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Thursday December 8th

Students see Jets as the biggest surprise of NFL season so far

<p><em>With a 12-year drought of not appearing in the playoffs, many went into the season having little to no expectations and thought it would just be the same old Jets. To many a surprise, this was certainly not going to be the case this year (Graphic by Navya Sinha).</em></p>

With a 12-year drought of not appearing in the playoffs, many went into the season having little to no expectations and thought it would just be the same old Jets. To many a surprise, this was certainly not going to be the case this year (Graphic by Navya Sinha).

By Andrew Martinez

Contributor

With the NFL approaching its halfway point in the regular season, one of the biggest surprise teams in the league has come from none other than The New York Jets who are now 6-4. History has not been kind to the Jets and many years of losing and unsuccessful are all that gloomed over this franchise. 

With a 12-year drought of not appearing in the playoffs, many went into the season having little to no expectations and thought it would just be the same old Jets. To many a surprise, this was certainly not going to be the case this year.

After a 4-13 record last year sitting at the bottom of the AFC East, it seemed like the Jets would be a long way from becoming playoff contenders. That is until now, after drafting rookie sensation Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner, they have completely flipped the script. Their defense is ranked seventh in the league, allowing just under 20 points a game. 

The question is: how did this happen so suddenly? According to freshman engineering major Joey Ricciani, a fan of the Jets, this was a long time coming. 

“The team really made a lot of moves in the offseason,” Ricciani said. “They were able to make a lot of improvements on both sides of the ball, especially our O-line.”

They upgraded their offensive line from one of the worst lines in the league last year in 2021 to being ranked just outside the top 10 entering the season. Their defense had also gone through some big changes, drafting top prospect Sauce Gardner in the draft and acquiring D.J. Reed from free agency. Tied for sixth with the most takeaways, the cornerback duo has taken the league by storm as one of the best in the NFL. 

Ricciani believes that “ they’ve made a big impact on our defense and it really helps out everyone on both sides of the ball. It gives some momentum to the offense when they’re not having a good day or just not getting enough opportunities to score.”

He also gives credit to head coach Robert Saleh for turning the team around.

 “I was happy when I first found out he was the new head coach last year,” Ricciani said. “He’d done well with the 49ers and helped take them to a Super Bowl so I was optimistic. Honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if he was considered for coach of the year.” 

Even to someone like freshman marketing major Niko, who is an Eagles fan, The Jets have been impressive.

 He thinks they have been one of the biggest surprise teams in the league this year. 

“I think they’ll make the playoffs, but I feel like the Bills will win the division,” Garnier said. “They’ll definitely get a wildcard spot depending on the records of all the other teams”.

Perhaps the biggest highlight of the season so far for the Jets was their recent signature win in week nine against a divisional opponent, the Buffalo Bills. With that victory over the Bills, the Jets showed that they are truly competitive. They are competing not only for a wildcard spot, but potentially even the title of the AFC East — they are currently tied for second in the division. 

The Jets still have their work cut out for them and have to face five out of eight teams on their schedule with a winning record. Regardless, this season has left fans mostly praising the team. Now for the first time in a long time, fans are actually excited about the future of the Jets.




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