Are the Jets Really About to Go 0-16?

Sam Darnold, Adam Gase
Sam Darnold and Adam Gase. | Paul Bereswill/Getty Images

The New York Jets are not a good football team. Yesterday, they released one of their more talented players, Le'Veon Bell, outright after trade rumors emerged earlier in the day. They now move forward with Frank Gore as their No. 1 back and Jamison Crowder as their No. 1 receiver. Adam Gase is still the team's head coach. Life is hard for Jets fans. Basically, it's a standard year in the NFL.

The team is currently 0-5. With the release of Bell, they've only gotten worse. Every loss has been a bad one. Thus, it is time to begin the 0-16 watch. Will the Jets become the third team in NFL history to go winless throughout an entire season?

Now, we should recognize that it is really hard to go 0-16. Some truly godawful teams in football's past have managed to win at least one game. Even the teams that did go 0-16 needed an extra-large scooping of bad luck to make it happen.

The 2017 Cleveland Browns had a handful of opportunities to win games, but failed every time; they missed two field goals in a three-point loss to the Jets, held the Titans to zero touchdowns but lost anyway, and were within one Corey Coleman dropped pass on fourth down to win their final game of the season. The 2008 Lions lost a game by two because Dan Orlovsky ran out of the back of his own endzone and were up 10 points on the Bears in another game before blowing the lead while failing to score a point in the second half.

A team must both be very unlucky and very bad to go winless. The Jets have the latter half of that equation covered. Their closest loss was by 10 points to the Bills in the opening week of the season. They gave up 37 points to a Broncos team quarterbacked by Brett Rhypien. Things aren't going to get any better, either. Eight of New York's 11 remaining games will come against teams with a winning record. That leaves three toss-up games, two against the Dolphins and one against the Chargers. And even that Chargers game might not be that much of a toss-up given they just gave Drew Brees and the Saints everything they could handle on Monday night.

From where we're currently sitting, the Jets' only chance to win a game will come against the Dolphins -- barring any injuries to opposing starting quarterbacks on the schedule. Even those will be a tough climb, given Miami just toasted the 49ers this past Sunday and the fact that Gase lost one game against his former team in 2019 and won the other by exactly one point.

The Jets will be in a position to win at least one game this season. The odds are in their favor in that regard. Neither of the teams that have gone winless in the past were blown out every week from start to finish. But this team is really bad outside of Sam Darnold and Mekhi Becton, who is a left tackle. They very well could do it, but we need to see just how unlucky the 2020 Jets are first before we declare it inevitable.