BET À DAY
There are some nice surprises in this first half of the NFL season and the Jets are one of them after miserable years. It remains to be seen whether their flight is really launched.
Optimists will argue that the Jets, thanks to the contribution of a superb crop of rookies and a greatly improved defense, are on a upward slope and that they can even hope for a place in the playoffs as early as January.
The clan of pessimists will focus instead on the weak production of young quarterback Zach Wilson.
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The two points of view argue, but in the end, the Jets finally seem to be heading in the right direction after years of being neutral on the tarmac.
There's no denying the culture has changed under head coach Robert Saleh and there are signs that don't lie about the potential of the team, which looms on its first three-game winning streak since 2019. .
For too long the Jets have wandered the draft and the team environment seemed so miserable that the few good shots slipped away to more inviting teams.
This year, although it is early, the team seems to have hit the mark with its first four picks. Cornerback Sauce Gardner is already feared by opposing quarterbacks. He could save himself with the title of defensive rookie par excellence as he imposes himself.
Receiver Garrett Wilson has the makings of a number one, despite a situation at quarterback which does not advantage.
Defensive end Jermaine Johnson, without making too much noise, claims 1.5 sacks even though he only plays about a third of his defensive plays. Carrier Breece Hall contributes as expected both on the ground and through the air and could even complete a pair of rookies of the year for the Jets.
The defense has gone from abysmal last year to more than respectable this season. The addition of DJ Reed as a cornerback opposite Gardner gives the Jets a good tandem and above all, gives the defensive front more time to shine.
To that end, the 2019 first-round pick, tackle Quinnen Williams, is currently playing at an elite level. Carl Lawson, a 2021 free agent returning to action this year from injury, is also making a big impact.
The Unknown Factor who will determine the extent of the Jets' takeoff remains Wilson. He's only had 16 career starts, so he's still learning and it's too early to tell.
The Jets have won their last three games despite only one touchdown pass. He's only racked up 10 touchdown passes since his debut, by the way. For now, none
problem. Not all young quarterbacks develop at the same rate and it would be ill-advised to panic.
The McCaffrey trade
A quick note on the trade of carrier Christian McCaffrey, who goes from the Panthers to the 49ers. Kyle Shanahan obtains a player who was to fuel his wildest fantasies, he who always knew how to erect a dangerous ground attack, even with ordinary running backs.
Behind a solid offensive line and the other diverse weapons around like Deebo Samuel, George Kittle and Brandon Aiyuk, there is no limit for McCaffrey. The price tag (2023 2nd-round pick, 2023 3rd-round pick, 2023 4th-round pick, and 2024 5th-round pick) is significant, but in such an open conference, the Niners are establishing themselves as serious contenders with this transaction. If he stays healthy, of course, a big downside in his case.
MY WEEK 7 PREDICTIONS
- New Orleans Arizona CARDINALS
MY PICKS< /strong>
- Cleveland to Baltimore (1 p.m.) RAVENS
- Tampa Bay to Carolina (1 p.m.) BUCCANEERS
- Atlanta to Cincinnati (1 p.m.) BENGALS
- Detroit to Dallas (1 p.m.) COWBOYS
- NY Giants at Jacksonville (1 p.m.) GIANTS
- Indianapolis at Tennessee (1 p.m.) COLTS
- Green Bay to Washington (1 p.m.) PACKERS
- NY Jets to Denver (4:05 p.m.) JETS
- Houston to Las Vegas (4 p.m. 05) RAIDERS
- Seattle at LA Chargers (4:25 p.m.) CHARGERS
- Kansas City at San Francisco (4:25 p.m.) CHIEFS
- Pittsburgh to Miami (8:20 p.m.) DOLPHINS
- Chicago New England (8:30 p.m.) PATRIOTS
*Teams off: Bills, Eagles, Rams, Vikings
LAST WEEK RESULTS: 8 of 14 (57.1%)
< p>RESULTS THIS SEASON: 58 of 94 (61.7%)
THE JOURNAL'S PICKS
Cleveland Browns vs. (2-4) vs Baltimore Ravens (3-3)
TIME TO RECOVER
The Ravens, a team usually so consistent, well run and solid in every detail, shy away from advances like it's not allowed. The Browns also squandered two fourth-quarter leads this season. At least the Ravens have been playing much better defensively for three games after a horrible start. The Browns have committed seven turnovers and only one in their last three meetings. Football not very clean.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-3) vs Carolina Panthers (1-5)
Even though Baker Mayfield and Sam Darnold are making progress towards a return to play, it will be PJ Walker as quarterback for the Panthers. It doesn't change anything, it brings more candidates to the “Hall of Shame” than to the “Hall of Fame”. It's not going very well for the Buccaneers and the fact that they are favorites by 11 points shows how little consideration the bookmakers have for the Panthers. It's the perfect day for Tom Brady to bring out the bad guy.
Atlanta Falcons (3-3) vs Cincinnati Bengals (3-3)
Who thought that at this point in the season the Falcons would play for .500? Liars, please put your hands down! Thing is, they're solid in fundamentals like the ground game, with four straight rushes of at least 150 yards. The Bengals have been struggling for two games against the run (383 yards). On the other hand, they seem to have regained some of their rebellious attitude on the attack and will exploit the Falcons' shortcomings against the pass.
Detroit Lions (1-4) vs. Dallas Cowboys (4-2)
Cooper Rush has done the Cowboys great service, but Dak Prescott rightfully returns to his starting quarterback position. Assuming he's truly healed from his hand injury, he brings a more menacing dimension to the offense for the Cowboys, who still haven't gained more than 230 aerial yards in a game this season. As Lions head coach, Dan Campbell is 0-10-1 on the road. There's a first for everything, but not this week.
New York Giants (5-1) vs Jacksonville Jaguars (2-4)
The mystery in this game is that even though the Giants have just beaten the Packers and Ravens back to back, they were neglected by the bookmakers against the Jaguars. It's not because the game is in Jacksonville, where the Jags are more than ordinary 4-7 in their last 11 games. It's not because the Jaguars have lost their last 18 games to National Conference clubs. It's just an unsolvable law of life.
< strong>Indianapolis Colts (3-2-1) vs Tennessee Titans (3-2)
NOT EASY TO GUESS
The fight has tightened for the first place in the South division which these two rivals are vying for. The Titans had the upper hand early in the season, but since then the Colts have rebounded with three wins in four games. Lately, the offensive line has regained the expected level of play and better protects Matt Ryan. The receiving duo of Michael Pittman and Alec Pierce are performing well. Defensively, can they stop Derrick Henry?
Green Bay Packers (3-3) vs Washington Commanders (2-4)
DE LA BISBILLE?
Earlier this week, Aaron Rodgers used mainstream and alternative media to get his message across. The offensive system would be too complex at the moment. Too many motions, too much lace. If so, nothing better to fall into voluntary simplicity mode than to attack the Commanders with the tandem Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon. The Commanders just gave the Bears 238 rushing yards. It's Taylor Heinicke's return for Washington.
New York Jets (4-2) vs Denver Broncos (2-4)
Knowing that the Broncos are completely giddy on offense and that the Jets are doing well defensively, this duel will be a low score. Especially since the Broncos' quarterback, Russell Wilson, is dragging a shoulder injury and another in the leg. It's inconceivable that the Broncos are 2-4 even though they're giving up just 16.5 points per game, the fourth-lowest total in the league. They are even 0-4 when they concede more than 10 points. What a lamentable attack!
Texans of Houston (1-3-1) vs Las Vegas Raiders (1-4)
THE TIDE WILL TURN
The Raiders' four losses were conceded by just 14 points in total, a tiny 3.5 points per game margin. These defeats were suffered against three winning clubs. There is reason to believe that buccaneers are therefore better than their record indicates. The Texans' best chance is to give their rabid runner Dameon Pierce the ball more than the client asks for, but the Raiders are fifth against the run.
Seattle Seahawks (3-3) vs Los Angeles Chargers (4-2)< /strong>
The effort of the Chargers, Monday night against the Broncos, was not convincing. The Seahawks' defense is clearly not the Broncos', but a nice foundation is being laid with rookie cornerbacks Tariq Woolen and Cobe Bryant. Not yet the “Legion of Boom” of the glorious past, but foundations nonetheless. The Chargers have only passed the 300 passing yard mark once this season. It's not the attack we expected, but there is still time to explode.
Kansas City Chiefs (4-2) vs San Francisco 49ers (3-3)
THE BEGINNINGS OF MCCAFFREY?
Will runner Christian McCaffrey, acquired Thursday night by the 49ers, make his debut even though he just joined the team? If he plays, his role will certainly be minimal given the lack of preparation. Health-wise, there are still some major absentees, but the Niners are getting better. The duel against the Chiefs should therefore be captivating, since they are betting on a defense capable of limiting the offensive impulses of the Chiefs. But limiting does not mean stopping…
Pittsburgh Steelers (2-4) vs Miami Dolphins (3-3)
EYES ON TUA
This is the expected return of Tua Tagovailoa. The Dolphins quarterback rang the bells twice at the start of the season, throwing concussion protocol under the microscope. He was spectacular before his injury and it will be intriguing to see if he continues his momentum or if the troubling incidents will see him play on his heels. Let's wait before we think the Steelers will be downgraded. The Dolphins are crippled and the Steelers never give up.
Chicago Bears (2-4) vs. New England Patriots (3-3)
At his first press briefing of the week, Bill Belichick, before even answering a question, spent seven long minutes monologue on excellence of the Bears and how fearsome they were. It is clear that this strategy is part of a Machiavellian plan to exterminate them from the face of the globe. If Justin Fields has been held in check against so many defensive units, he may feel giddy against Belichick father and son. Mac Jones returns for the Patriots.
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