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The Jets Will Challenge for Playoff Spot

John Pirsos: Jets will win nine games

Stevan Ridley and Todd Bowles (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Stevan Ridley and Todd Bowles (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)


We made it through the offseason! Jets football is finally here this Sunday as they host the Cleveland Browns.

But before I write my preview for the game this Sunday, I wanted to give my prediction for the Jets this season, so here it is.

Mark my words, the New York Jets will finish AT LEAST above .500 and contend for a playoff spot. Call me crazy, but there are reasons to believe that finishing with at least nine wins is not only a goal, but an expectation.

First of all, the Jets have one of the top defenses in football, and that’s without Sheldon Richardson. When they get him back after the first few weeks, it will be like trading for a top defensive lineman mid-season. So the defense is good right now, but it will be even better as the season goes on.

Sticking with the topic of defense, it is realistic to say that this defense can hold any team to less than 20 points. The defensive line is elite and so is the secondary. Darrelle Revis is still the best cornerback in the NFL. Say what you want Richard Sherman fans, but Revis locks down the best receiver every time.

If the defense can realistically hold any team to under 20 points, that keeps the Jets in the game. Their offense is clearly not a strong suit, but it very well can be good enough to win. Say what you want about Ryan Fitzpatrick, but he has weapons to work with at wide receiver and running back. It is almost comparable to Mark Sanchez in his first two years with the Jets. Was he that good of a quarterback? Absolutely not. But he had weapons to work with at the wide receiver and running back positions. So all Fitzpatrick really has to do is be a game manager. Don’t throw deep balls, stick with the run, and most importantly, don’t turn the ball over. If he does that, the offense is good enough to drive down the field and get around 21 points per game.

There’s also one more thing that really works in the Jets’ favor and that is their schedule. The Jets are in a really good division, arguably the best division in the NFL. So as a division record, let’s give them a fair 2-4. One could even make the argument for 3-3 but let’s just say they finish 2-4 in their divisional games. Some of their non-divisional games include the Browns, Redskins, Raiders, Jaguars, Giants, and Titans. Those are all wins in my book so that leaves the Jets at eight wins right there (including the divisional wins). Their four remaining games include the Colts, Eagles, Texans, and Cowboys. I’d be willing to bet that the Jets will lose to the Colts and Cowboys but the other two games can be considered toss ups in my opinion. If the Jets can win one of those two remaining games (Eagles and Texans), then that puts them at nine wins.

The Jets will be one of the biggest surprises in the NFL this year. I’m not going to take the Rex Ryan approach and predict a Super Bowl, but they will absolutely contend for a playoff spot. It will be tough however, because the AFC East is a tough division. But the Jets are not the same team they were last year. They are not a push over anymore.

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