New York Jets 2020 season preview
When a team finishes 6-2 over the last 8 games you would assume the season would have some optimism, but optimism isn’t really in the Jets makeup. Injuries, poor management and terrible coaching means that even with the good finish the season was nothing short of a disappointment.
The hope at the start of the season was that Adam Gase would help Sam Darnold and the offense. However, this did not happen and Darnold struggled again. More concerningly, he seemed to struggle with the same issues has had previously, namely turnovers and deep ball accuracy. The defense was a positive as Gregg Williams got very good play out of that side of the ball and their star player Jamal Adams thrived.
So the star player who thrived wants to leave…. Throughout the season there were rumours that Adams was unhappy with the contract offers he was getting from the Jets. Then before the draft there were strong rumours they were trying to trade him, so it was no surprise he subsequently asked for a trade. At present no one has been close to the price the Jets want for their All-Pro Safety, but an unhappy player may not be good for team unity.
Outside of Adams the Jets offseason focussed mainly on the upgrading the offense and revamping the offensive line especially. In free agency they added George Fant and Breshad Perriman before adding Mehki Becton and Denzel Mims in the draft. The Jets will be hoping the new offensive line construction and offensive talent elevate Darnold in 2020 and attempt to saves Gases’ job.
Adam Gase was brought in last season with one major task, make Sam Darnold a franchise QB who can be relied upon. After Year 1 he has failed in this task so far. 2020 is a huge year for this offense. Next offseason the Jets have to make a decision when it comes to Darnold fifth-year option and his long-term future with the team. The pieces have been put in place for Darnold to succeed, now it falls on him and Gase to make it work.
The additions on the offensive line should help 2019 free agent Le’Veon Bell. The Jets will be hoping that the reduction in output from Bell last season was an impact of his offensive line ranking 31st when it came to run blocking (per Football Outsiders). If this offense is to perform at a level that can make them competitive, then Bell will be a crucial piece to take the pressure off of Darnold and put the offense in favourable situations.
He may not have the best reputation personally, but it is undeniable that Gregg Williams is a good Defensive Co-Ordinator. Last season, despite their offensive struggles not helping them on the defensive side of the ball. the Jets ranked in the top 10 in total yards, rushing touchdowns, yards per carry and score percentage.
With players returning form injury and no major losses the Jets will hope they can be just as good, if not better, in 2020. The major question will be what happens with Adams. If he behaves and plays, the defense will keep the Jets in games, but if he is traded or holds out then this could have a major impact.
The most likely outcome entering the season is that this is Adam Gase’s last season as the Jets Head Coach, and potentially as a Head Coach in the NFL. The team have major questions on the side of the ball he is supposed to thrive in and unless there is significant improvement the Jets will likely need to move on.
If the season is back enough to a point where Gase leaves, the question will become what to do with Darnold if there is another season of stagnation. Entering the fourth year of his rookie contract, the Jets will need to decide whether a different offensive coach could hold the answer, or whether they should be looking to move on in the next couple of drafts.
The defense should be a strength, but that is on a knife edge based on what happens with Adams. If his situation goes bad this team could implode.
New York Jets 2020 record prediction
5-11 (Last in the AFC East)
A former UKEndzone writer, Paul has been dragged out of an enforced retirement to give his thoughts on the NFL and anything else he can slide past the editorial team.
Paul is most famous (infamous?) as Mainz one half of Waxing Lyrical. alongside his Partner in Crime Neil Dutts Dutton.
Find him @Mainzey7 where all manner of sports are on the menu.
Image credit: Gail Burton