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It’s not biased for fans to admit this about NY Jets’ 2024 schedule

Trevor Lawrence, NY Jets, 2024 Schedule, Jaguars
Trevor Lawrence, Quinnen Williams, New York Jets, Jacksonville Jaguars, Getty Images

New York Jets fans might be hesitant to buy into it, but it’s true

On their official X (formerly Twitter) account, the New York Jets asked fans to give their hottest takes about the team’s 2024 schedule. The post was accompanied by an image of all 17 games on the Jets’ 2024 schedule.

The moment I saw all of those logos, my immediate reaction was… the Jets will be the better team in 16 of these games.

I hesitated for a moment, wondering if that was my Jets bias shining through. No way that can be true, right? I have an inflated perspective of the Jets’ roster since I follow them much more closely than any other team. I have to be exaggerating!

I sat there and thought it through, comparing the Jets’ roster to each of the 14 opposing rosters on their schedule. And it didn’t take long for me to realize it: there is no bias at play here. Saying the Jets have a better roster than all but one of their 2024 opponents is an objective claim that can be backed up with strong evidence. It doesn’t mean the Jets will have a better season than 16 of those teams, nor that they will go 16-1. We play the games for a reason. On paper, though, the Jets truly are that good.

Don’t believe me? Let’s get an unbiased opinion.

Shortly prior to the 2024 draft, ESPN analytics writer Mike Clay released a ranking of all 32 rosters that was calculated by rating 10 different position groups on each team (QB, RB, WR, TE, OL, IDL, EDGE, LB, S, CB) and accumulating those position-group scores to calculate an overall roster rating for each team. Clay also weighted the value of each position group based on their importance – quarterback had the largest effect on the overall rating, running back had the smallest, and so on.

And coming in at No. 2? None other than the New York Jets, putting them ahead of every team on their 2024 schedule except for the top-ranked San Francisco 49ers (whom the Jets will face in Santa Clara).

San Francisco undoubtedly deserves the edge over New York until proven otherwise. The 49ers are coming off a three-point Super Bowl loss and retained much of the same team that shredded its way through the NFC on both sides of the ball. They have the most well-rounded roster in football.

Other than the 49ers, though, which roster on the Jets’ 2024 schedule would you take over New York’s?

Houston was the only team I had to think twice about. The Texans already won 10 games and made it to the Divisional round with a young team that did not have high expectations. Now, they’re due for another huge leap forward after adding Stefon Diggs, Danielle Hunter, and Joe Mixon. Plus, C.J. Stroud should take a sizable leap in his second season after setting an incredibly high floor as a rookie. This is an outstanding football team, and I wouldn’t hold it against anyone if they sided with Houston over New York. However, the Jets have significantly more talent on defense, and in my opinion, that puts their roster over Houston’s. Not to mention, the Jets demolished Houston 30-6 without Aaron Rodgers last season.

Buffalo and Miami have solid arguments, as they have each been unequivocally better than the Jets over the past two years, but both rosters were severely drained this offseason. The Bills lost Stefon Diggs, Gabriel Davis, Mitch Morse, Micah Hyde, Jordan Poyer, Leonard Floyd, and Tre’Davious White. Miami’s offensive line, an integral part of the offense’s 2023 success, lost two of its best players in Robert Hunt and Connor Williams (the latter is still a free agent). The Dolphins also lost star defensive tackle Christian Wilkins, an enormous blow to a defense that was already just 22nd in points allowed per game.

The only teams on the Jets’ schedule who rank top-14 on Clay’s ranking are San Francisco (1st), Miami (8th), Houston (11th), and Buffalo (13th). The second-ranked Jets are far ahead of every opponent outside of San Francisco, and while the latter three teams have solid arguments, we discussed why it’s fair to put the Jets above them. After those teams, the next-best team is Seattle in the 15th spot, and there isn’t a conversation to be had there.

Bias is difficult to avoid as a sports fan. It’s an inherent part of fandom. What’s the fun of being a fan if you’re not going to be optimistic about your team? For many years, Jets fans had to be very biased to craft reasons to believe in their team. I remember convincing myself why the 2019 Adam Gase-led team was built to be a wild card team, and that the 2016 Ryan Fitzpatrick-led squad was poised to build upon its 2015 success to become a true championship contender.

But those days are behind us. Delusional bias is no longer required for Jets fans to be optimistic. Their team is more talented than almost every team it will face in 2024 – plain and simple. While nobody can argue that is a “fact,” what matters is that it is an objectively reasonable claim. Jets fans can argue in favor of their team against any other roster in football without being laughed at. That statement has not been true for well over a decade.

The next step is translating the on-paper success to on-field success.

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9 days ago

Great article! I agree. This is truly the best roster since Rex. If our line stays healthy, we can beat anybody. Its hard to let that sink in!