By Alexander C. Lawrence
Despite all the gloom and doom about the 2017 season coming in, the Jets actually have two more victories (2-2) than their stadium-sharing neighbors, the Giants (0-4). What does this all mean in a world where the Jets have a better record than the Giants AND the Bills (3-1) sit atop the AFC East?
1) The Jets new-look, swagger-filled defense
Since joining the Jets on draft day as first and second round picks, Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye have really played intense and fast football to go along with third-year defensive linemen out of USC, Leonard Williams. Not only did this Jets defense outplay Miami in Week 3, they look poised to go all out this season. Something tells me Adams, Maye, and Williams don’t know what the word “tank” means, though I’m also sure they’d rather have guys like Sam Darnold and Josh Rosen on their team.
2) Will Hackenberg ever see the field in 2017?
A month ago I would’ve told you that Christian Hackenberg would be the starting QB for the New York Jets by mid-to-late October, but right now I’m not so sure. I believed in the Jets ability to develop him. He had proven himself in a pro-style offense his first year at Penn State. So far with two wins under his belt, Josh McCown may ensure Hackenberg doesn’t see the field. As a Jet fan, wasting a second round pick shows just how foolish the front office was for drafting him with high capital and then not allowing him to prove himself.
3) Is winning hurting the Jets future?
A lot of people expected the Jets to be either 0-4 or 1-3 at this point, including myself. McCown and that Jets’ offense have played impressive football and I’m honestly not thrilled about it. The Jets need to start fresh at QB and Josh Rosen or Sam Darnold look primed to be that long-awaited franchise guy. That was until McCown started winning. He is not the future, just a hold-the-fort-together guy until they get the chance to draft a real QB. The Jets just don’t have the talent to compete all season long, as teams will adjust and eventually that offense will slow down once they face tougher defenses. If the Jets finish 6-10 and get a top-10 pick, I’d call this season a waste because QB is a must in this draft and the Jets may be too far back in the draft order to grab the one they want/need.
4) Kony Ealy’s tough Week 4
Kony Ealy had a key defensive play in securing the Week 4 victory over the Jaguars for the Jets. He was presented with the game-ball, but not any game-ball. Ealy lost his sister this week, Latoya Brown and no details were given outside of that. That forced Ealy to leave the team for a couple of days but would suit-up Sunday and have the game of his career. He did his scouting report on Blake Bortles, who likes to throw low, and Ealy sure took advantage of that as he put his arms up and ended with four pass deflections on the day. None would top his third quarter batted pass that he caught and ran for seven-yards and almost had their first defensive touchdown in 61 games.