2022 Bold Predictions: New York Jetsby Andersen Pickard June 8, 2022 0 comments
The New York Jets are a franchise stuck in the basement of the AFC East. Suffering from the wrath of poor coaching hires and confusing roster moves, the Jets have a tendency to get in their own way. Things seem to be looking up, though. The hiring of Joe Douglas from Philadelphia has given New York one of the more savvy executives in the league. Meanwhile, similar praise can be given to the addition of head coach Robert Saleh after the team suffered through a couple years of Adam Gase. New York has spent big money in each of the last two free agency periods while also racking up enough draft picks to add rising stars on both sides of the football. Let’s dive into some bold takes as the Jets look to improve their record in 2022.
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Zach Wilson Throws For 25 Touchdowns
Wilson threw for nine touchdowns through 13 games last season. Is he really going to increase that total by 16 in his sophomore season? Well, yes. Not only does Wilson get four more games to accomplish it, but he also has a far more established support system around him. For starters, the BYU product was still getting used to the Jets’ system last year, as were wide receivers Corey Davis and Elijah Moore, running back Michael Carter, many members of the offensive line, and even the New York coaching staff. Now that the unit has spent a year together, things should flow smoother in 2022. Furthermore, the Jets beefed up their offense by signing tight ends C.J. Uzomah and Tyler Conklin, then adding wide receiver Garrett Wilson and running back Breece Hall in the draft.
Although they might not have been the flashiest moves, the addition of the two tight ends will go a long way in allowing Wilson to reach 25 touchdowns. For starters, Wilson didn’t have any big-bodied tight ends to trust in the end zone last season. Uzomah and Conklin are both physical specimens who can get open all over the field, whether it be in the end zone or not. Additionally, though, they are both above-average blockers in the passing game, meaning they can both occupy three-down roles. The duo’s deep skill set bodes well for Wilson’s prospects this coming season.
One final note on the subject: Wilson was super unlucky last season and there’s data to prove it. Michael Nania of Jet X provides a more thorough explanation here, but the gist is that Wilson’s passes kept getting stopped short at the one-yard line. In fact, Wilson averaged 0.46 completions to the one-yard line per game. Not only did this stat lead every single quarterback in the NFL, but it also more than doubled the NFL average of 0.19Quite simply, luck kept him just a few feet shy of finding the end zone six times through 13 games. Assuming he finds more success in this category in 2022, Wilson can add to his stats immensely.
Quinnen Williams Records 12 Sacks
Here’s a big one. Williams hasn’t topped seven sacks in a single season, and he only has 15.5 through three pro seasons. That will change this year. Although he has already made his presence felt on the Jets’ defensive line, the expectation is that he will take another major step forward in 2022. Not only does Williams have another year of experience under his belt, but he’s also seeking a hefty new contract.
As his rookie deal nears its end (the Jets exercised his option to keep him under contract through 2023), Williams will be playing extra hard to secure a rewarding deal. Furthermore, the 24-year-old is fully healthy. After missing eight games over his first three years in the league, Williams projects as the centerpiece of the defensive line. He’s going to see a whole lot of snaps, and now, in his fourth pro season, he’s going to churn out a whole lot of production. Opposing quarterbacks, beware.
Breece Hall Wins OROY After Totaling 1,500 Scrimmage Yards
A two-in-one prediction? You love to see it. Let’s start with the yardage. Hall, who was the first running back selected in April’s draft, will open the season as New York’s No. 1 running back. Although the end of the last season suggested Michael Carter secured lead-back duties, the selection of Hall changes that drastically. Teams don’t draft the best player at a position just to sit them on the bench for most of the game.
Hall is going to be a key piece of the Jets’ plans this coming season, showing off his dual-threat ability in the running and passing games. 1,500 scrimmage yards would equate to less than 100 per game and fall short of the 1,667 yards posted by Najee Harris in 2021. Thus, it’s not outlandish to imagine Hall reaching the threshold of 1,500 yards. He’s going to be utilized immensely, taking pressure off Zach Wilson with his running ability while also serving as a valuable outlet in the short-yardage passing game.
As for Hall’s OROY odds, this prediction is partially based on the level of competition that he faces. It’s no secret that the 2022 draft was relatively weak offensively, so Hall already has a leg-up in that regard. Vegas likes his chances, too. The oddsmakers currently have the Iowa State produced listed as fourth most likely to take home the honors (+825). He trails Titans wide receiver Treylon Burks (+725), Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett (+600), and Falcons wide receiver Drake London (+575). Evidently, it’s a close race with no front-runner. Hall should pull away and win the award after occupying the Jets’ RB1 role with ease this season.
C.J. Mosley Leads NFL in Tackles
Picking a player to lead the league in any category is always bold, though this one feels well within reach. Mosley wrapped up 168 opponents last year, which led the AFC and was good for fourth-most in the NFL. The talented middle linebacker is a four-time Pro Bowleer and should make it five this coming season. Knock on wood, Mosley has a very solid track record when it comes to injuries and should be able to stay on the field; the only season in which he missed more than two games was 2019. Even as Mosley approaches his 30th birthday, the former first-round pick remains one of the best linebackers in football.