The influx of NFL talent into the AFC leaves a grim reality for Jets 2022

The Jets have improved in the past week, but they still feel there is a long way to go before they are competitive.

This is their frustrating reality now. The AFC scene is horrific and it feels as if every day brings with it another treatment that makes it seem even more difficult.

The latest news was Deshaun Watson staying in the conference with the Browns when it appeared for days that he would be shipped by Texans to the NFC South team. While Watson remained in the conference, the biggest trend was the attendance of NFC stars to the AFC. Russell Wilson (Seahawks to Broncos), Davante Adams (Packers to Raiders), Khalil Mack (Bears to Chargers), Von Miller (Rams to Bills), Chandler Jones (Cardinals to Raiders), Marcus Williams (Saints to Ravens) All jump into the AFC either through commercial or free agency.

You have to imagine Gates coach Robert Saleh’s stomach fluctuating with every Twitter alert on his phone about the arrival of another superstar at his conference.

Look, the planes should feel good about what they’ve achieved in free agency. They have received promotions in many positions. Laken Tomlinson is the Pro Bowl guard. CJ Uzomah and Tyler Conklin give them a nice tight tandem. DJ Reed and Jordan Whitehead will give Saleh some pieces to work on in high school. By all accounts, these players are men of high character who will help the locker room.

Von Miller was introduced as Bill Project.
Von Miller was introduced as Bill Project.
AP

But will any of these players have a significant impact? Tomlinson may be more than that, and he doesn’t touch football.

The shocking truth to the Jets is that they still need more playmakers and high-impact players on both sides of the ball. Some of those may come in next month’s draft, but it’s hard to count on beginners having an immediate impact. It takes many of the best at least half a season to adjust to the NFL game.

This leaves the planes feeling as if they are spinning their wheels. They could be a more talented team this year and still finish 4-5 wins.

These are some of the quarterbacks Gates will face in 2022: Josh Allen (twice), Aaron Rodgers, Lamar Jackson, Joe Borough, Watson (if he is not suspended), and Wilson. These are seven games in which the Jets will face some of the best quarterbacks in the NFL and are sure to be seriously underdogs.

Russell Wilson was introduced as a Bronco.
Russell Wilson was introduced as a Bronco.
Getty Images

For the Jets, the 2022 season should be measured in two ways: How much better will Zach Wilson get, and can they be “in the graph” in December? You know the graphic, in which CBS, Fox, NBC, and ESPN post a picture of the final match with all the teams in the post-season status and those that are “in search.” The Jets have not been in the hunt for the past six seasons. This is the first step towards turning things around. It’s too early to expect the Super Bowls or even the playoffs, but it’s time for the season to stop feeling like it’s over before Halloween.

As for Wilson, all the pressure is on him. Jets gave him Uzuma, Conklin and Tomlinson to aid in the attack, and they returned one of his favorite targets at Braxton Piraeus, but the advantage was on Wilson’s right arm.

She also rode the tenure of Saleh and General Manager Joe Douglas on Wilson. Douglas had a solid draft for 2021 and could improve on the jets with a repeat performance next month. His free agent strategy was sound, and he made the team flexible to take action. But none of that matters if the player he picked last year as the No. 2 quarterback is a flop.

The Jets improved this week, as did the AFC. That could mean another painful year for the fans.

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