Happy Week 1 to everyone! What a relief it is to enter a season with a bit of optimism and hope surrounding the Jets. It was exhausting watching the Jets start 1-7 and 0-13 the past two seasons. Those were bad times. But for all of our suffering, we have been rewarded with Big Bob Saleh and his refreshing style of coaching. Such a breath of fresh air after watching Gase make excuse after excuse for 32 consecutive games of non-competitive football.
This season, I expect the Jets to compete week in and week out. The roster is quite young but isn’t this better than watching Frank Gore inexplicably get 20 touches a game? I posit that it is indeed better. I’m excited to watch an improved OL and run game, a DL that should be the best unit on the team, a trio of fun WR on the outside, none of whom are named Breshad Perriman, and a rookie QB ready to light it up.
For the week at hand, the Jets open up against the Panthers who will trot out our old friend Sam Darnold at QB. Now that Darnold is no longer on the Jets, we do not have to pretend that he is good. He is not a good QB; in fact, I would classify him as a bottom 5 starting QB in the league. Happy feet, too many turnovers, always looking at the pass rush and missing open targets. The pundits that are expecting a Ryan Tannehill-esque renaissance for Darnold after his escape from Gase confound me. Darnold’s upside is Ryan Fitzpatrick. The Jets are +3.5 against the spread and +166 to win the game. I am filled with optimism as I write this, but I do think the Jets will win the game outright and generally look a lot more like a professional team than they did last season. We have to take advantage of the market undervaluing the Jets to open the season. There is a very real and likely possibility that the Jets enter the bye week at 5-0.
We had a solid 10-7 record last year in Gase’s second season and had a good feel for how he would approach the games, generally speaking that meant losing by a lot. We don’t really know a whole lot about Big Bob Saleh and how his coaching staff will approach game planning. I do have a lot more faith that they will stay competitive in most games. Including this one, against a pretty bad Panthers team. Social media reporting a lot of Jets fans in Charlotte, it should be an accommodative atmosphere for the team to open the season on the road. Let’s take the Jets +3.5.
Pick: Jets +3.5
Big Hank’s long-shot of the week: Alternate lines Jets -3.5 +274