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Bold ESPN article is evidence for fans to buy into NY Jets hype

Sauce Gardner, NY Jets, NFL, Prediction, Super Bowl
Sauce Gardner, New York Jets, Getty Images

ESPN’s Mike Clay has only reinforced the idea that New York Jets fans can believe the hype around the team this season

Expectations were the New York Jets’ worst enemy in 2023.

After acquiring Aaron Rodgers in the offseason, New York was expected to make a deep playoff run to reverse the fortunes of a franchise down on its luck. Four regular-season snaps later, the Jets were right back where they ended in 2022: no playoffs, no quarterback, and countless questions.

Heading into the 2024 season, those high expectations have returned, and then some. The Jets will be on prime-time six times and are favored in a franchise-record 14 games. With Rodgers returning, the team is expected to take a leap forward. One analyst is taking those expectations to a different level, though.

In a recent ESPN article, analytics writer Mike Clay predicted the Jets will win the Super Bowl in 2024. Clay cited that on paper, “the 2024 Jets are substantially better than the 2023 Jets. You’d be hard-pressed to compare this roster with those of the other 31 NFL teams and not come away thinking this is a legitimate title contender.”

Clay also said that the team’s elite defense, improved offensive line, and added weapons on offense would be the main reasons the Jets pulled off the Super Bowl victory. Clay stated he believes the Jets can go very far even with Rodgers merely being a competent quarterback.

“If Rodgers remains elite, there’s no doubt that the Jets are Super Bowl contenders. But even if he’s just a competent starter, New York has the support system around him to contend for an AFC title,” said Clay.

While Clay’s thoughts could be seen as jumping the gun, they are rooted in substance.

The Jets’ defense was already the NFL’s third-best in 2023 based on DVOA, and it should remain a high-level unit in 2024. While the Jets lost Bryce Huff and John Franklin-Myers, they have the pieces to replace them. New York traded for Haason Reddick this offseason and expects a breakout from 2023 first-round pick Will McDonald. This side of the ball was built to contend for a title over the past two seasons and is poised to continue that success.

It’s the offensive side of the ball that has held the Jets back, but now, they have the pieces to field an elite unit. Breece Hall is on track to become the best running back in football. The offensive line is much improved. Garrett Wilson could vault into the top 10 wide receiver conversations with Rodgers back in the fold. Add in Mike Williams, Tyler Conklin, and Malachi Corley, and New York could give its quarterback one of the better groups of weapons in the league.

There are obviously still questions about health and coaching. But injuries cannot be predicted months in advance, and the team’s talent on the field should be able to overcome some of the coaching questions that have arisen in years past.

Despite the excitement on paper, can Jets fans believe the hype at the end of the day? Should fans really buy into this team after years of watching them fall short?

That answer, while possibly scary, should be a resounding yes.

New York has one of the most talented rosters in the NFL. It’s that simple. They have filled all the gaping holes on their team and added the depth options needed to fight through injuries.

Jets fans have been burned, bruised, and scarred from this team. Time and time again, New York has fallen short of expectations spectacularly. It has created a skeptical fanbase that expects the worst outcome in every situation.

The team still has to execute on its promises in 2024. But for the first time in a long time, it is more than acceptable to believe the hype around the New York Jets.

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