New York Jets preview 2023: Over or under 9.5 wins? Chances to claim AFC East title?

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New York Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers throws during a practice session at the NFL football team's training facility in Florham Park, N.J., Sunday, July 30, 2023. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

It’s NFL team preview time, and today we’re looking at the New York Jets. Each Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from July 25 through Sept. 8, we will take an in-depth look at each team in the NFL with a 7- to 10-minute video going through impactful additions and departures, last year’s rankings and strength of schedule in 2023.

Home Field Sports analyst Jim Derry will then make a prediction on the team’s record this season and where they will finish in their respective division, along with the over/under win total, as posted at Caesars Sportsbook.

These stories are a brief summary of the accompanied preview videos – powered by the Dattitude Podcast (which will review each division every Friday until the season begins). The schedule for when each team will run is listed below with a link to each story and video that already has run.

NEW YORK JETS

Coach: Robert Saleh (3rd season)

2022 record: 7-10, 4th in AFC East; did not make playoffs.

Last season in a nutshell: This is one of the few teams where last season likely doesn’t mean very much, but if you insist …

It started out well and good, as the Jets rolled to a 6-3 start, including a major 20-17 upset of the Buffalo Bills on Nov. 6. That’s the good news. They went on to lose seven of eight in the second half, including a six-game losing streak to end the season, where they scored nine points in their final two games.

In fact, other than a 31-point effort in a win against Chicago the Sunday after Thanksgiving, the Jets did not score more than 22 points in any game after Oct. 16. That prompted the desperation to make a trade for Aaron Rodgers in hopes of improving an offense that was 25th overall and 29th in points scored.

Zach Wilson, who started nine of 17 games and was a first-round draft pick just two years ago, now becomes a backup. Rookie running back Breece Hall, who was injured for much of the season and started just two games, finished with 463 yards and four touchdowns and was the team’s leading rusher.

Another rookie, Garrett Wilson, was one of the league’s top receivers, with 83 catches on 147 targets for 1,103 yards and four scores. No other receiver on the team had more than half of that.

2023 bye week: 7

2023 Draft: 1 (15th overall) DE Will McDonald, Iowa State; 2 (43) OL Joe Tippmann, Wisconsin; 4 (120) OL Carter Warren, Pittsburgh; 5 (143) RB Israel Abanikanda, Pittsburgh; 6 (184) LB Zaire Barnes, Western Michigan; 6 (204) CB Jarrick Bernard-Converse, LSU; 7 (220) Zack Kuntz, Old Dominion.

Free-agent signings: WR Allen Lazard (from Green Bay), 4 years, $44M; G Wes Schweitzer (from Washington), 2 years, $5M; RB Dalvin Cook (from Minnesota), 1 year, $7M; WR Mecole Hardman, 1 year, $4.5M; DT Quinton Jefferson, 1 year, $3.6M; WR Randall Cobb (from Green Bay), 1 year, $3M; DT Al Woods (from Seattle), 1 year, $2.25M; S Adrian Amos (from Green Bay), 1 year, $1.75M; C Trystan Colon-Castillo (from Baltimore), 1 year, $1.66M; T Billy Turner (from Denver), 1 year, $1.65M; P Thomas Morstead, (from Miami), 1 year, $1.32M; DT Jalyn Holmes (from Chicago), 1 year, $1.08M; CB Dane Cruikshank (from Chicago), 1 year, $1.08M.

What needs to go right: With all the hype, the offense needs to be cohesive from the jump. Aaron Rodgers needs to look more like the quarterback who finished 13-3 in three consecutive seasons from 2019-21 and not the one who looked disinterested last season in an 8-9 effort.

And don’t think it’s as simple as “he’s got a change of scenery, so we know it’s going to be different.” He’s going to be 40 years old in December, and frankly, he looked a lot like that last season, throwing for the fewest yards in a non-injury season ever. As in E-V-E-R.

Having a receiving corps that features a young Garrett Wilson should be interesting, along with Mecole Hardman from Kansas City and his old friends Allen Lazard and Randall Cobb. His running game could be as good as it was in Green Bay, as well, with Dalvin Cook signing a one-year deal just a few weeks ago to go with Breece Hall and Michael Carter.

Rodgers also is reunited with his old offensive coordinator, Nathaniel Hackett, who failed miserably in his first attempt as a head coach last year in Denver. Meanwhile, Saleh has to love that his fourth-ranked defense from a year ago comes back mostly intact.

All that being said, the Jets also will have to find a way to navigate the ninth-toughest schedule in the NFL that could be even tougher than that. They couldn’t have a tougher test in the first six weeks, which includes opening the season against Buffalo, traveling to Dallas in Week 2, hosting Kansas City on a Sunday night in Week 4 before heading to Denver and coming home for Philadelphia.

If they can navigate that and get through 3-3, they could be in line to be that team many amateur bettors think they’re going to be. (But they’ll never get back to the 35-1 odds they had way back before Rodgers came over.)

Key moments in video:

0:00 New York Jets

1:06 2022 season in a nutshell (doesn’t take long)

3:08 Trading for Aaron Rodgers leads to other new faces

4:40 Running game gets boost

5:41 Defense should be stout once again

6:43 Dissecting a brutal schedule (to start)

8:38 Predictions, best bet

PREVIEW SCHEDULE / LINKS

AFC SOUTH

July 25: Houston Texans

July 26: Indianapolis Colts

July 27: Jacksonville Jaguars

July 28: Tennessee Titans

NFC WEST

Aug. 1: Arizona Cardinals

Aug. 2: Los Angeles Rams

Aug. 3: San Francisco 49ers

Aug. 4: Seattle Seahawks

AFC WEST

Aug. 8: Denver Broncos

Aug. 9: Kansas City Chiefs

Aug. 10: Las Vegas Raiders

Aug. 11: Los Angeles Chargers

NFC EAST

Aug. 15: Dallas Cowboys

Aug. 16: New York Giants

Aug. 17: Philadelphia Eagles

Aug. 18: Washington Commanders

AFC EAST

Aug. 22: Buffalo Bills

Aug. 23: Miami Dolphins

Aug. 24: New England Patriots

Aug. 25: New York Jets

NFC NORTH

Aug. 29: Chicago Bears

Aug. 29: Detroit Lions

Aug. 30: Green Bay Packers

Aug. 30: Minnesota Vikings

AFC NORTH

Aug. 31: Baltimore Ravens

Aug. 31: Cincinnati Bengals

Sept. 1: Cleveland Browns

Sept. 2: Pittsburgh Steelers

NFC SOUTH

Sept. 5: Atlanta Falcons

Sept. 6: Carolina Panthers

Sept. 7: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Sept. 8: New Orleans Saints

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