It’s been 50 years since the New York Jets won a Super Bowl, but there are plenty of reasons for optimism that 2019 could be the year Gang Green’s title drought comes to an end.
If you have a chance to have a meaningful conversation with a lifelong fan of the New York Jets, they may tell you a tale about how their favorite team is cursed. The Jets have arguably the most memorable upset win in Super Bowl history, staking legitimacy to the AFL-NFL merger by upsetting the Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III back in 1969, but they haven’t even gotten back to the big game since.
Conspiracy theorists claim that Joe Namath sold his soul to the devil to back up his guarantee of victory over the Colts, and in return the devil demanded the Jets’ good fortune as a franchise. While that theory is just an old wives’ tale, the amount of misfortune the Jets have suffered over the years has made it a fun urban legend for long suffering fans to latch onto.
The sun is starting to shine on the Jets, however, who finally appear to have the heir apparent to Namath in Sam Darnold and an ascending young team. Most experts expect the Jets to challenge for AFC East supremacy once Tom Brady retires, but there have been plenty of worst to first stories in NFL history, so why not dream big if you’re a Jets fan?
Let’s break down five reasons why 2019 will finally be the year the Jets return to the summit of the NFL mountain, beginning with a look at the positive culture change the team embraced in the offseason.
5. The Jets brought some serious winners into their locker room
For the past couple of years, the Jets have been building a nucleus of young talent, but they haven’t always done a good job surrounding it with veterans who have the right attitude. After a disheartening defeat in New England at the end of the regular season, safety Jamal Adams made it clear to anyone who would listen that the Jets needed more “dogs” in their locker room.
Adams was simply pointing out that the Jets didn’t have a lot of players who weren’t fully invested in winning at all costs, instead caring more about accumulating their own personal stats. The Jets had a ton of cap room this offseason to spend on acquiring more talent, which they did, but they also made sure to bring some serious winners into their locker room.
The biggest addition for the Jets on the offensive side of the ball was running back Le’Veon Bell, who has been a dynamic playmaker since being drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers. Bell is also known to make his voice heard if he makes plays, upping the intensity level in practices already in mini camp.
The Jets also scored a coup on defense by stealing veteran linebacker C.J. Mosley away from the Baltimore Ravens. While Mosley was definitely overpaid to leave the Ravens, he will join Adams as a vocal leader on the Jets’ defense, and his experience with Baltimore will help Mosley turn a talented unit into a winner.
The decision to sign Mosley is reminiscent of when the Jets signed Bart Scott away from Baltimore in 2009, when Rex Ryan became head coach, to help change the culture of the locker room. If Mosley has the kind of impact that Scott did in year one, the Jets could surprise a lot of people.