The 2022 New York Jets schedule has finally been released.
As fans, media and social influencers begin putting out their saucy predictions, it’ll be hard to top one former NFL player’s prediction.
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Drinking the Kool-Aid
On the May 13 episode of ESPN’s “NFL Live,” analyst Robert Griffin III, a former No. 2 overall pick, made a bold Jets prediction:
“The Jets: I think they have to win 10 games. It’s time. The fans deserve it. General manager Joe Douglas has put an offense together for Zach Wilson that features Michael Carter, Breece Hall, Garrett Wilson, Elijah Moore and Corey Davis at wide receiver. Then you bring in CJ Uzomah and you also have Tyler Conklin at tight end. This roster is stacked offensively.
“I just look at the Jets and I say they have done a great job,” Griffin said. “They just need Zach Wilson to get out of the flight simulator. They are ready for takeoff.”
If the Jets meet Griffin’s expectations, it would be only their second winning season in 12 years (they went 10-6 in 2015) and it would put them in a position to snap their 11-year playoff drought, which is the longest in the NFL by more than five years. The next closest belongs to the Denver Broncos, who haven’t been in six years.
With seven playoff teams in each conference, it’s become much more difficult for teams to miss the postseason if they have double-digit wins, which is what happened to the Jets in 2015, when New York had the same 10-6 record as the Pittsburgh Steelers but had a worse winning percentage against common opponents.
The Path to the Playoffs
As Griffin suggested, the performance of Wilson, the Jets’ second-year quarterback, could make or break their season.
In 2021, it was a tale of two halves for the former BYU passer. Before Wilson’s PCL injury in Week 7, he appeared flustered and tossed nine interceptions while throwing only four touchdowns. After four weeks off, he appeared more calm, cool and collected and looked more like a No. 2 pick, throwing five touchdowns against two interceptions in seven games.
In those final seven games of the season, the Jets went 2-5, so even though Wilson was able to cut back on turnovers, he wasn’t the reason they lost games. Even in the two wins, he passed for only 145 (with an interception) and 102 yards (and one touchdown), so he certainly wasn’t the reason the Jets won those games.
Griffin suggested the narrative has to flip and that Wilson, who will be 23 when the season starts, has to be the reason they win several games.
Continuing with the fighter-pilot analogy, Griffin concluded: “He has to get in the jet and be the pilot and be the sole reason they win at least three to four games this year. … It’s not the end of the world if they don’t win 10 games, but I think they certainly can this year.”