Zwiller: How the Jets go 0-16
Thomas Zwiller | Wednesday, October 28, 2020
In an incredibly close game, the Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Tennessee Titans 27-24 to stay unbeaten in the NFL. This is now the 6th time that two teams who were both 5-0 or better played in the Super Bowl era. The winner in the first five matchups all went onto the Super Bowl, boding well for the Steelers. While Pittsburgh was avoiding a close scare in surrendering its perfect record, another team also avoided a scare: the New York Jets.
The Jets played the Buffalo Bills in Week 7, and while they were a 7-point underdog, the Jets jumped out to a 10-point lead. At this point in the game, ESPN had given them a 75% chance of victory at 6:40 in the second quarter. However, these are the Jets; no lead is ever safe, and the Bills scored 18 unanswered points and were able to keep the unwinning streak going. I have good news for you Jets fans, your team will soon enter the ranks of the elite, they will join the company of the 2008 Lions and the 2017 Browns — the Jets will go 0-16.
The Jets are truly awful, and you need only see their team rankings to know it. They rank 32nd in offensive yards per game, 32nd in passing yards per game and 32nd in points per game. Their one bright spot was their run game; they rank 23rd in rushing yards per game, which will probably decline with the release of Le’Veon Bell. Defensively, they really don’t rank much better. They are ranked 24th in total yards per game against the pass, 20th against the rush and 25th in points per game allowed with 29. Long story short, the Jets aren’t going to score a whole lot of points, but they are going to give up a lot of points on defense. Here’s how the rest of their schedule is going to go:
Week 8: @ Chiefs
The Jets (according to 538) have a 92% chance of losing and are 17.5-point underdogs. The Chiefs just rolled the Broncos 43-16, a team that is incredibly comparable to the Jets.
Jets record: 0-8
Week 9: vs Patriots
The Patriots are favored to beat the Jets by a touchdown and have a 70% chance of winning. While Cam and the Pats are struggling with a 2-4 record, this would be the perfect time for a bounce-back game.
Jets record: 0-9
Week 10: bye week
While the Jets aren’t slated to play anyone in Week 10, this could easily be the week Adam Gase, the Jets head coach gets fired. It would allow for the new coach to get used to new responsibilities and make changes he or she sees fit in preparation for…
Week 11: @ Chargers
The Chargers are favored by seven over the Jets and have a 74% chance of victory over the Jets. Justin Herbert for the Chargers is looking quite good. Look for him to dominate the Jets poor pass defense.
Jets record: 0-10
Week 12: vs Dolphins
The Jets lost to the Dolphins in Week 6, 24-0. 538 expects a similar result: It gives them a 59% chance of winning the game, but only by a field goal. This game is pretty dangerous to the Jets 0-16 hopes, it is by far the highest chance they have of winning a single game. However, I think 538’s model isn’t accounting for something: Tua. I honestly think that Tua will be playing pretty well at this point, and it will be a better game than average for him as he lights up a weak defense.
Jets record: 0-11
Week 13: vs Raiders
The Raiders come to New York with a 71% chance of victory over the Jets, and they should win by a touchdown. I do think that because the Jets have an OK rush defense, they may be able to slow down Josh Jacobs, but I think Derrick Carr is going to have a big game and utilize the play action against the Jets.
Jets record: 0-12
Week 14: @ Seattle
The Jets make the cross-country journey to take on the Seattle Seahawks and have the best odds of beating the Jets since the Chiefs back in Week 8. They have an 88% of winning and are 2-TD favorites. While Seattle has a terrible defense, (they allow the most yards per game) they won’t need it they have the best offense in the NFL in both yards per game and points per game.
Jets record: 0-13
Week 15: @ Rams
The Rams follow up Seattle, finishing the Jets schedule against NFC West opponents. The Rams are pretty comparable to the Seahawks, they have an 87% chance of winning the game, and are a 13-point favorite. This game will probably be really important, not to the Jets of course, but for the LA Rams. They are in an extremely competitive division in the NFC West, and with their opponents all netting a win vs the Jets, the Rams will need this to keep hope as a wild-card team alive.
Jets Record: 0-14
Week 16: vs Browns
The Browns come to MetLife Stadium as a touchdown favorite over the Jets, and have a 76% chance of victory over the New York Jets. In a similar story to the LA Rams, the Browns will likely be in a close playoff race with both the Baltimore Ravens and the Pittsburgh Steelers. They are probably going to need this game and should succeed in getting it, keeping both their playoff hopes alive and the hope for a Jets winless season alive.
Jets Record: 0-15
Week 17: @ Patriots
In Week 17, every team plays a divisional opponent, often a hated rival. As the Jets go up to Gillette Stadium to take on the Pats, the eyes of the sports world will be on them. Can they do it, can they become the third team to go 0-16? 538 gives them a solid chance to do so if they were still undefeated at this point — it favors the Patriots by nine points and gives them a 77% chance of victory.
Jets Record: 0-16
538 is slightly more optimistic about the Jets’ future than I am. It has them going at 2-14 and just falling short of the coveted 0-16 they’ve been working so hard for. However, when you look at the probability of going 0-16, you get about a 10% chance of it happening. Good luck NY Jets!