On paper, we all know going into the 2017 season, the New York Jets are in for another lost season. But, unlike recent years, it looks as though they will not only have a down season, but they’re set to have maybe the worst record in football. An offseason where they let go of many of their core players including Nick Mangold, David Harris, Brandon Marshall, Eric Decker, and Darrelle Revis, there’s not much to be excited about going into this season. So, how exactly can Jets fans prepare for this season, a season that is destined to be one of the worst in franchise history?
To start, fans already have low expectations going into the season, which should make them feel better if the team struggles. Unlike last year, where the team was coming off a 10 win season, this year they’re coming off of a 5 win season. Fans know that, so they will not be surprised if the team struggles. Nothing irks a fan more than high expectations, and the team responds to that by underachieving (example: the 2017 Mets).
Another suggestion I would have is to enjoy this season by evaluating all the young players the Jets have. There’s some excitement on the defensive side at safety, led by 2 rookies in Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye. While this season will be full of a lot of downs, Adams and Maye have a chance to start something special in New York, and that starts by having a productive rookie season. There’s no player I’m more excited to see play this season than Jamal Adams, who looks like he has all the intangibles to be a great NFL player. Plus, the Jets also have a young receiving core. It was very upsetting to see Quincy Enunwa go down for the season, as he had a chance to shine as a star on this offense. But, the team still has some other young receivers in Charone Peake, Robby Anderson, and Jalin Marshall. Who knows what the team will get from these 3 guys, but they have a golden opportunity to show some production and prove that they can play in this league. Just note that the team will most likely give much more of an effort this season, as young players are battling for their NFL careers. Last year, the veterans may appeared to have mailed it in when the team started to struggle, which happens many times in sports with a team full of older players.
What’s a Jets season without a quarterback controversy? It seems like the team never names their starting quarterback until the end of the preseason, and it looks like we’re headed in that direction again this year. First there’s Christian Hackenberg, who in my opinion should be named the starting quarterback when all is said and done this preseason. Have I really seen him play much? No, I have not, but this team went through a major offseason where they pretty much admitted they would be going through a total rebuild. So, why not play a guy you drafted in the 2nd round in the 2016 draft? Drafting a guys in the 2nd round must mean the Jets staff saw some upside somewhere with Hackenberg. If not, the team should also look to give Bryce Petty more of a shot, as we got a little bit from him in 2016. We need to see Hackenberg or Petty this season to see if they’re going to be apart of the team’s future, because you can’t start a quality rebuild without having an answer at quarterback. Playing Josh McCown serves no purpose this season, unless you really feel that you have a shot to make the playoffs, which is not going to happen. If they had the roster from last season, I’d be more open to starting a guy like McCown who can win some games. But, the reality is this personnel shows the team is rebuilding, and fans want answers, not quick fixes. So, don’t get frustrated with the quarterback competition this year, just evaluate it, and if they play Petty or Hackenberg, at least we will have answers to if or if not they will have a bright future with the Jets. If they struggle, expect the Jets to draft another quarterback next season, potentially in the 1st round.
So, 2017 looks like it’s going to be a long season for the Jets. But, don’t get mad when they struggle, and try not to be fooled if they show some signs of success. Instead, go into the season with an open mind, and just evaluate all the young players they have. This hopefully will be rock bottom for the team, and maybe they can build from here. Maybe they need to be the worst in football, and get the number 1 overall pick in the draft. It’s upsetting, as so many fans look forward to football every year, even Jets fans. I’m still looking forward to this year, but knowing the Jets are competing for the worst record in football will not be fun. I would suggest, while some die-hard fans might not like this, in making a fantasy team this year to ease your mind off of the Jets. This way, you have something else to cheer for while the team struggles. Low expectations are among us for the 2017 Jets, and that is something that no sports fan ever wants to see. But, if they’re not going to make the playoffs, many people feel they should be as bad as possible, and solidify the 1st overall pick. That very well may happen in 2017. Last tip; low expectations usually lead to low frustrations, just remember that when you’re watching the Jets this year.