Betting Against The New York Jets Proves A Winning Strategy
The 2020 New York Jets are just three weeks away from placing themselves in the NFL record books. Should they lose their remaining three games, they will join the 2008 Detroit Lions and the 2017 Cleveland Browns as the only teams to go winless for an entire NFL season.
What are the odds of that happening? Pretty likely as it turns out.
The Jets face a pair of 9-4 teams – the Rams and the Browns – and then finish the season with 6-7 New England. The Patriots have beaten the Jets nine straight times. In other words, the remaining schedule doesn’t fuel a lot of confidence in getting a win.
So where exactly will this New York Jets team end up in the all-time NFL Hall of Shame?
As mentioned, only two teams have previously gone winless in a 16-game NFL season. The Jets might well be worse than both of those teams. They have been outscored by 210 points so far this season. That projects to a -258 point differential for the season.
In the NFL’s 42 season history of playing 16 games, only three teams have had a point differential worse than -258. The 1981 Baltimore Colts gave up an astounding 533 points and were outscored by 274. The 1990 Patriots finished -265 and the 2009 Rams went -261.
But each of those three teams won at least one game during their seasons. If the Jets replace one of those three on the list and lose their final three games, they could become the all-time worst team in NFL history.
How did the Jets get to this point? As with any organization, it starts at the top. Simply put, Jets CEO Christopher Johnson has done a lousy job of running the franchise. Since taking control from his older brother and owner Woody Johnson in 2017, the Jets are 16-45. That is the worst record over that time span in the NFL.
Since Christopher Johnson took over as CEO in 2017 the Jets have gone an NFL worst 16-45
Johnson has gone through two general managers and two head coaches. At season’s end, he will likely be looking for another one because current head coach Adam Gase has been a huge disappointment. Gase was brought in for his offensive wizardry and his potential to work with a young quarterback. He has failed miserably at both.
In 29 games, Gase’s Jets offense is averaging 14 points per game. That’s awful. Gase was also tabbed for the job because he could help bring along first-round draft pick QB Sam Darnold. Gase had never mentored a young quarterback, but that didn’t matter. Now nearly three years later, Darnold has been sacked 28 times and thrown just five touchdown passes this campaign. After a miserable three seasons, Darnold appears to be a bust.
The Jets dug themselves huge holes when they let former GM Mike Maccagnan pull off two of the worst free agent signings in recent NFL history. Maccagnan signed LB C.J. Mosley to a five-year, $85 million deal. A cool $43 million of that was due when Mosley signed his contract prior to the 2019 season.
What has Mosley done for the Jets for $43 million? He played in two games and registered a grand total of nine tackles. Granted, he did have an interception that he returned for a touchdown, but $43 million? Worryingly, Mosley’s deal wasn’t even Maccagnan’s worst endeavor.
A couple of major free agency mistakes have put pressure on their salary cap and left Jets fans scratching their heads
That title goes to the Le’Veon Bell fiasco. The former Steelers star sat out the entire 2018 NFL season because of a contract dispute with Pittsburgh. Ironically, the Jets then signed Bell for $52 million over four years, an average of $13 million. Pittsburgh had offered Bell $30 million over two years.
Bell would end up making $28 million from the Jets for a total of 17 games over a season and a quarter before New York dumped him in October. He averaged just 3.2 yards a carry in 2019 when he played in 15 games. After scoring 11 total touchdowns for Pittsburgh in 2017, Bell had just four for the Jets in 2019. Even though he is no longer around, he is still affecting the Jets by virtue of his dead salary cap money.
The Jets have also fared poorly in their recent NFL drafts. Maccagnan oversaw five drafts and came away with little to show. He did pick three top quality NFL starters – defensive tackles Leonard Williams and Quinnen Williams and safety Jamal Adams. Unfortunately for the Jets two of those players are now thriving with other NFL teams. Adams plays for Seattle and Williams is with New York’s other team, the Giants.
So it looks like the 2020 New York Jets will go down in NFL history as one of the worst teams to ever play. It’s been a series of bad decisions starting at the top and trickling all the way down to the field. If it continues for the next three weeks, the 2020 Jets will add their name to the NFL record books. Right now it would seem foolish to bet against that happening.