The calendar has finally turned over to September. The cold nip in the air has returned, and the smell of overpriced pumpkin spiced lattes lurks around like a thick fog. The return to school and college campuses has been diminished thanks to our friend COVID-19, but against all odds, our favorite players’ return to the gridiron is finally upon us. Football is back.
As an attentive Jets fan, I experienced a roller coaster of emotion this offseason. With a great draft put together by GM Joe Douglas, and a complete overhaul of the offensive line, the Jets finally look to have put Sam Darnold in a position to succeed. Mekhi Becton appears to be the blindside of the future, giving Darnold the much needed protection he has lacked for his first two years.
However, the loud mouth traitor J*m*l *d*ms voiced his displeasure of being a New York Jet, and was banished to the Pacific Northwest for a haul of draft picks, and a solid replacement Strong Safety (Bradley McDougald), in return. The departure of probably the NFL’s best Strong Safety will certainly hurt, but the return in draft capital and the lack of a season long distraction has me mentally in a good place.
So, where does this new-look roster leave the Jets as a competitor? Probably no better than a 9-7 record with a shot at a wild card game. I know, my original optimism makes it sound like I would pick the Jets to be Super Bowl champions, but that simply isn’t realistic. The Jets are rebuilding, and have been ever since FitzMagic swindled us $12 million. Although Darnold is in his third year, the Jets have outstanding draft stock for the next two years. Assuming Sam’s 5th year option gets picked up, he would be surrounded by enough talent at that point to finally compete for what only Broadway Joe has ever delivered.
Part of loving a football team is loving the lows, and as a Jets fan, you must learn to live below sea level. I’m excited for a season of ups and (mostly) downs. The opportunity to watch Becton, Williams, Mims, Darnold, and so on, develop into the promising young stars they can be is extremely exciting. Most importantly, I’m just excited to watch football. It’s no secret that 2020 has been a mess, and football will bring back some feeling of normalcy we have all been craving.