By, Faux John Madden (Special to OddsUSA.com)
The New York Jets were expected to take a big leap in 2019 under offensive guru Adam Gase, in particular, their young quarterback Sam Darnold was expected to take that next step in his development as their franchise quarterback.
Instead, Darnold somehow contracted mono, because the Jets cannot have anything that brings them happiness, and the Jets season was doomed from the start.
In typical Jets fashion though, the team would finish the season as one of the hottest teams in the NFL, going 6-2 in their last 8 games to finish the year 7-9.
Hopes were high that 2020 could be different for the Jets now that Tom Brady had left New England and Sam Darnold would be returning to play under Gase with a better grasp of the offense, and with a clean bill of health. After all, the team ended the season on a torrid stretch and was going to add more pieces on the offensive side of the ball to aid their young franchise QB.
Then the Jets’ two best players on the defensive side of the ball, and the two players the Jets were going to depend on with their up and coming defense were suddenly gone. Jamal Adams would have his wish granted and be moved to Seattle for a haul of draft picks and veteran safety Bradley McDougald, and big 2019 Free Agent signing LB C.J. Mosley would opt-out of the 2020 season with COVID-19 related health concerns.
Suddenly the optimism for the new season has waned severely, and the Jets could be on the verge of having another coaching staff purging and the roster changes that come along with it.
Jets 2019 Season Review
The Jets entered the 2019 offseason looking for a new coach after firing Todd Bowles and all of his staff. They would settle on hiring Adam Gase and his crazy looking eyes from their division rival Miami Dolphins because what better way to turn around your franchise than by hiring Miami Dolphins cast-offs to be your head coach.
After holding out for the entire 2018 season, the Pittsburgh Steelers let Le’Veon Bell hit free agency and he would sign a big contract with the Jets along with former Ravens LB C.J. Mosley, giving Adam Gase a pair of star signings to build his roster around in his debut season with the team.
The Jets would hire Gregg Williams with his Evil Abed goatee to turn around the Jets defense, and with the AFC wild card race seemingly wide open, the hope was that the team would improve enough to be in the mix to get a winning record and the playoff spot that came along with it.
As mentioned previously, all hell broke loose when Sam Darnold would unexpectedly catch mononucleosis after an opening week loss to the Buffalo Bills.
The virus would cause Darnold to miss the Monday Night contest against the Browns in Week 2, and then enlarge his spleen to the point he’d have to miss the next three games.
Trevor Siemian would get the start and suffer a gruesome ankle injury that would end his season. This left the Jets down to their third-string quarterback, and subsequent 0-4 record to start their season.
Darnold would return in Week 6 and play outstanding in a 24-22 win over the Cowboys. The best game of Darnold’s young career would soon be forgotten a week later however, when Bill Belichick and the Patriots defense left Darnold feeling like Haley Joel Osment in The Sixth Sense, and the Jets would fall to 1-5 after a 33-0 drubbing.
Two road losses against the Jaguars and Dolphins left the Jets sitting at 1-7, and the rumors of Adam Gase’s seat temperature began to pick up in frequency. But after those two fateful losses to Jacksonville and Miami, the Jets would manage to change the course of their season and finish strong with a 6-2 record.
Need a Better Agent After They Got Them Deals with the Jets
T George Fant (Seahawks)
C Connor McGovern (Broncos)
G Greg Van Roten (Panthers)
WR Breshad Perriman (Buccaneers)
CB Pierre Desir (Colts)
RB Frank Gore (Bills)
QB Joe Flacco (Broncos)
LB Patrick Onwuasor (Ravens)
S Bradley McDougald (Seahawks/Trade)
WR Chris Hogan (Panthers)
Salvaged Their Football Careers by Leaving this Football Wasteland
S Jamal Adams (Trade/Seattle)
LB C.J. Mosley (COVID-19 Opt-Out)
WR Robby Anderson (Panthers)
T Brandon Shell (Seahawks)
RB Ty Montgomery (Saints)
G Tom Compton (49ers)
Jets 2020 Offensive Preview
Adam Gase enters what could be a make or break season for his head coaching hopes, and the Jets offense once again will depend on young Sam Darnold taking that leap and playing up to his potential that made the Jets draft him 3rd overall in the 2018 NFL Draft.
The Jets goal in the offseason was to help their young quarterback stop seeing Casper when he’s on the football field, and to be able to breathe for longer than the nanosecond of protection the 2019 Jets offensive line would provide for Darnold.
New York gave big money deals to free agent offensive linemen George Fant, Connor McGovern, and Greg Van Roten and selected the 6-7, 364-pound Mekhi Becton to be the teams future at tackle.
The offensive line will hope to not only provide protection to Sam Darnold, but also free up Le’Veon Bell in the running game so that the highly-paid former All Pro has the ability to bring his gamebreaking talents into this offense.
Bell was a major disappointment in his first season as a Jet, rushing for only 789 yards and 3 touchdowns. This year, Gase has signed Frank Gore, who was a sophomore at Miami when the Jets won Super Bowl III, to back up the former Steelers superstar tailback.
While Darnold should have a better offensive line in 2020, the Jets did lose their best wide receiver from the past few seasons when Robby Anderson departed for Carolina.
Gang Green elected to go into the free agent market and plucked away the speedy Breshad Perriman from Tampa Bay to be the teams new #1 wide receiver, and they also drafted former Baylor standout wideout Denzel Mims in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft. The Jets also added free agent wide receiver Chris Hogan, and if Hogan makes the final roster he will have played for every team in the AFC East.
Jets 2020 Defensive Preview
Prior to the start of August 2020, the Jets defense appeared to be on the brink of becoming a potential Top 10 unit in football.
Then the Jets would finally cave into Jamal Adams’ trade demands and ship him off to Seattle for a haul of draft picks and veteran safety Bradley McDougald and one-week later star linebacker C.J. Mosley elected to opt-out of the season due to concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic.
And while the haul of draft picks will certainly help the Jets in the future, they don’t help the defense a few weeks removed from the season, and the Jets defense suddenly went from one of the best young units in football to a unit that might need a tourniquet to stop the yards and points that are about to be surrendered.
Gregg Williams defense will now be headlined by another former Raven, this time being that of LB Patrick Onwuasor who joined the team in free agency this offseason.
2019 first round pick Quinnen Williams looks to give the Jets a much-needed boost on their defensive line, and Bradley McDougald comes over to the Jets after being included by the Seahawks in the compensation for Jamal Adams.
The aforementioned Jets secondary outside of McDougald is a cast of relative unknowns. Pierre Desir comes over to the team after a few seasons starting in Indianapolis. Desir figures to be the teams #1 cornerback in 2020, but struggled in 2019 after getting a nice contract extension from the Colts.
Williams was able to work magic with this Jets defensive group in 2019, but he will need to put forth his best coaching effort yet to keep the Jets defense from ranking in the bottom half of football in 2020.
Jets 2020 Outlook & Prediction
Optimism was starting to emerge from the Meadowlands for the potential of the Jets 2020 season, but then the trade of Jamal Adams and subsequent opting-out from C.J. Mosley suddenly leaves the Jets with a substantial weakness on the defensive side of the football.
While New York finished the 2019 season strong, there are still causes of concern involving the Jets offense and the continuing development of their 3rd overall pick from 2018, Sam Darnold.
The Jets offense will need to find a dependable wide receiver to replace Darnold’s favorite target Robby Anderson, and they will need Le’Veon Bell to tap into his talent reservoir to be the weapon he was for several seasons in Pittsburgh.
Even though the AFC East is wide open this season with the departure of Tom Brady, we think the Jets will find themselves in a position they are all too familiar with — last place in the division and looking for a new head coach.
Jets 2020 Projection: 5-11, 4th place AFC East
Jets 2020 Betting Preview
We happen to fancy the following futures bets for the New York Jets 2020 season.
- New York Jets UNDER 6.5 Wins — (-134) at DraftKings Sportsbook
We leaned this way before the Jamal Adams trade. We love this pick even more now. The Jets defense is going to be a major pain point for Adam Gase and Gregg Williams in 2020, as Adams and Mosley masked so many of the Jets flaws. This coupled with the fact that Sam Darnold is working with an infirmary list of wide receivers, and Gang Green is in for a long season.
- Le’Veon Bell OVER 850.5 yards Rushing — (-110) at DraftKings Sportsbook
While we fully expect the Jets to struggle to stop teams and score enough points to win consistently, we do believe the Jets improved their offensive line in a big way and that Le’Veon Bell should reap the most benefits from this. Bell flat out stunk in 2019, and we anticipate that he will bounce back in 2020 with a 1000-yard rushing season.