Season in Review – New York Jets

By Tim Monk (@Tim_MonkF10Y)

Today we take a look at the New York Jets. Not quite saving the best ’til last but alas, another season to break down for you. Is Adam Gase the answer in New York? Is Sam Darnold still their guy? Will LeVeon Bell still be a Jet next season? Let’s find out.


Entering the season


Adam Gase punched the 2nd hole in his AFC East loyalty card when moving from Miami up the east coast to East Rutherford, New Jersey. Whilst I very much doubt he’ll get a full house with New England/Buffalo, there were many amongst the Jets’ fanbase that were hoping that he’d get his chance sooner rather than later. It just seems like yesterday that he had that extraordinary eye bulging press conference when being introduced to the media, to be later dubbed “Taco man”.

LeVeon Bell’s exodus from Pittsburgh saw him end up in the green of New York, looking to finally sort out the muddling backfield which it has been for years. He signed a 4 year $52.5 million deal with $35m of it fully guaranteed. Whilst many in the fanbase were “happy”, Adam Gase seemingly wasn’t, causing tension between him and Mike Maccagnan. Elsewhere, Sam Darnold was expected to step up in his 2nd year, especially with Gase being the “Quarterback Whisperer”.

Draft wise, Quinnen Williams was the pick at #2 whilst their next pick, Jachai Polite didn’t even make it to the Regular Season, ultimately ending up on the Seahawks/Rams practice squads. The rest of the draft class was not much to write home about with Tackle Chuma Edoga and Tight End Trevon Wesco both playing cameo roles in their first season.


DURING THE SEASON


It turned out to be a peculiar season for the Jets, finishing 7-9, but you have to say the assist goes to the strength of schedule and you could argue that the team should have had a better record.

The early part of the schedule saw Sam Darnold sit out due to a case of Mono (the price of fame, eh?) but he returned in week 6 to demolish the Cowboys at home to register their first win of the season.

Image result for sam darnold mono
Todd Kirkland/Getty

They finished off the back half of the season 6-2 with losses coming against the Ravens and the Bengals. Their wins against a half Rudolph/half Duck led Steelers and a “nothing to play for” Bills team in week 17 meant they were able to finish with a 7-9 record.

This was a team that were 2nd worst in terms of points scored, 3rd down conversion %, total 1st downs and total rush yards on the season. Not great, Bob.

The running back position was as bad as it’s ever been with off-season free agent signing LeVeon Bell averaging a career-low 3.2 yards per carry and did not have a 100-yard rushing game (no running back on the roster mustered over 4 yards per carry). How much of that was on him or the poor offensive line play or playcalling, is up to you to decide.

One glimmer of hope for the Jets offence was the chemistry between Sam Darnold and Jamison Crowder, who’ll look to build on their rapport which enabled the slot receiver to find the endzone 6 times (team high) on 78 receptions. Fellow wide receiver Robby Anderson didn’t quite have the breakout he was perhaps expecting and the tight end production from Ryan Griffin, filling in for Chris Herndon, varied on a week to week basis but he managed to find the endzone 5 times.


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The defence as a whole unit played averagely, with their run defence being one of the better units in the league.

You could argue Quinnen Williams had a quiet start to his career, totaling just 2.5 sacks on the season and 15 solo tackles. Leaders on the defence started and ended with Jamal Adams, especially when CJ Mosley went down after week 2. Linebacker Jordan Jenkins was their sack leader with 8, giving him 20 on his career and building nicely upon his 7 from 2018. Certainly a name that flies under the radar in the NFL.


OFFSEASON OUTLOOK


The Jets probably hindered themselves more with that back half win collection they achieved, picking from the #11 spot. There are a variety of needs so would be candidates to trade back if the opportunity presents itself.

Image result for leveon Bell
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

In free agency, WR Robby Anderson looks likely to head for the exit door and the LeVeon Bell/Adam Gase rift rumours continue and has led to speculation about the Jets trying to trade Bell this offseason, something that seems unlikely because of the $13 million guaranteed he has coming his way this season.

Many will continue to question Adam Gase and his suitability in the organisation and with good reason, this team seem to be behind the 8-ball in terms of being the team that overhauls the Patriots (if that ever becomes a thing) with both divisional rivals putting themselves in a much better position to do just that. The Jets may be landed for a while in New York.

Where Do They Go From Here; NY Jets

After our divisional season review podcasts, we are now looking to the future and asking where each franchise goes from here. We put ourselves in the chair of being GM or the owner and going over what moves we would make in order to win a Superbowl, make the playoffs or just regain some pride…

Today we take a look at the New York Jets.

Don’t forget to check out the AFC East podcast where we talked to Ian Roach and got their thoughts on them!

How Did Last Season Go?

On the positive side, Sam Darnold’s rookie season arguably got stronger as he acclimatised to the NFL. On the negative side, there were more turnovers from the Jets than a bakery after a delivery. After their week 6 win vs the Colts, the Jets had a 3-3 record, unfortunately in the subsequent 10 gameweeks, they only mustered 1 more win vs Buffalo. The schedule wasn’t the kindest to be fair. The Jets were bottom 10 in both points for and against whilst most of their stats see them in the bottom half for pretty much everything…not good. Ultimately, this is why Todd Bowles lost his job.

Housekeeping

New York Jets once again have the 3rd pick in the 1st round of the draft. They don’t have a 2nd rounder after trading up in the 2018 draft. But have 2 3rd rounders and picks in round 4,5 and 7.

The Jets were one of the wealthiest teams heading in to Free Agency and despite being very active, still are top 10 in cap space available with $26m.

Outgoings

Apart from Bowles at HC, there was a lot of names heading out the exit door in New York. RBs Bilal Powell and Isiah Crowell,  WR Jermaine Kearse and QB Josh McCown.

Elsewhere Mo Claiborne & Buster Skrine (CB), James Carpenter (G) and kicker Jason Myers were other notable names that wont be in the Gang Green in 2019.

Incomings

Lots! Well you need to with all of the names going the other way.

Mr Taco Adam Gase is the new head coach and comes over from division rival Miami.

LeVeon Bell was the big splash at RB and he’ll run behind former Raider Osemele. Jamison Crowder comes in to the slot in a slightly surprising move considering they already had Enunwa. Another big name signing is linebacker CJ Mosley from the Ravens. Anthony Barr was supposed to be there too but apparently felt sick to his stomach at the thought of being away from Minnesota.

Outlook for Next Year

Some big questions for the Jets in 2019 include; How quickly can LeVeon Bell hit the ground running? Has Sam Darnold taken a step forward?  If both of these are positive storylines for the Jets in 2019, it’s not out of the question that the Jets make the playoffs. The weak AFC East is not as perhaps weak as 2018 (except for Miami) so opportunities are there. Their schedule is easier than last year with the Raiders, Jags, Bengals and Giants all on their slate.

Prediction

If Bell hits the ground running, and Darnold cuts out the picks, the Jets could be a sneaky playoff team in 2019. I think it may be one more year before they are considered regular playoff contenders but we all remember when Mark Sanchez entered the league. Could be a team that gets hot from nowhere and surprises a few people.

Fantasy Football

Sam Darnold – undrafted – low QB2

LeVeon Bell – late 1st/2nd Round pick – low RB1

Robby Anderson – 7th/8th Round pick – WR3

Jamison Crowder – double digit rounds – WR3/4

Chris Herndon – double digit rounds / undrafted – low TE1 – *Sleeper alert*