New York Jets, NFL Draft, Picks, 2022, 2023, Fans
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New York Jets seemingly disrespected by ESPN’s projection model

The New York Jets have faced no shortage of disrespect over the last decade-plus.

They are the new Cleveland Browns: ridiculed in the media, used as the quintessential example of a franchise buried before the season even starts.

Although Jets Nation feels that this season will be different, ESPN’s Football Power Index (FPI) apparently disagrees. The index is a model that projects each team’s likely draft slot for the following season.

It’s bad enough that the Vegas over/under for Jets victories in 2022 is 5.5. That’s become a popular pick for the over.

The FPI projects the Jets as the most likely team to end up with the #1 overall pick in 2023.

Wait… what?

Does anyone think the Jets are going to be worse than the Chicago Bears?

The FPI actually ranks the Bears as most likely to get the #1 pick at 13.7% to 13.6%. However, the model also accounts for the chances of a Top 10 selection. On that metric, the Jets are slightly higher than the Bears, 68.4% to 67.9%. The overall rankings list the Jets as the most likely candidate for the top pick.

Presumably, the strength of schedule is a significant factor in these rankings. Also, if evaluating likelihood purely by last season’s stats, then yeah, Zach Wilson‘s raw stats were pretty much the worst in the NFL across the board in 2022.

But this model is showing its limitations in predicting the growth of a young team as a whole. Jets fans are optimistic that with the pieces added around Wilson, the team will show growth over last season.

Do the Jets have flaws? Clearly. As discussed at length on this site, the run defense is the biggest concern.

But to say that this team is going to be worse than last season?! That’s the ultimate disrespect. It’s like saying that what Joe Douglas did is futile. Handing Robert Saleh his head on the chopping block.

Gang Green is used to being disrespected. Brady Quinn buried them in hyperbolic fashion just a few weeks ago. Stephen A. Smith went on an infamous rant about the franchise. Once again, the Jets are the butt of jokes.

Now it’s up to Wilson & Co. to take this as motivation. Prove the doubters wrong. Go out and compete in each and every game. Pull out a few upsets. Show some consistency on the offensive side of the ball.

ESPN, here’s to the mission of making you question your model.

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Rivka Boord has followed the Jets since the age of five. She is known locally for her in-depth knowledge of football. She hopes to empower young women to follow their dreams and join the sports conversation. Boord's background in analytics infuses her articles with unique insights into the state of the Jets' franchise and the NFL as a whole.
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