In this series of articles here on the Last Word On Sports, we will be breaking down each NFL division starting every Monday, preparing for the upcoming 2018 NFL Season. We will highlight strengths and weaknesses of each team and make our best analysis and predictions for this upcoming season. Let’s begin the AFC East Breakdown.
2018 NFL Breakdown: New York Jets
Gang Green will be competitive but their roster isn’t good enough yet to compete for the postseason. Their big games are within their division against the Patriots (Weeks 12 and 17), Dolphins (Weeks 2 and 9) and the Bills (Weeks 10 and 14). Despite finishing 5-11 last season, they won three of their first five games. They were so competitive that seven of their 11 losses were by single digits.
One of the bright spots was journeyman quarterback Josh McCown. He completed 67.3 of his passes for 2,926 yards, 18 TD’s, nine INT’s and a 94.5 QB rating.
They drafted their franchise quarterback in Sam Darnold out of USC with their third overall pick. In addition, they signed Teddy Bridgewater who hasn’t played in a meaningful game in over two years because of a devastating knee injury and compete with the incumbent McCown.
Another bright spot was strong safety Jamal Adams, who the team drafted sixth overall in the 2017 draft. He started all 16 games and had 83 tackles, two sacks and six passes deflected.
The negative side of their 5-11 season was that the roster was how bad they were defensively. They were 25th in total defense (21st against the pass and 24th versus the run). It clearly didn’t help that the roster was talent deprived on both side of the ball.
Leonard Williams, the team’s star defensive tackle had a down season last year because of a wrist injury and despite that, he had 47 combined tackles and two sacks.
Team MVP: Leonard Williams
Leonard Williams is my MVP for the Jets to have a bounce back year. Williams had his fifth year option picked up on his rookie contract and looks to have a great season like when he made the Pro Bowl in 2016. The Jets would like to sign him to a long term extension because he’s big part of their team going forward.
Sleeper: Sam Darnold
Sam Darnold is my sleeper because the coaches will let him compete for the starting QB job and if he’s the best man, he’ll start. He has a strong arm and a accurate passer that he throw that he can’t complete because of his confidence. The 21 year old is built for the bright lights.
Darnold has to cut down on the turnovers as he had 22 of them (13 INT’s and nine fumbles lost) in his last year at USC. If he does that, he can win rookie of the year and have a long, successful career.
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