The New York Jets came into the season with a bleak outlook. After an offseason in which they disposed of their veteran talent (guys like Brandon Marshall, Eric Decker, and Ryan Fitzpatrick), many experts and analysts predicted that this team would go 0-16. They were the first team in NFL history to be the underdog in every single one of their games to begin the season. As a Jets fan, you expected the worst, knowing that at the end of this all you would have the #1 overall pick, which would land you the franchise quarterback that you so desperately needed.
After an 0-2 start, which surprised nobody, came the…a victory! The Jets knocked off the Miami Dolphins 20-6. Then came another victory, a 23-20 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars. At this point the fan base had to be confused; who are these men, and what have they done with the terrible team that General Manager Mike Maccagnan put together? If a two game winning streak was unthinkable, imagine how Jets fans reacted after seeing their team win a third straight game, an ugly 17-14 win over the lowly Cleveland Browns. How is this possible? How could arguably the worst roster ever constructed possibly have a three game winning streak? This was better than any Jets fan could have ever imagined. Or was it?
What the Jets, and every franchise, so desperately needs is a franchise quarterback. A man they can build their team around and a man who could lead the team to victory. The issue with recent Jets teams is that they have been unable to find that man who could lead the team for years to come. That is why Jets fans were ok with a terrible season. They knew that if they could endure a season of embarrassment, it would mean that they could choose any quarterback they wanted from the upcoming draft. With names like Sam Darnold, Mason Rudolph, Josh Allen, and Josh Rosen most likely to be available, this draft became one of importance; a draft where a team like the Jets could finally snag their franchise quarterback. Here we are though, week five, with the Jets sitting at 3-2 and currently with the 17th overall pick in this years draft. Of course this team will come back to earth and lose some games, but they have already sealed their fate of not having a top five pick. They are on line to miss out on the quarterback they so desperately need. Josh McCown will suffice for now, but for a franchise with a young core they need the quarterback to be the centerpiece. As of now, the Jets are looking at a top ten pick at best, in which they can select a good player, yet not the quarterback that they desire. Of course you can always find the wide receiver or offensive lineman that can make a huge impact on your franchise, but everyone knows that to win a Super Bowl in this league you need a quarterback.
I applaud the Jets’ effort this season. The team that was predicted to win 0 games already has three wins, five weeks through the season. However, in order to make it to the top, the Jets must first hit rock bottom. They must fall to that #1 pick to select the quarterback they need. Sure the winning seems fun now, but years down the road this will look like a missed opportunity.