If you believe what you hear about the New York Jets, then predicting their season is easy. They will lose out, go 2-14 and fire everybody. Tim Tebow will take over, and everything will fall into some sort of apocalyptic ruin.
The opinion is so widespread and dominant, it could make you wonder why anyone would ever expect the Jets to win a game. Various power rankings all rank the Jets near the bottom of the league, some as low as 31st.
Yet given all this, Las Vegas still has the Jets as three-point favorites against a pretty good Indianapolis Colts team that just beat the Green Bay Packers. The Colts are also the only team to beat the 4-1 Minnesota Vikings so far this season. With rookie sensation Andrew Luck at quarterback, they have demonstrated themsleves to be legitimate Wild Card contenders.
Is Vegas insane? And who are all these people betting real money on the Jets?
When you step back for a moment from the heated emotions surrounding Tim Tebow and Rex Ryan—two if the biggest lightning rods of media slander over the past few months—you realize something that is painfully obvious.
The Jets remain one of the more talented rosters in the NFL and played very well in their most recent game against the 5-0 Houston Texans. They are virtually the same team—not counting injuries—that was viewed throughout the country as a top Super Bowl contender in 2010.
Obviously, the injuries to Darrelle Revis and Santonio Holmes weakened the team significantly and pretty much killed their odds at winning the Super Bowl this year. Nevertheless, considering them to be a below-average team is an overreaction and is more wishful thinking than anything else on the part of the biggest Jets detractors.
Moderation is the key to making real predictions in the NFL. The most talked about teams are always either overrated or underrated. This rule is doubly true for teams in New York.
It can be fun as a fan to hyperbolically criticize rival teams. However, if you are interested in making a real prediction, take a look at what Vegas sees. The Jets remain a deeper and more talented team overall than the Colts.
If they can play at the same level that they did on Monday night, they will earn a victory and return to being the .500 team that they will most likely be for the rest of this season.