkins is on the outside. The Jets defense had a tough time with the receivers, and that was with Darrelle Revis back there. This young group, even with Morris Claiborne, will have a tough time with these guys. Chalk another one up, though it might be close, to the chase for Sam Darnold.
Jan 1, 2017; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston (3) drop back against the Carolina Panthers during the first half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Week 10: at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Week ten is here, and the Jets head down to sunny Florida to take on an opponent they don’t often see. Jameis Winston, Mike Evans, and the rest of Dirk Koetter’s Buccaneers await to welcome New York to Raymond James Stadium. This is a great young team that finished 9-7, on the brink of the playoffs. They went on a winning streak that included wins over the Seahawks and the Chiefs. This is a team on the rise.
The Jets actually beat the Bucs the last time they met. Remember 2013? It was opening day at MetLife and Geno Smith‘s debut. It was a tight game, and Smith led the team on a drive late, setting up a game-winning field goal by old friend Nick Folk. Folk is now in Tampa, looking to unseat second round pick Roberto Aguayo for the kicking position. It’s a new day for both of these franchises.
The Buccaneers may just be one of the breakout teams in 2017. Winston is good and only getting better. Mike Evans is elite and now has DeSean Jackson on the opposite side. Cameron Brate is an emerging tight end, giving Winston a whole range of lethal weapons at his disposal. At times in 2016, the Bucs defense was approaching the level of the 2002 defense. Kwon Alexander makes a dynamic combination with Lavonte David, and the pass rush will give the Jets young offensive line fits.
Jan 1, 2017; Tampa, FL, USA; Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) calls a play against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the first quarter at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Week 12: vs. Carolina Panthers
Coming out of the bye week, the Jets begin a two-game homestand against the Panthers. After winning the NFC title in 2015, the Panthers came back to the pack, finishing 6-10 and outside of the playoffs. Cam Newton had a rough year, completing only 52 percent of his passes and only throwing for 19 touchdowns. Basically, anything that went right in 2015 went wrong in 2016 for Carolina.
Carolina will be making their first trip to MetLife Stadium for this week ten matchup. The teams have met six times in the past and split the games, three and three. The last time they matched up was in 2013, and the Panthers won a 30-20 matchup. In 2009, the Jets topped the Panthers 17-6 in a Thansgiving weekend affair.
Luke Kuechly is a top linebacker in this league, capable of giving any quarterback a headache. He has never recorded a season with less than 100 tackles. He missed six games in 2016 and still managed 102 tackles. Imagine the problems he will cause for either Josh McCown or a young quarterback like Christian Hackenberg. It could look very bad.
On offense, Newton is going to have a bounce-back season. It may not be a potential MVP year, but in every odd-numbered season in Newton’s career, he has thrown at least 20 touchdowns. Kelvin Benjamin is healthy again. Greg Olsen is back once again to be Winston’s favorite target, and he is as tough as they come. After his third straight 1,000 yard season, Olsen is showing no signs of slowing down, even at 32 years old. One more game towards the top of the draft.
Sep 25, 2016; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs defensive back Daniel Sorensen (49) is congratulated by cornerback Steven Nelson (20) after intercepting a pass during the second half against the New York Jets at Arrowhead Stadium. The Chiefs won 24-3. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
Week 13: vs. Kansas City Chiefs
The home stand ends with two original AFL rivals as the Kansas City Chiefs head to MetLife Stadium. This rivalry goes back to 1960 when the Chiefs were the Dallas Texans and playing in the Cotton Bowl. The Jets were the Titans back in then, when the AFL was just in its infancy. These two teams have played 38 times over the years, with the teams tying once and the Chiefs winning 19 times.
This time it is at MetLife, but the result isn’t going to change in 2017. Justin Houston and that defense will be in the quarterback’s face all day long, whomever it is. Fans hope that it will be Hackenberg by then, but it will likely be worse for him than McCown. A great pass rush can give a young quarterback fits, and that is exactly what will happen. It may not be 24-3 again, but this one won’t end well for the home team.
Dec 18, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas (88) runs through the tackle of New England Patriots outside linebacker Kyle Van Noy (53) in the third quarter at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
Week 14: at Denver Broncos
The New York Jets head out to the Mile High City to face the Denver Broncos. After winning the Super Bowl in 2015, the Broncos missed the playoffs last year. 9-7 isn’t a terrible record but not good enough to make the playoffs for the Broncos in 2016. They missed the chance to defend their Lombardi trophy the way the Panthers missed the chance to defend their NFC title.
Peyton Manning retired prior to the start of the 2016 season, and the Broncos were left with Trevor Siemian, Mark Sanchez and the newly drafted Paxton Lynch. Siemian won the job and was decent, completing nearly 60 percent of his passes and throwing 18 touchdowns vs. 10 interceptions. It’s the defense that wasn’t enough to take them back to the “tournament.”
The Broncos lead this series with a record of 19-15-1. The Jets have won only one of the last five matchups against the Broncos. The last time they won in Denver was back in 2010 and before that was in 1999. The problem for New York in this game is going to be the defense. Any team that has Von Miller looking at your quarterback from the defense is tough to beat. A strong pass rush is able to rattle any quarterback, especially young ones.
If the Jets want to give these quarterbacks a chance to succeed, one of them will be in the lineup by the time Week 14 comes around. The Broncos defense is going to give the Jets fits all afternoon long.
Nov 3, 2013; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New Orleans Saints tight end Jimmy Graham (80) catches a touchdown pass against New York Jets free safety Jaiquawn Jarrett (37) in the first half during the game at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports
Week 15: at New Orleans Saints
To the Big Easy the Jets go for a week 15 matchup against Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints. There was some question about whether Sean Payton would be back following the Saints third consecutive 7-9 season. He is back, as is Drew Brees, and they are looking to make one more run at a title together.
These two teams have played twelve times and each team has won six. The last time these teams met was in 2013 at MetLife Stadium. That day, Chris Ivory rushed for 139 yards and a score, and the Jets defense held the Saints to 41 yards rushing, on the way to a 26-20 Jets victory.
Brandin Cooks may be gone, but Willie Snead and Michael Thomas are still in the fold. Thomas posted 1,137 yards and nine touchdowns, while Snead posted 895 yards and four touchdowns. Coby Fleener is an emerging tight end, continuing Brees’ history of talented weapons at his disposal. Add the fact that Mark Ingram posted over 1,000 yards on the ground and you have as lethal of an offense as they come.
Unfortunately for the Jets, the game is in New Orleans. Drew Brees is a better and more effective passer in the dome than he is at home. His passer rating is ten points higher and his completion percentage is two percentage points higher. He is going to light up the young Jets secondary. If they can run the ball they can keep it close, but don’t expect the Jets to end up on the right side of the scoreboard.
Oct 5, 2014; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers strong safety Marcus Gilchrist (38) pressures New York Jets quarterback Michael Vick (1) in the third quarter of the game at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Week 16: vs. Los Angeles Chargers
The Jets finish their home schedule with a visit from Phillip Rivers and the Los Angeles Chargers. In their final season in San Diego, the Chargers finished 5-11, missing the playoffs. They found a pass rusher in Joey Bosa. In just 12 games, he posted 10.5 sacks, showing the world of potential that he does have. Phillip Rivers had a rough year, posting 33 touchdowns, but a league-leading 21 interceptions. Over the years, he has been a guy that presses because he thinks he has to make a play.
The Chargers have been in control of this series over the years. In 36 meetings, the Chargers have won 21 and they have tied once. The last time they played was in San Diego back in 2014, and the Jets were shut out 31-0. Last time they played at MetLife was back in 2012. It was a tight one, but the Chargers topped the home team, 27-17.
By this time, New York is going to be buzzing. It’s not going to be about the future of this team, however. It’s going to be about the future of Todd Bowles and Mike Maccagnan. They will be securely on the hot seat at this point. The record is going the wrong way, and fans alongside the media will be calling for the team to go in another direction.
Over the years, the team has responded when the coach has been on the ropes. They played well when Rex Ryan’s job was on the line, especially in the first season with John Idzik as general manager. That trait will stick in the water at Florham Park, and the Jets will come to the aid of their failing coach. Don’t ask me why, but I think the Jets end the home schedule with an upset.
Dec 24, 2016; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) signals to his offensive line during the first half against the New York Jets at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
Week 17: at New England Patriots
The final game of the season, and the Jets first division game since Nov. 2, is in New England against the Patriots. By this time, these two teams will be headed in completely different directions. New England will have clinched the division title and getting fine tuned for another championship. They will probably be fighting for playoff seeding at this point. The Jets will be looking to finish things out with respectability, though the record will be far below that.
The only potential saving grace for New York would be if the Patriots have everything clinched by the time this game starts. If they aren’t playing for playoff seeding, there is the potential that Bill Belichick will give players time off during this one. Tom Brady might not like it, but the Jets sure would if he were to sit for half of the game. All of a sudden, the game would become potentially winnable.
I said “potentially”. The Jets simply don’t have the roster to keep up with the Patriots. Any quarterback that Belichick puts under center will tear the Jets up. The defense of New England will play with the mind of any Jets quarterback. The odds of Josh McCown being in the lineup by this point are slim. The mind of Bill Belichick will come in with a defensive scheme that will make a young quarterback’s life a living hell. Again it won’t be pretty.