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Why Your Team Sucks

Why Your Team Sucks 2022: New York Jets

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Some people are fans of the New York Jets. But many, many more people are NOT fans of the New York Jets. This 2022 Defector NFL team preview is for those in the latter group. Read all the previews so far here.

Your team: Zach Wilson’s ex-girlfriend said that he boned his mom’s best friend, and then his mom ranted into a camera for 29 minutes about Satan.

Your 2021 record: 4-13, and you’re not gonna believe this, but they got swept by the Patriots. WHO’D HAVE FUCKING GUESSED? Not me. Tell me that New England, without Tom Brady, still managed to hang a 50-burger on the Jets in Foxboro, and I’ll spit out my Truly in equal parts shock and horror. The Jets? Shitty? Perpetually owned by history’s sorest winners? I’m sorry but that doesn’t scan for me. Oh, and let’s see how these guys also fared against Lord Brady a year ago.

Inconceivable! Keep in mind: this was the game where Antonio Brown made like your wife and walked out the door, never to return. The Jets had the Bucs dead to rights. All they had to do was not call a QB sneak from two yards away, and the upset was theirs. Instead, Unavoidable Jets Things transpired anyway. All choke jobs in New York are preordained. The Bucs weren’t frightened for a millisecond.

Prior to this game, these Jets had already upset both the Bengals and the Titans earlier in the season. Either they were a callow team on the rise, or better teams got distracted/complacent/oddly horny while playing them. I think you know which side that particular coin lands on. The 2021 Jets also panic-traded for Joe Flacco and had their best play of the season overturned on replay. But hey, we’ll always have the Mike White Era.

White was injured one game later, but still: MAGIC.

Your coach: Robert Saleh, who says all the right things and seems like a really cool guy, except

Of all his challenges as a rookie head coach in the NFL, the injuries, the virus, the proverbial roller coaster in a 17-game season that produced four victories, the Jets’ Robert Saleh said that little compared to occupying a two-bedroom apartment with his wife and seven children — and remaining sane.

This man makes $5 million a year. What the fuck is he doing? BUY A BIGGER PLACE YOU FUCKING IDIOT. I know that all studio apartments in Manhattan are currently listed at $15 million or higher, but the Jets don’t even play in Manhattan. They blew that chance to step up in 2005. So Robert Saleh could have snatched up a house in Muskottoway or some other tasteful Jersey suburb and had his home life locked down. Instead he opted to live like a refugee family fleeing armed conflict. This is the next frontier in coach grinding. Instead of sleeping on an office cot, you and your entire extended family do. That’s how you get into the warrior mentality.

I’ll never get over this. No father wants to be this close to his wife and children.

Your quarterback: Stacy’s mom has got it goin’ on/She’s all I want/And I’ve waited for soooooo long.

That’s second year QB Zach Wilson, who spent this offseason embodying every Brazzers video you’ve ever watched. Wilson stands accused by his ex-girlfriend of fucking his mom’s best friend. If you’re familiar with Mrs. Wilson’s body of work, this development actually feels predictable. Mrs. Wilson is in that social class of middle-aged people who are both angry and horny ALL THE TIME, so it was only natural that her son—who exudes next generation pornstar vibes—would take advantage. Kinda wish she’d been MY mom. Who knows how much action I would’ve gotten from her fellow Karens.

Anyway, Lisa Wilson is out of her fucking mind. I can’t even imagine how many pink guns she owns. Her Instagram page is an unnerving tour through the psyche of Grievance America. She claims that “many people” say to her that her videos “are what gets them out of bed in the morning.” Sounds like something Rudy Giuliani would say to her. She concocts catchphrases like “Armor Up” and then deploys them with all the élan of Chuck Pagano. And she gets a car wash every morning to wash away the dark energy. Totally normal shit. If this woman had been Lamar Jackson’s mother, Lamar Jackson never would have been drafted.

Pulling a Jimmy Reardon represents Zach Wilson’s smoothest move as a professional. In all other regards, he’s been horrific. You didn’t see Mike White making any throws like this:

You also didn’t see Mike White get all huffypants about it in the postgame, either. And before you excuse all this away by telling me, Drew, Zach Wilson was just a rookie … a rookie who was down to fuck, I will again remind you that teams in possession of a QB on a rookie contract have more than enough resources on hand to make that QB serviceable right away. Instead, the Jets got this:

Everything about this incarnation of the Jets is preferable to the Adam Gase years that preceded it. But motherfucker, that’s the same line of bullshit that Democratic party leaders feed me every election cycle. I don’t need it applied to a football team. The honeymoon is over, and no team on Earth is worse at the process of QB evaluation than this one. See for yourself:

That tweet doesn’t even include the Geno Smith era or the Jets burning a second round pick on Christian Hackenberg, who couldn’t even make it as a backup in the AAF. The well here is poisoned. Forever. And Joe Namath sucked, too.

What’s new that sucks: Once every few years the Jets make a frantic push to win nine games. We have entered that cycle once more. They imported guard Laken Tomlinson from San Francisco and kicker Greg “Legatron” Zeurlein from Dallas, and then grabbed three rookies in the first round. The first was corner Sauce Gardner, who I thought would be really good right until the moment this team drafted him. The second one was wideout Garrett Wilson, who has no quarterback to throw him the ball. And the last one was edge rusher Jermaine Johnson, who had to transfer from a good college team (Georgia) to a profoundly awful one (Florida State) to become productive. They also grabbed new starting running back Breece Hall at the top of the second round. Never draft a running back high. Did the other New York team teach us nothing?

After drafting Gardner, some Jets fans were like, The Jets are great with defensive backs! as though drafting one Hall-of-Famer 15 years ago (who won his Super Bowl with the Patriots in between Jets stints) and one Pro Bowler who refused to finish his rookie contract makes you good at evaluating that position. This is like The Jets always have such a good mentors at backup QB! only sadder. I can’t listen to these people evaluate their own football team. Jason Voorhees’s mom evaluated her own child more accurately.

Tyreek Hill picked the Dolphins instead of you.

What has always sucked: They won’t stop drafting players with the same last name, presumably to get a discount on bulk jersey stitching costs.

The Jets have two Wilsons… two Michael Carters… the Williams brothers… And the Johnsons

“Dr. Samuel Johnson is right about Olson Johnson’s being right!” I grew up in Minnesota, so I know what it’s like to live in a town with 70,000 people all named Erickson. It’s very disorienting. But it’s also just like the Jets to double down on Wilsons and Johnsons and Nagles under the mistaken belief that those players will share a brighter form of energy than the kind plaguing the interior of Lisa Wilson’s Silverado. Maybe Coach Saleh has them all sleep together in his family’s trundle bed.

Speaking of children … Jets fans.

David Becker/Getty Images

I think that Jets fans, deep down, know how stupid they look. They know they’re getting all dressed up for a team that hasn’t won dick in over half a century. But what choice do they have in life? They live in the worst parts of the tri-state area. No one loves them. And they don’t know how to read. You know how if you can make it in New York, you can make it anywhere? Jets fans are the people who couldn’t make it in New York.

Given those circumstances, their only recourse was to attach themselves to this abandoned loading dock of a franchise and scream FUCK YOU, YOU ASSHULL at every child in line for the stadium bathroom. I hate Pats fans, but I’d honestly hang out with one of those guys before hanging out with any of you. What would I do with a Jets fan at a bar? Talk about how Bryce Petty still has potential? I don’t think so. Stay the fuck away from me, you freaks. Go hang out with Eric Adams. The mayor just saw a froyo stand and thinks that may be the key to solving all inner-city crime.

Ratto says: The Jets and Giants are two teams are entwined in feces going back five years and haven’t both mattered at the same time in over 35. Their only real hope in the next decade is for the Big 10 to take them both and drop Rutgers and Maryland. The Jets’ starting quarterback roster since Ken O’Brien last made the Pro Bowl is as follows: Browning Nagle, washed Boomer Esiason, Frank Reich, washed Neil O’Donnell, washed Vinny Testaverde, Ray Lucas, Chad Pennington, Brooks Bollinger, washed Brett Favre, Mark Sanchez, Geno Smith, Ryan Fitzpatrick, a McCown, Sam Darnold, and Zach Wilson, who has had better luck dating than throwing touchdowns.

What might not suck: Sauce is good. Instead of losing every game 30-10, you’ll lose them 17-10. Baby steps.

HEAR IT FROM JETS FANS!

John:

I’m 36 and the best Jets team of my life are the same guys responsible for all the best Jets jokes of my life. Pour Maximum Tears shampoo directly into Woody Johnson’s eyes. 

Colin:

Watching another snakebitten franchise like the Bengals get to the Super Bowl makes it all the more depressing knowing in my heart that will never happen again for the Jets. Fuck Woody Johnson with the lifeless body of Adam Gase. 

Josh:

I once went to an interview for a sportsbook position at my local casino. The interviewers asked, “What’s your favorite team?” and I responded, “The New York Jets.” I swear to you that afterwards, they gave me this weird, concerned look, like I just confessed that I accidently knocked up their daughter. Needless to say, I didn’t get the job, and rightfully so.

Robert:

Last season, against my better judgment, I drove 90 minutes up the NJ Turnpike to Metlife with a buddy of mine, and we promptly watched Zach Wilson throw four picks in a 25-6 blowout against the Patriots. After making the trek back home and dropping my friend off, I noticed my car could barely even accelerate. One trip to the mechanic later, I found out my transmission was completely shot. 

The Jets owe me a Scion tC. 

Freddy:

I got married last year and literally every person who spoke made fun of me for being a Jets fan. I also got laughed at by LGA airport security recently for wearing a Jets shirt.

William:

The greatest quarterback in team history had a TD/Interception ratio of 170/215.

Scott:

Here we are once again, enticing first round draft picks to play in a stadium with all the charm of a cargo container nestled within a NJ superfund site, with the hope that they will someday be good enough to trade away.

Will:

This team is still employing Joe Flacco, who said last season that it was a distraction to talk about why he was (probably still is) unvaccinated.

Eric:

At this point I just wait to find out what formerly eradicated disease one Jet is going to get. 

Thomas:

The kid allegedly banged someone’s mom, so he’s going to be a North Jersey folk hero in perpetuity. 

Marc:

Is it bad that I actively wish ill will on the entirety of the Johnson family?!? Every time I don my NYJ beanie in the winter, my thoughts turn to Woody getting run over by a double decker bus because he forgot to look right while crossing the street in London.

Jenn:

I’ve resigned myself to the fact I married a Jets fan. Our children are Jets fans. The polar ice caps will melt before the Jets win a Super Bowl. Woody Johnson selling the team to Elon Musk would be a vast improvement. If Zach Wilson is into MILFs, I’m available.

Sean:

If you yearn for the days of a Mark Sanchez and Rex Ryan-led squad, like many Jets fans do, you are a fundamentally broken person. I am one of them. The Jets have permanently warped my perception of not only professional football, but the world at large, and I’m not sure it can be reversed.

Fireman Ed was probably at Jan. 6.

Kyle:

As a rare Jets and Iowa State fan (let’s not focus on my poor taste), the Jets have done the best thing they will ever do for me by drafting Breece Hall. I really should cash out on these good vibes and not watch them waste his talent by giving him 400 touches on teams with an absolute ceiling of 8-9. I should not watch this dumb organization find stupid reasons to alienate their own potential star player as they have with every good player they’ve had over the last decade. I should not allow myself to get worked up when the Jets refuse to pay him because The Analytics say that running backs don’t deserve a living wage.

For as happy I am about New York Jet Breece Hall at this moment, deep down I know the Jets will ruin my favorite college football player ever, probably in a way the rest of the NFL watching world finds deeply hilarious. I am not smart enough to just look away, God help me.

Ted:

My five-year-old daughter saw me watching a baseball game and asked: “Is that football?” No, I said, it’s baseball. “When do they play football?”, she asked. “In the fall,” I said. “And so you’ll watch the Jets in the fall?” Yes, that’s right. “And you’ll stand in front of the TV and yell ‘Fuck!’?”  When you’re older, so will you, May. So will you.

Lennon:

My wife and I were talking about when we started dating and she came over to my place for the first time. It was January, she mentioned that we watched a Jets game together, and that’s when she learned that she needs to give me some space to cool off after they play. I didn’t remember the game, but yeah, that sounds about right. So I looked it up. 2015-2016 season, the Jets are 10-5 and just need to beat a hapless 7-8 Bills team to secure a playoff spot. After an Eric Decker touchdown, they’re heading into the 4th quarter down by just two points, and the playoffs are so close I can taste them. They had three possessions in the fourth quarter to pull ahead and punch their ticket to the playoffs. All three ended in a Ryan Fitzpatrick pick and they lost 22-17. I guess they don’t teach you how not to throw backbreaking interceptions at Harvard.

Fuck this team and fuck me for continuing to let them do this to me every year.

Chet:

The Jets possess a certain humiliation factor that is unrivaled by the other teams. Consider their franchise QB situation since 2000.

-Chad Pennington, famous for his feeble arm strength.

-Mark Sanchez, reached two AFCC games, but best known for the Buttfumble.

-Geno Smith, had his jaw broken by a disgruntled teammate over a $600 debt.

-Christian Hackenberg, only considered a potential franchise QB by two or three people in the world, one of whom was in charge of the Jets draft. More suited to be a Hardee’s Franchisee.

-Sam Darnold, immortalized in a gif which has been memed into an all purpose Swiss Army Knife of Jets insults.

-Zach Wilson, too early to say but likely to carry the reputation of an adjunct member of the Draper, Utah Ladies Book Club.

In 10 years, when Jets rookie QB Keighdyn Roethlisberger is arrested for indecent exposure at a Rockettes show, Wilson’s MILF Hunter status will probably just be the middle of a continued line of ignominy from the league’s premiere circus attraction.

Mark (not Sanchez):

I am a Jets fan who no longer watches any football because of how depressing the first five words of this sentence are.

Drew (not me):

There is not a worse sports experience, top to bottom, than taking in a Jets game at MetLife Stadium. I swore it off over a decade ago and relapsed twice to see Geno Smith get benched for Matt (!) Simms, and to see Matt Barkley (!!) light them up. But worse than the excrement on the field, the boors of Gate D, the lethal turf, the hideous architecture, and the stupid sponsor—JetBlue was right there—is the abominable train infrastucture. The funicular at the Land of Make Believe (in Hope, NJ) has more throughput. It was not fit to handle the Cortaca Jug crowd, much less that of the Super Bowl or Wrestlemania. Tourist guides don’t even mention it as an option from Penn Station, six miles away. The Birkenau rolling stock hosted cheerier passengers. 

Jared:

I began following them for literally no reason, just in time for all of my friends to enjoy a Giants quasi-dynasty.

New Yorkers and New York-adjacent people like to think of themselves as hard-to-please, street-smart skeptics who can smell a fraud a mile away. And yet Jets fans have continuously, willingly, and enthusiastically suckered themselves into anointing a succession of franchise saviors after one moment of fleeting success or one entertaining press conference. The Mangini cameo in The Sopranos is the most baffling restaurant scene in that show’s history.

One Sunday a few years ago, I made plans with my girlfriend on a Sunday without considering whether I’d miss the Jets game that week. I’m much happier now than I was then, and it’s hard to say whether it’s because that girlfriend is now my wife and the mother of my children, or because I haven’t gone out of my way to watch a single down of Jets football since.

Thomas:

I went to my first Jets game in 1993 with my dad when I was six years old. It was at the old stadium and when me and the old man sat down, I asked him “Is this everybody in the world?” He laughed at my dumb kid question. But as I’ve grown older, I realized this describes a deeper layer of hell than in Dante’s Inferno: an entire planet populated exclusively by Jets fans. We lost 9-6 to the 4-12 Indianapolis Colts. 

We always win two games we have absolutely no business winning to make sure we don’t end up with the first overall pick we’ve deserved eight out of the last 10 years. We will get swept by our division by a combined score of 210-25, with over 100 of those points put up by the fucking Patriots, whose post-Brady teams dust us worse than when the Bad Man was in the division. We’re gonna get killed by Belichick’s kid, who looks like different statuses of how close you are to death in Doom. 

Dan:

Being one of the few Jets fans with a modicum of self-awareness is one of the cruelest forms of torture there is. You have to sit there and watch everyone else make fun of your team with no recourse, because what can you say back? They really *are* embarrassing, they really do find new and imaginative ways to humiliate themselves every single year.

So as an act of self-preservation, you go with it. You laugh along with the jokes. “Yeah man, they’re pathetic, haha.” But know that every time inside, I am SEETHING. Every Buttfumble joke, every Darnold Out Indefinitely meme, every comparison of Zach Wilson to the Milf Hunter (ok, those are still funny).

Some pundits like saying “If you ever started winning, you wouldn’t know what to do with yourselves.” That’s bullshit. All I want now is to see them go 17-0 and curb stomp every team they play like they’re Albert Haynesworth. I want to directly inflict my shame and misery on others, in the most straightforward and literal way possible. This will never happen.

My God, do you understand what a curse it is to have absolutely no chill about the New York Jets?

Submissions for the Defector NFL previews are closed. Next up: New York Giants.