The New York Jets had a horrible start to their 2019 campaign, losing seven of their first eight games amidst a case of mono for quarterback Sam Darnold, and a slew of other injuries at key positions. At one point the Jets were forced to utilize third string quarterback Luke Falk as the starter for three games. Sam Darnold returned in Week 6 against the Cowboys to help secure a surprising victory, but they then lost three straight games in Weeks 7 through 9.
They seemed to turn things around at the midway point and they won five of their next seven contests. The Jets were the definition of inconsistent this year, as they fell to teams such as the Dolphins and the Bengals, but managed to squeak out victories against teams such as the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Jets look to improve on their 6-9 record (with one game remaining) in 2020, but there are a lot of question marks as to what next year’s team is going to look like.
The Jets have needs on both sides of the ball, but with the 32nd ranked overall offense in the NFL they should probably start there. They have their franchise quarterback in Sam Darnold, and if anything, this year proved that the team is better with him than without him. The problem is that Darnold is going to need weapons to target. With wide receiver Robby Anderson becoming a free agent, they will likely either need to give him a big pay day, or find help at the wide receiver position elsewhere. Jamison Crowder proved to be a reliable pass-catcher this year, but he is not capable of filling the No. 1 WR position.
Regardless of the weapons he has on his side, Darnold will never be effective if he is not well protected, and the Jets need to focus on securing a stronger offensive line in the off season. This will not only improve the team’s passing efficiency, but could also improve a lackluster run game as well.
Speaking of the run game, the Jets may have a dilemma at running back, as they owe Le’Veon Bell a whopping $13.5 million/year and will be on the line for a lot of money should they try to trade him. Bell did not live up to his large paycheck with a 3.3 yards per carry average on the year. Gase indicated early on that he was not a fan of Bell and his large contract so we will have to stay tuned to see how all of this pans out.
On the other side of the ball, the Jets struck gold in standout safety Jamal Adams, but he desperately needs help in the secondary at the corner back positions. The Jets will need to look to fill those voids in the off season, along with finding an effective edge rusher to pressure opponents quarterbacks into making mistakes.
With holes all over the place on offense and defense, Joe Douglas will have his work cut out for him in 2020.
The 2019 NFL season is coming to a close and while the playoffs are just arriving, it’s time to start looking ahead to 2020. We won’t know the full regular season schedule until April, but even with the 2019 season not finished, we know each team’s list of opponents. The NFL has a formula they use to determine opponents, with divisions and conferences rotating each year.
The Jets will face their divisional opponents a total of six times. The AFC East faces the AFC West in 2020, which adds four more opponents. In addition, The AFC East also faces the four teams of the NFC West in 2020. The final two opponents are the teams that finish in the same standing position in the AFC South and AFC North, which will be finalized after this weekend.