Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

06 Jan 2011

Are the Jets a Disappointment?

I had a nice chat with Will Leitch over at New York Magazine about the Jets' numbers this year and their chances of beating the Colts.

Posted by: Bill Barnwell on 06 Jan 2011

43 comments, Last at 17 Jan 2011, 4:52am by SteveNC


by stephenbawesome :: Thu, 01/06/2011 - 4:36pm

I'm surprised he didn't bring up the Cardinals.

by Dean :: Thu, 01/06/2011 - 4:43pm

Stanford ought to be pretty good next year - especially with Luck returning.

by Brendan Scolari :: Thu, 01/06/2011 - 5:02pm

That would be the Cardinal, the color, not the bird. Nice try though.

by Dean :: Fri, 01/07/2011 - 10:19am

Not if Phil Simms is doing the commentary.

by Jetspete :: Thu, 01/06/2011 - 5:08pm

To answer the question at the top of the page, i cannot consider this season a disappoint, because as DVOA discussed New England had an all-time great regular season. The Jets are simply handcuffed because of a great team in their division.

As for the questions about this week, I cannot see the jets losing this game for the reasons Bill mentioned in the article. the jets have upgraded from shepphard to cromartie, and the colts have downgraded from collie/clark to tamme/white. That should be enough. Plus the Colts best wins of the season all came before Columbus day, whereas the jets just beat the 2 seed in the AFC, on the Road, 3 weeks ago.

by SuperAnonymous (not verified) :: Thu, 01/06/2011 - 5:35pm

How are they handcuffed by a team that they to once this season? Obviously it means more of a fight for the division, but it's not as though New England being in the East has an affect on the rest of their schedule or the outcome of their other games.

by SuperAnonymous (not verified) :: Thu, 01/06/2011 - 5:37pm

Sorry, that should read "that they lost to once this season."

by Jetspete :: Thu, 01/06/2011 - 5:53pm

what i mean is that if before the season i was told the jets would be the 6th seed, i would consider that a huge disappointment, especially with all the preseason talk. However, no one expected NE to be this good. It's quite possibly that the Jets are the second best team in the AFC (tied for second best conf record) and would be the best team in the AFC if NE wasnt having such an amazing year.

by RickD :: Fri, 01/07/2011 - 1:53pm

It's very hard to see an argument to the effect that the Jets are the second-best team in the AFC, in spite of the 6 seed. Surely that label has to go to either the Steelers or the Ravens.

I think people would be disappointed if they believed the pre-season hype that was based on four games at the end of last season, including a Colts team that wasn't trying to win, two games against the badly overmatched Chargers, and a legitimate good performance against the Chargers to reach the AFC Championship game. It was clear to me over the summer that the Jets were being horribly over-hyped by the NY media. Mark Sanchez is still at best a middling QB and to make the jump to an elite team, the Jets are going to need much better QB play.

by Jetspete :: Fri, 01/07/2011 - 2:23pm

the jets beat pittsburgh in Pittsburgh and won vs new england. Jets/Pitt/Balt all finished with the same 9-3 record in conference. Its not hard at all to make an argument they are the second best team in the afc.

The preseason hype was backed up by a 9-2 start which included a win over new england and a 5-0 road mark. And the NY media overhypes every team, look at the knicks, or better yet the giants.

by DeltaWhiskey :: Fri, 01/07/2011 - 4:22pm

JETS lost to BAL, GB (blanked), NE (badly), MIA, and CHI... not hard to make an argument that they're not the next best team in the AFC.

But geez, it's hard for me to believe that a registered user on this cite is pulling out the Team A beat Team B and Team C argument to justify their position.

by Noah Arkadia :: Fri, 01/07/2011 - 9:06pm

My thoughts exactly

by MJK :: Thu, 01/06/2011 - 6:02pm

Because the Patriots played so well this year, and got so lucky, that they won 13 of 14 games not against the Jets to finish with a 14 win season. There isn't even a 14 win team in the league every year. In order to win the division, the Jets would have also had to win 14 games (13 of 14 not against the Pats, like the Patriots vs the jets, and then split with the Pats), at least.

To win that many games, you not only need to be very good, you need to be lucky as well. In almost any other division (except the AFC South, and maybe the NFCE), the Jet would have won the division handily. So, yeah, being in the same division as the Patriots was a bit of handcuff.

by Noah Arkadia :: Thu, 01/06/2011 - 9:08pm

I don't agree. The Pats could have won 12 -even 11- games this season and still won the division.

by Otis Taylor89 :: Thu, 01/06/2011 - 9:16pm

And the Jets were very,very lucky along with finishing with 6th seed as they could have lost HOU,CLE and DET games.

by BigCheese :: Sat, 01/08/2011 - 4:09am

That argument makes about as much sense as saying that the 08 Lions were handcuffed because they would have needed to win at least 11 wins against non-Minesotta teams to win the Division. Which is true, but doesn't make the Vikings responsible in any way for the Lions' other 14 losses that year.

Also, I'm pretty certain that the Jets would not have won the NFC North, you know, the division where they owuld have finished tied with the Bears (but lost the head-to-head), which also has the Packers who blanked them in NY, and who instead of the two easy Buffalo wins, they'd have the Lions who tookt hem to the brink this year. I'm guessing they'd have finished third.

And if you need me to explain why the Jets had no chance to win the AFC North, where two teams finished ahead of them, well, I don't know what to tell you...

In summation, the divisions the Jets would ahve won "handidly" this year are:

The NFC West.


- Alvaro

by Jetspete :: Sun, 01/09/2011 - 2:37am

youre joking right? the jets just beat the afc south champ in their building and had a better record than all but 3 div champs and tied another.

by DeltaWhiskey :: Sun, 01/09/2011 - 8:39am

...and had the Jets lost, would you have come back to post your mea culpa? When it comes to homerism, there's really is only one Raiderjoe.

by Otis Taylor89 :: Thu, 01/06/2011 - 5:13pm

Of course they are a disapointment - the way they were talking before the season they should have taken home the Lombardi Throphy by week 15.

by stephenbawesome :: Thu, 01/06/2011 - 5:18pm

I guess the Shake Weight doesn't train NFL players properly for regular season dominance?

by B :: Thu, 01/06/2011 - 5:42pm

Rex Ryan has been pretty vocal about the Jets winning the Super Bowl this year, so by that token, if they lose this week, it'll be a disappointment. That said, I don't think their performance should be considered much of a disappointment, just a failure to live up to excess hype. The Giants, on the other hand, had a very disappointing season.

by JonFrum :: Thu, 01/06/2011 - 7:53pm

"I don't think their performance should be considered much of a disappointment, just a failure to live up to excess hype"

Isn't the former the definition of the latter? The hype is what we're judging them by. Given the hype, their play so far has been a disappointment. According to the hype, they were supposed to be beasts. They're not. The hype was excessive - we know now.

by RickD :: Fri, 01/07/2011 - 1:55pm

It comes down to whether you believed the hype. If you didn't believe the hype, you wouldn't be disappointed.

by BigCheese :: Sat, 01/08/2011 - 4:12am

Indeed. I for one thought they wouldn't even sniff they play-offs this year, so I can honestly say that to my eyes, the Jets have not been a dissapointment this year!

(Conversely, the Dolphins, Chargers and Texans, all of whom I believed would make the play-offs over the Jets, WERE massive dissapointments).

- Alvaro

by JonFrum :: Sat, 01/08/2011 - 3:57pm

I didn't believe the hype either, but that's not the point. Rex deliberately 'raised the bar.' That was his choice, not mine or yours. So far, they don't look like the team he - and therefore the franchise - said they were. If they pull off a Super Bowl spot - then they're not a disappointment.

This is why most teams, you know, don't raise the bar at the beginning of the season. When you talk the talk, it's perfectly reasonable for people to hold you responsible to walk they walk, even when they don't actually expect you to be able to do it.

by Newjamarcus (not verified) :: Thu, 01/06/2011 - 6:10pm

11-5 with wins over the Pats and Steelers and a boatload of exciting comeback wins? As a Jets fan, I know disappointing: this is not disappointing.

by scottybsun (not verified) :: Fri, 01/07/2011 - 9:51am

You nailed it! 100% agree

by V. Barbarino (not verified) :: Thu, 01/06/2011 - 6:17pm

Yes, this question all kind of depends on the context. I never thought they were particularly Super Bowl worthy ( I think Sanchez is all right, but at this point he doesn't strike me as a championship quarterback ), and if the team was in Gary, Indiana I doubt that we'd have heard much about it. Disappointment in terms of a New York-centric media lavishing praise on a 9-7 team that played well enough in the playoffs to defeat a Cincinnati team with a dead-armed qb and a San Diego team that never fails to come up short? I guess. But just because a fat man says that his team is going to 'win it all' doesn't exactly make it so. I have been around long enough to remember Ryan's dad's schtick, and I'm trying to recall all of the Lombardi trophys that he's got in his ping pong room. The Jets were darned lucky that Pittsburgh essentially sold Santonio Holmes to them for 24 dollars in beads, else I think this Jets team likely goes about 7-9, and then, yes, that would be considered a disappointment.
Now, if the Jets somehow get to the SB this year, let's all pretend I didn't write any of this.

by barry (not verified) :: Thu, 01/06/2011 - 6:48pm

I think the Jets are highly over-rated, and are a couple of freak plays/ dubious calls from being 7-9. This is the same team that in a 5 week period got a questionable pass intereference call against denver to set up a last minute win, an overtime win against Cleveland where no one decided to tackle Santonio Holmes for some reason, and another last minute win after giving up the lead to Houston with 20 4th qtr points, and then getting lucky that Houston blew a huge coverage against Braylon edwards at the end.
This same time period includes a narrow overtime win against Detroit, and a shutout loss to Green Bay.
Throw in an absolute thrashing by New England, and all we're supposed to think of is how they're awesome because they managed to sneak by Pittsburgh due to Brad Smith's opening game kick return TD?

I think the Jets have a chance against the Colts because the Colts are depleted by injury and have some serious deficiencies, but let's not pretend that the Jets are a great team.

by Mr Shush :: Thu, 01/06/2011 - 7:48pm

Beating the Texans because of a horrendous blown coverage isn't lucky, except insofar as having the Texans on your schedule is lucky.

by JSA (not verified) :: Thu, 01/06/2011 - 8:11pm

Yes, the Jets had close wins. They also were a few plays away from winning 4 of their 5 losses. Like every team, luck runs both ways.

by Tyler Buchanan (not verified) :: Fri, 01/07/2011 - 5:04pm

Still, some teams are luckier than others, such as the Packers being 8-0 in games decided by a TD or more and 2-6 in games decided by less than 7 points.

by scottybsun (not verified) :: Fri, 01/07/2011 - 9:54am

Well, if you count pulling a receiver's facemask a "questionable" pass interference call, you'd be right.

by Cro-Mags (not verified) :: Thu, 01/06/2011 - 7:43pm

This is New York magazine so it begs the question:

Where do the Jets fit on the low brow/high brow brilliant/despicable Approval Matrix?


by BigCheese :: Sat, 01/08/2011 - 4:21am

I'd say at 0,0

Having said that, anyone who authors a graph that has "Christian Bale's commitment to looking like a Junkie in The Fighter" as significantly more brilliant than "Cabbies who give free rides to old ladies during inclement weather" in a despicable to brilliant scale, deserves to be punched in the mouth by every living descendant of any old lady he ever meets. Including his grandmothers.

- Alvaro

by Jim Glass (not verified) :: Fri, 01/07/2011 - 12:26am

11-5 is the 3rd best season in the 51 years of Jets franchise history.

1968: 11-3, .786
1998: 12-4, .750
2010: 11-5, .688
1985: 11-5, .688

(OK, tied for 3rd-4th.)

You can call the whole damn franchise a disappointment, but by its own standards the 3rd best year out of 51 is hard to see as a disappointment.

by V. Barbarino (not verified) :: Fri, 01/07/2011 - 1:25am

Yep, I don't think the season is a disappointment, and it may well turn out to be better as it goes on. I just don't know that, beyond Ryan's bleats, anyone should have thought they were anything beyond what we've seen. A solid team with obvious flaws. No harm in that, that describes just about every team in the playoffs, Seahawks aside.

by Noah Arkadia :: Fri, 01/07/2011 - 2:46pm

I'm a Dolphins fan, but honestly, it all rests on the next game. If they lose, how could it not be a disappointment? But if they win, how could it possibly be?

by BigCheese :: Sat, 01/08/2011 - 4:27am

If they lose, how could it not be a disappointment?

By realizing before the season that a 9-7 team which only made the play-offs because the Colts decided to rest their starters instead of going for 16-0, beat an average Bengals team, needed Nate kaeding to miss THREE FGs, including a chip-shot and were then shown by the Colts what happens to mediocre teams when they play Manning and a healthy supporting cast was not "on the verge of winning the SB" no matter how many times that fallacy was repeated?

Worked for me.

- Alvaro

by Noah Arkadia :: Sat, 01/08/2011 - 12:27pm

But last year they made it to the divisional round. And they're playing a weaker version of the same team that beat them last year. It's not even about winning the SB. I think they need to beat the Colts to prove they were a better team this year -and not just a luckier team.

by Nathan :: Fri, 01/07/2011 - 3:09pm

how can the jets possibly be a disappointment if their season isn't over yet.

by SteveNC (not verified) :: Mon, 01/17/2011 - 4:52am

Clearly there was a typo in the title and "Jets" was printed where "Patriots" should've been.

by Jetsoex :: Fri, 01/07/2011 - 11:54pm

Any true Jets fan knows better than to really expect them to win a super bowl. Every Jets season is measured by how they do against their rivals, and this year that means the Patriots. This is the year we were suppose to beat the Patriots, if we knock them out of the playoffs then the season was successful, if we lose then the season was not successful because Boston still has bragging rights.