Six Reasons Why The Jets Will Make the Playoffs
With a somewhat surprising start to the 2022 NFL season, the New York Jets have been turning heads and creating excitement for the Gang Green fanbase.
The Jets last made the playoffs in 2010 which has some fans hoping for similar success this season following a 2-2 start.
While it may be way too early to dig deep into this start, here’s a look at six reasons why we think the New York Jets could be playing in January and possibly longer.
General Manager Joe Douglas spent big in the offseason to bring in new starters in the secondary.
Those players are Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner, D.J. Reed, and Jordan Whitehead, who have all made a major impact on this team.
The Jets' defense ranked 32nd last season, but after the first four games of the season, their defense ranks 10th.
It isn’t like the Jets secondary hasn’t faced good receivers either; they've faced Mark Andrews, Rashod Bateman, Amari Cooper, Jamarr Chase, Tee Higgins, Tyler Boyd, Diontae Johnson and Pat Friermuth.
Most of those names did not see much success against the Jets' secondary, and if that keeps up, it could mean big things for Gang Green.
The Jets have not had a strong culture since the prime of Rex Ryan’s ground-and-pound teams that went to back-to-back AFC Championships.
Insert the spark plug himself, Robert Saleh, with energy galore and his “All Gas No Break” mantra, and this team looks as fired up as ever.
He has his guys fully believing his mantra as well as wearing the “60%” shirts, which means when your brain tells you that you’re tired you still have 60% left in the tank.
The fire and belief in this team are palpable, and they come into games believing they will outwork any other team for 60 minutes.
Maturing Zach Wilson
The NFL is a quarterback-driven league, and no team nowadays will be successful without a good to great quarterback at least.
The Jets believe that Wilson will be able to make that jump into the category this year and elevate all of the young talents around him.
Toward the end of last season, Wilson finally stopped turning over the ball and was safe with it against the Steelers, one of his two interceptions not being his fault.
If Wilson can play his style of football and offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur can call good plays to get the skill position guys open often, this offense can stay in the top 10 like it is today.
The receiver core is as talented as ever
Earlier on Joey mentioned how the Jets spent big to improve the secondary, but Gang Green utilized the draft to rebuild the receiving core.
The Jets spent the 10th overall pick in this past draft on Garrett Wilson, who has started his career strong and arguably got robbed for Offensive Rookie of the Month.
While Wilson has played well, a draft pick from the prior year has excelled in his play in big moments.
Elijah Moore may have just south of 200 yards this season but well more than half of his catches have gone for first downs and played especially well last week with a returning Zach Wilson.
Those two alongside veterans like Corey Davis and Braxton Berrios, give the Jets a lot of pass catchers to work with that they may not have had in prior years.
Games are won and lost in the fourth quarter, and with the Jets' two wins this season, they have dominated in that aspect.
The Browns game required a big comeback, and the Steelers game was won on a game-winning drive.
It may only be two games, but it’s a huge positive that in his second year as a head coach, Robert Saleh can keep his team composed in the big moments.
Going back to the Steelers game, Zach Wilson was shaky, to say the least, but was able to instantly turn things around in the fourth quarter when it seemed Gang Green had lost all momentum.
The phrase “better lucky than good” is commonly used in sports and it perfectly applies to the Jets here. Having that clutch factor will matter as the season nears an end just look at where the Mets are right now without it.
Rookies starting strong
In past years, the Jets have been known for swinging and missing on high draft selections. So far, that doesn’t seem to be the case with this year’s class.
Sauce Gardner has looked like one of the better corners in the league and is coming off a week where he only allowed nine receiving yards against the Steelers.
We already touched on Garrett Wilson, but he already has 255 receiving yards with two touchdowns while having to play three games with Joe Flacco as his quarterback.
The third and final first-round pick, Jermaine Johnson, has been more of a rotational guy but has already accumulated 1.5 sacks on the season.
That’s just the first-round picks, as well which excludes Breece Hall, who has 291 total yards and two total touchdowns while splitting playing time with fellow young running back Michael Carter.
Even fourth-round pick Max Mitchell was having a strong start on the offensive line before going down with an injury like a majority of the team's linemen this season.
In the past, we’ve seen strong rookie classes propel teams to the playoffs, and we could see a case of that with this team.
Joey David is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, please email email@example.com.
Logan Bourandas is a senior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Sam Kirk is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism at Penn State. He is a writer and podcaster for the CommRadio sports department. He is also featured weekly in the CommRadio news department on Thursday newcasts. Sam has written articles all across the board that deal with baseball, football and basketball. He is also working for a football media company called Inside the Hashes, writing articles, interviewing players and contributing to their YouTube channel.