By Jeff Moeller, The New York Extra/thenyextra.com
The Jets conclude the first half of the season Sunday in Kansas City and likely will leave there winless to begin the second half of the year.
But, as many, this is the NFL and anything can happen, right?
Still, do you really believe the Jets can upset the Chiefs? It would be a bigger one than they had on a January Sunday in 1969.
So, what’s left?
Do we watch Sam Darnold play out the string in his final season? Will we see some veterans be shipped out by early next week?
The answer to both questions in all likelihood is yes.
Despite the anticipated painful eight-game trek, there is a green and silver lining.
Take a look at the team’s draft picks. Let the Jets’ presumed youth take over. Most of them have spent little time on the field.
First-round tackle Mekhi Becton has fulfilled all expectations and looks like a staple there for a long time.
Fourth-round running back La’Mical Perine scored his first career touchdown last week against Buffalo, and had a highlight film 20-year run. With his injuries apparently behind him, Perine has a wide slate ahead.
Frank Gore will continue to be a grinder, but Perine needs to have the bulk of the carries. He has shown the qualities of a legitimate 20-plus carry back. Perine should carry the load in the second half of the season.
Sixth-round pick Braden Mann has been consistent all season. He leads the league in punts (expected) with 39 and has a respectable 45.3 average.
Third-round pick defensive lineman Jabari Zuniga has missed all of training camp and the first seven weeks. He will be activated Sunday, and the Jets envision him as a pass rush specialist.
Fellow third-round pick safety Ashtyn Davis also was expected to be an impact player and has been slowed by a groin injury. He is expected to be back fully against the Chiefs and should be a player in the second half.
Fourth-round tackle Cameron Clark just returned for the Bills, and fifth-round cornerback Bryce Hall should be back soon.
With each passing week ahead, the Jets’ wheels will spin toward an 0-16 season. The emphasis had shifted soundly to 2021, and the future laid into the hands of Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence.
Take a narrowed look over the next two months, and keep the faith. The Jets’ future is closer than you think.