Throughout the offseason, NewYorkJets.com reporters Eric Allen, Ethan Greenberg and Randy Lange will each give their predictions to a series of questions regarding this year's Jets.
Today's question: How many points per game will the Jets average in 2021?
EA: Last season, the Jets averaged an NFL-low 15.2 points a game. Conversely, the Atlanta Falcons ranked in the middle of the league (16th out of 32 teams) with a 24.8 PPG clip. That speaks to where we are right now and all four of last season's conference champion participants (Green Bay, No. 1: 31.8; Buffalo, No. 2: 31.3; Tampa Bay No. 3: 30.8; and Kansas City, No. 5: 29.5) ranked in the top five in regular-season scoring. The Jets, who could start rookie Zach Wilson in Week 1 at Carolina, have made a lot of improvements on offense in front of and around this highly skilled quarterback. The depth is better along the offensive line and Alijah-Vera Tucker was among the cleanest prospects in the entire draft class. The RB group might not have a superstar, but there are multiple intriguing options with varied skill sets. Arguably the most improved unit is at wide receiver as the free-agent signings of Corey Davis and Keelan Cole plus the drafting of the dynamic Elijah Moore have flipped things considerably. New OC Mike LaFleur was in San Francisco last season and that 49ers club managed 23.5 points a contest despite starting three quarterbacks (Nick Mullens, 8; Jimmy Garoppolo 6; and C.J. Beathard, 2). This offensive attack will be much different for a plethora of reasons and the Jets don't have a George Kittle or a Kyle Juszczyk as LaFleur has graduated from passing game coordinator to OC. Robert Saleh loves the scheme and nobody can deny the talent upgrades. It's reasonable to expect the Jets to make a significant jump in scoring by a touchdown per game.
EG: I think the Jets can average 21-to-25 points per game, which is 6-to-10 points higher than 2020. Twenty five points per game would put the Jets between the Dolphins (25.2, No. 15 in the league) and Falcons (24.8) in the 2020 season while 21 would rank about No. 25 or No. 26 in the league. I do think the Jets offense has a chance to be productive, but there are a lot of new players, especially rookies, so it may take time to hit its stride. The team's first three picks -- QB Zach Wilson, OL Alijah Vera-Ticker and WR Elijah Moore -- could all start Week 1 at Carolina. It wouldn't surprise me if RB Michael Carter also started or had a significant role from an early stage. With new players, a new system run by OC Mike LaFleur, I think it will take time to jell. I do like the personnel the Jets have both along the offensive line and at wide receiver. I think the Jets WRs are the most improved position on the team with the additions of Corey Davis, Keelan Cole and Moore to go along with Denzel Mims and Jamison Crowder. With an attack-style mindset on offense, I think LaFleur will try to take shots down the field off play-action passes, which could help the offense put up points. There's a lot of new for the Jets, but I think there's a lot of optimism as well.
RL: Let's do some Jets mathematical history. Last season the offense scored 243 points, an average of 15.2 points/game, not the lowest in franchise history but not great. In seven other seasons, the Green & White offense came in under 16.0 points/game for the year. All seven times, the scoring improved the next season, sometimes by a little, sometimes by a lot. Usually, the improvement was tied to QB developments — Joe Namath returning to health in 1972, Chad Pennington ditto in 2006, the Richard Todd/Matt Robinson timeshare in 1978. On average, those seven offenses' scoring rose 5.3 points/game the next season. Sure, Zach Wilson is a rookie, but he's also surrounded by what looks to be a more productive skill group. So I'll optimistically add those 5.3 points per/game to last year's average, while not forgetting that this year there is a Game 17 on the schedule. And so for 2021 the Jets' points/game comes out to ... 349 points, at 20.5 points/game.