Bittersweet irony engulfs the winless New York Jets before NFL Week Seven.
At 0-6, the franchise is the only team yet to have won at least one game. As the worst team in the league, the Jets’ odds of winning Sunday’s game against the 4-2 Buffalo Bills are not good.
The point spread as 1:30 a.m. EST on Tuesday was +12.5 at FanDuel Sportsbook, making them the biggest underdogs on the board. And the line jumped to +13.5 by midafternoon.
This is with the game being played at MetLife Stadium.
It underscores the opposite roads both teams have taken since they last battled in the Meadowlands., which was Week One of the 2019 season
And the current NJ sports betting line is quite different than the Jets -2 that NJ sportsbooks put out for the 2019 season opener.
Here is a closer look at the current state of the Jets and why their problems will likely continue.
New York Jets + false hope
It wasn’t all that long ago when there was a fair amount of optimism surrounding the Jets. Prior to the 2019 season, New York signed Le’Veon Bell, one of the league’s premier running backs, and paired him with their own upstart quarterback, Sam Darnold.
However, after closing the 2019 season with a 7-9 record that included going 6-2 in the last eight games, the lofty expectations have quickly faded.
Besides being 0-6, they are the only NFL team that has yet to cover the spread. This includes Sunday’s 24-0 loss to the Miami Dolphins in which they were getting eight points.
Darnold has missed the last two games with a shoulder injury and as of Tuesday is questionable for Sunday’s game. Veteran Joe Flacco has started the last two contests, but he hasn’t fared any better.
And now the Jets will be playing the rest of the way without Bell, as the team released the disgruntled running back last week. He is now with the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs.
Bell was the last connection between the Jets and the ideology of winning soon. His departure means they have blown up one of the biggest off-season moves in franchise history.
Le’Veon Bell experiment failed badly
With Bell, the Jets gambled on a player who had sat out a year because of salary squabbles with the Pittsburgh Steelers, and they lost.
Bell tallied a combined 1,200 passing and receiving yards last year, but the Jets envisioned 600 more. The offensive line never provided the holes Pittsburgh did for him, and Bell, who waits until the very last second to pound through an opening, couldn’t produce much on his own.
This season, a hamstring injury sidelined Bell for three games. Upon his return in Week Five, Bell wasn’t happy with the number of touches he received in the Jets’ 30-10 loss to the Arizona Cardinals.
The bottom line is Bell underachieved after signing a four-year, $52.5 million contract. He averaged only 3.3 yards per carry with the Jets – 51st out of 53 qualifying runners in the NFL during that span.
Bell was signed by former general manager Mike Maccagnan, who wanted to add a weapon to help Darnold develop. But Maccagnan was fired two months later, and new coach Adam Gase wasn’t a fan of Bell.
This was fiasco number two. In July, All-Pro safety Jamal Adams could not come to financial terms with the Jets. They traded Adams to the Seahawks, and he was critical of Gase’s leadership on the way out.
Whether Gase is still this team’s coach by the weekend isn’t certain. He’s on to-be-fired watch. The Jets will have to be rebuilt, again, with him or a successor. The team is rudderless.
Jets prop bets may be best plays
The Jets are now a collection of spare parts that don’t fit together.
Bettors can entertain themselves with yardage props, player-to-score possibilities and the final score range for their games, but that’s it. Gamblers don’t know when this team will show up.
Since going ahead of the Denver Broncos late in the fourth quarter of Week Four, the Jets have been outscored 64-10. And it looked like the Dolphins, Gase’s former team, took it easy on them Sunday.
Combine the scoring drought with a defense that is surrendering 30.8 points per game, and even the Jets at +12.5 is a risky bet.
Is a coaching change in the Jets future?
The Jets will likely lay it all out there two or three more times before the season ends. It won’t be easy to predict, except for a coaching change.
Teams that have done that are 2-0 this season. The Houston Texans and Atlanta Falcons both collected their first wins following a coaching change. The New York Giants also secured their first triumph in Week Six, nosing the Washington Football Team 20-19.
Falcons win, Giants win; Jets are now the NFL’s only winless team.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 18, 2020
That leaves only one winless football team in the entire NFL. And that’s a team that was awash in optimism when the season started.
That’s life in the NFL.