It's obviously a pretty instructive thing when a four-win season is considered to be a mark of healthy progress for a ball club, but the Jets were so bad in 2021 that anything would have been seen as a step up. Robert Saleh's first season as a head coach did mark a definite improvement, and the challenge for him and his cast of players is now to maintain that progress and take a step forward. However, going from one win to four is one thing; adding more to that number is more difficult.
While being optimistic is a prerequisite for a fan of a team that's not had much recent success, it’s also important to be a realist, and we should be honest: it's going to take a miracle for the Jets to even be in playoff contention in a competitive AFC East. Fans taking a look at the best live casinos not on Gamstop in the hopes of making an optimistic bet should take into account that the schedule is still loaded with tricky games, and six of them are against the divisional rivals that have been beating up on them for a while now. So let’s look at what the season might hold if things go reasonably well for Saleh's team.
The Jets could win a divisional game
Let's mark the Bills games down in the L column and be philosophical about it. There's a good chance Sean McDermott will be hoisting the Vince Lombardi above his head come February, so better teams than the Jets will lose to Buffalo. However, neither the Dolphins nor the Patriots should be complacent about their trips to MetLife Stadium.
Mike McDaniel's overhaul of the Fins’ offense will still be in its early stages when they come to New York, and they could find it tricky to move the ball on the ground. The Pats? It'll be Week 8 when they make the trip, and they're still a team in search of an identity. They lost seven times last season, have lost some coaches and had an uninspiring draft. Why not dream big?
Cleveland isn't in great shape
After a playoff season in 2020, the Browns took some backward steps last time out and they've taken a gamble in the close season. Deshaun Watson may well make them a better team, but he'll likely still be suspended in Week 2 when the Jets fly out to Ohio. Baker Mayfield is expected to have vacated the premises by then, and even if he hasn't, his absence from OTAs indicates he won’t be under center for the Browns. With Jacoby Brissett likely taking snaps when the Jets arrive, a win on the road doesn't look out of the question.
Late December looks soft
If Zach Wilson still believes in Santa, then it looks like he got his letter in early, because in the week leading up to Christmas the Jets have home games against Detroit and Jacksonville. Although the Thursday night showdown with the Jaguars comes with a short turnaround, it's still not hard to see this is a chance for consecutive wins, which hasn’t happened in a while. The Jags were beaten last season with significantly fewer offensive weapons than Saleh can call on now, so there's a chance for some momentum here.
With the Bears also coming to East Rutherford, an optimistic fan could chalk up six wins and start there. Wins sometimes come when you least expect them, like against the Bengals last season, so 2022 could yet be another steady marker of progress.