Since this will be the last column I will write about the Jets during the regular season, I’m going to analyze the remaining three games and take a look at their playoff chances.
This weekend they’ll be hitting the road to take on the Carolina Panthers, which is the most difficult team remaining on their schedule.
Despite the trouble the Panthers had in their 31-13 loss to the Saints on Sunday, they have emerged as a legitamate contender in the NFC.
Cam Newton has become the player everyone expected to be when he was drafted, now in his third year. Their defense, led by linebacker Luke Kuechly, has finally become a strong and dominant unit after a few years of struggling.
The Panthers will be a difficult matchup for the Jets.
As good as the Jets’ defensive line is, I think they will have a lot of trouble containing Newton. Newton is too fast and too strong. There’s no linebacker on the Jets that’s capable of playing as a spy on him to try and contain him.
On the outside, the Panthers don’t have great skill players on offense, but the Jets don’t have great ones on defense, so they should even out.
On offense, the Jets will have trouble moving the ball and go back to their ways against the Bills, Ravens and Dolphins.
Prediction: 34-16 Panthers
Week 16 the Jets will host the Cleveland Browns.
Despite their 4-9 record, the Browns are a very tough team.
They had the Patriots beat last week and were robbed by a terrible pass interference call, which lost them the game (and kept me alive in my survival pool).
Josh Gordon leads the entire NFL in receiving yards with 1400 yards, with what seems to be a different quarterback every week with Brandon Weeden, Jason Cambpell and Brian Hoyer.
A lot of Jets fans will see this game on the schedule and say, “Oh, we’re playing the Browns? That will be an easy win.”
The Browns have a very physical defensive line and an all-pro cornerback in Joe Haden. I think Geno Smith and Co. will have a lot of trouble moving the ball consistently.
The Jets have no chance of stopping Gordon and tight end Jordan Cameron. These are two all-pro level players and will have a field day against the Jets’ secondary.
It will be a close game, but ultimately another rough one for the Jets.
Prediction: 24-17 Browns
The Jets will end their season in South Beach when they take on the Miami Dolphins.
This game will be a lot closer than the first meeting between these two teams, when the Dolphins won 23-3.
I believe the Dolphins are a lot worse than their 7-6 record and will fall short of making the playoffs to the Baltimore Ravens.
Ryan Tannehill really isn’t a very good quarterback, so Quinton Coples and Muhammed Wilkerson will be able to contain him. Mike Wallace is a very inconsistent wide receiver, who will have one of his bad games this week.
I think Smith will have a great game to end the season to really show John Idizk that he is deserving of being the Jets quarterback of the future. I think he will put up 250 yards and three touchdowns.
Prediction: 27-24 Jets
Overall, the Jets will finish the season with a 7-9 record. This will put them in a position where they are not good enough to make the playoffs, but at the same time not bad enough to have a top-10 pick in the 2014 draft.
Since they’ll finish with a somewhat respectable record and much better than everyone expected them to be, Idzik and owner Woody Johnson will bring Rex Ryan back as head coach next season.
Even though Smith has nine touchdowns and 20 interceptions, which is a terrible ratio, I think Smith will be the starting quarterback again next year. Even through the ups and downs, he showed enough bright spots where he’s worthy of holding onto the job. An entire offseason as the starting quartback should be beneficial for him
Yes it was a very difficult season for Jets fans, as usual. The Jets still were a much better team than everyone expected. This team definitely has potential to be a contender, but they are just a few pieces away from being there.
What I really want to see in these last three games is a team that competes. I don’t expect them to win all three of these games, but it would be nice to see them have a chance to win in the fourth quarter.