The New York Jets are good.
No, that is not a typo. That’s a reality no one expected a month ago. After beating the Green Bay Packers, 27-10, the Jets improved to 4-2. Not only did they beat Green Bay, but they dominated Aaron Rodgers and the Packers at Lambeau Field. It’s weird to be talking about the Jets this late into the season without attaching a joke or funny meme to the conversation.
Robert Saleh’s Jets are on a three-game winning streak where they haven’t allowed more than 20 points in a game. They’re doing it the old-school way by running the ball and letting their defense take the lead. Against the Packers, rookie Breece Hall rushed for a career-high 116 yards and a touchdown.
Second-year QB Zach Wilson is becoming one of the better game managers in the league, as he was 10-of-18 for 110 yards passing. The most important stat is zero interceptions, as the Jets are putting Wilson in positions to succeed and not potentially throwing games away. Since Wilson returned from injury in Week 4, the Jets are 3-0. Their offensive game plan may not be the most exciting, but when you’re winning, fans couldn’t care less if their QB throws for 300 yards or 100. The Jets haven’t had a 4-2 start since Todd Bowles took over the team in 2015. That’s been the lone winning season for the Jets since 2011.
Times could be changing by the looks of things under the leadership of Saleh. For most people, the Jets have been bad their entire lives. Aside from a couple of winning years here and there and back-to-back AFC championship games appearances under Rex Ryan, this has been a poorly run organization for a long time.
Saleh said he was tracking receipts for those who’ve mocked the Jets, and so far, the team is backing up their coach’s bravado. Anyone who didn’t believe in the J-E-T-S Jets coming into the 2022 campaign was justified in their lack of confidence in a team that can’t ever seem to get it together.
What the Jets do well is what travels come playoff time. They play defense and run the ball effectively. Wilson isn’t winning games, but he isn’t losing them either, which is vital for a young team like the Jets. Hall and cornerback Sauce Gardner are two emerging stars in their rookie year and are already making a tremendous impact on this team.
There weren’t many people picking the Jets over the Packers. But they went to Green Bay and manhandled the cheeseheads. Over the next few weeks, we’ll see just how good these Jets can be as they face the Broncos, Patriots, and Bills. Buffalo will be the big test for New York and a good gauge of how far this team might be able to go, whether they win or lose.
It feels quite different and almost surreal, but the Jets are good for the first time in a while. I wouldn’t pick them to do anything crazy like win the Super Bowl, but winning nine or 10 games would be a great start for Saleh in his attempt to build for the future.
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