NFL Study Determines Stress-Level for Jets Fans After 4-Win Season

Zach Wilson

Getty New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson on December 12, 2021.

The New York Jets have only won six games in two seasons. At the same time, they are entering year two of a new coaching regime and franchise quarterback era in Robert Saleh and Zach Wilson.

Not only that, the 2021 rookie class produced four day-one starters on offense, two on defense, and one PFWA All-Rookie selection — a nice feather in the cap of GM Joe Douglas.

Much of this Jets fanbase has been through years and years of hardship and a glass-half-full mindset is typically hard to come by during a normal offseason. Heading into 2022, however, things appear to be shifting amongst supporters.

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Pickswise Digs Deeper

During an NFL study, “Pickswise decided to assess four months worth of Twitter data to find out which set of fans had gone through the wringer since Week 1 in September.”

They achieved this by sifting through tweets involving their team’s handle or hashtag and tallying the “negative tweets” sent out by each fanbase. Some might expect the Jets fanbase to rank high on this list of negativity but they did not.

Here are the top-10 and bottom-10 franchises, via Pickswise. Remember, the higher the number of tweets, the more negative or “stressed” the fanbase was in 2021.

  • 1. Philadelphia Eagles: 96,635.
  • 2. Tennessee Titans: 86,130.
  • 3. Las Vegas Raiders: 76,755.
  • 4. Pittsburgh Steelers: 69,650.
  • 5. Washington Football Team: 58,962.
  • 6. Denver Broncos: 56,812.
  • 7. Buffalo Bills: 56,535.
  • 8. Cleveland Browns: 50,648.
  • 9. Indianapolis Colts: 50,517.
  • 10. Jacksonville Jaguars: 46,832.

Gang Green found themselves just on the cusp of the 10 least-stressed fanbases at the 11th lowest (or No. 22 overall).

  • 22. New York Jets: 24,141.
  • 23. Detroit Lions: 23,898.
  • 24. Houston Texans: 20,713.
  • 25. Los Angeles Rams: 19,323.
  • 26. Cincinnati Bengals: 15,288.
  • 27. San Francisco 49ers: 14,978.
  • 28. New York Giants: 14,370.
  • 29. Green Bay Packers: 10,499.
  • 30. Kansas City Chiefs: 10,407.
  • 31. Carolina Panthers: 8,505.
  • 32. Arizona Cardinals: 6,111.

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Where Does NYJ Stand?

There were definitely some surprises mixed into Pickswise’s study. For example, five of the top-10 most stressed teams made the playoffs, including the first four.

Granted, outside of the Titans — whose rank is pretty head-scratching — these were all wildcard teams that snuck into the postseason during the final weeks. Maybe that factored in, or maybe these are just tough fanbases that are very passionate about their teams.

The Jets would generally fall into that category but not this year. So, where is that newfound patience and optimism coming from?

New York does have nine draft picks in April, including four picks in the first two rounds and two in the NFL’s top 10. They also have the fifth-most projected cap space according to Over the Cap, with a little more than $46.8 million available.

There’s more. Some fans are still skeptical but the majority do believe the Jets have found a potential long-term answer at quarterback and head coach. Paired with Douglas, that gives you the three-pronged core that every NFL organization needs.

From there, you have to build out the roster. Douglas has focused on the trenches first and foremost, constructing an 11th-ranked offensive line in 2021 (without Mekhi Becton). The defensive side could use some work though, after entering the year as a strength and thoroughly underperforming.

Both need more, along with the rest of this roster, and this is the offseason that NYJ must take the leap from bottomfeeder to postseason contender. If they don’t, this type of study will be much less optimistic a year from now.

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