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NFL: New York Jets season preview

It's been over 20 years since the New York Jets were as excited about their draft class going into a season where they could surprise or fall flat on their faces.

The history of the franchise suggests the latter is more probable as the Jets own the longest active playoff drought at 11 seasons.

But if their four top draft selections can go on to emulate the success of the class of 2000, which included four first-rounders that became the cornerstone of four playoff appearances in six seasons between 2001 and 2006, then they will finally be moving in the right direction.

Head coach Robert Saleh had plenty of excuses for finishing 4-13 last year, although that was an improvement on the 2-14 campaign of the year before that saw his predecessor fired.

Some canny draft decisions and trades allied to the Jets' prudent targeting of middle-tier free agents has enabled them to build a roster that may not be as far away from competing for the playoffs as some may think.

WhatNFL Season 2022/23
WhereAll across the USA with three games scheduled for London, one for Munich and one in Mexico City
When8th September 2022 - 12th February 2023
How to watchThe vast majority of games are live and on-demand with NFL Game Pass, while selected games are available via Sky Sports and bet365's Sports Live Streaming
OddsBUF Bills 6/1, TB Buccaneers 7/1, KC Chiefs 10/1, LA Rams 10/1, GB Packers 12/1

Where did the New York Jets finish last season?

4th AFC East (4-13)

What are the New York Jets' hopes for the season?

The Jets finished bottom of the AFC East for the sixth time in the last eight seasons, so anything better than that would be seen as progress.

Although they tried to snare a big-play veteran wide receiver with an ambitious move for Tyreek Hill, his decision to go elsewhere means they haven't diluted their approach to build through the draft.

Unfortunately, Hill's decision to choose Miami means the Jets have to go up against the speedy wide receiver twice per season and they chose to select a cornerback with their top draft pick in a bid to counter his threat.

As the Jets were strengthening, almost the entire AFC were too, so it looks like a tough ask for Saleh's men to make the playoffs this year.

Winning a couple of games against divisional opponents would put them on the path to recovery and ending a 12-game losing streak against the New England Patriots ought to satisfy a fan base with a realistic appreciation of where the team is at.

Who are the New York Jets' opening opponents?

The Baltimore Ravens will travel to the Big Apple for their season-opening clash this year.

Injuries bit them hard in 2021 with star left tackle Ronnie Stanley out for all but one game and starting QB Lamar Jackson sidelined in the final weeks of the season.

Facing them in Week 1 may not be too bad for Gang Green, who have had all summer to formulate a solid defensive scheme to contain Jackson's dual-threat abilities.

The Ravens may also be going up against their former Super Bowl-winning QB Joe Flacco, who is tipped to start in place of injured Jets star Zach Wilson.

The road team are favoured in the odds for this one with the Ravens 1/3 on the Money Line and the Jets 12/5 to get off to a winning start.

When are the New York Jets' key matchups?

The first half of the Jets' schedule is brutal as they go up against each of the AFC North teams in turn through Weeks 1-4 before facing the Dolphins, Green Bay Packers, Denver Broncos, Patriots, Buffalo Bills and Patriots again thereafter.

The schedule gets easier in the second half, but what sort of shape will they be in by then?

The Jets, who are 4/6 to win six or more games in total, will need to cause some upsets in the early going to have any shot at making their December and January regular season games relevant.

Who is the New York Jets head coach?

The Jets wanted Saleh's energetic personality and contagious leadership qualities on their sideline after witnessing what he did with San Francisco's defence for four years as the 49ers' DC.

The Niners' defensive unit finished inside the top-10 of the NFL rankings over the previous three seasons, during which time they reached Super Bowl LIV, ultimately losing to the Kansas City Chiefs.

He essentially got a free pass in his first year at Florham Park as injuries hit a roster that lacked depth and meant the Jets were rarely in any position to play the style of football Saleh wanted.

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Which players have the New York Jets signed?

TE C.J. Uzomah (Cincinnati Bengals)
TE Tyler Conklin (Minnesota Vikings)
OT Duane Brown (Seattle Seahawks)
G Laken Tomlinson (San Francisco 49ers)
DE Solomon Thomas (Las Vegas Raiders)
OLB Jacob Martin (Houston Texans)
LB Kwon Alexander (New Orleans Saints)
CB D.J. Reed (Seattle Seahawks)
S Jordan Whitehead (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
K Greg Zuerlein (Dallas Cowboys)

Which players have left the New York Jets?

WR Jamison Crowder (Buffalo Bills)
TE Ryan Griffin (Chicago Bears)
OT Morgan Moses (Baltimore Ravens)
G Dr. Laurent Duvernay-Tardif
G Greg Van Roten (Buffalo Bills)
DT Foley Fatukasi (Jacksonville Jaguars)
LB Blake Cashman (Houston Texans)
S Marcus Maye (New Orleans Saints)
WR Keelan Cole
TE Tyler Kroft
CB Javelin Guidry

Who are the New York Jets' key players?

Offensive MVP

Duane Brown
Defensive MVPCarl Lawson
Top rookie

CB Ahmed Gardner (1st Round)

Breakout star

Elijah Moore

New recruit Brown entered the building a matter of days before former first-round pick Mekhi Becton was ruled out for the season with a knee injury.

The five-time Pro Bowler may be 37, but there should be enough juice left in him to anchor an offensive line that gave up 53 sacks last season - the most since 2007.

The key to Gang Green generating heat on opposing quarterbacks will be Lawson.

The former Cincinnati Bengals star didn't play a single regular season snap due to an Achilles injury, but has looked back to his pre-injury best in the summer.

That will be a huge boost for the Jets' pass rush after they ranked 27th in pressure rate without him last year.

Moore impressed as a first-year wide receiver last year with his ability to read defences and find space, although he wasn't always found by fellow rookie Wilson and seemed to have better chemistry with the other quarterbacks.

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