2020 will be a big make-or-break year for the New York Jets and second-year head coach Adam Gase as well as third-year QB Sam Darnold. After finishing under .500 last season and with the AFC East more up for grabs than ever in the last 20 years, New York will be aiming to return to the playoffs for the first time since 2010. However, one more disappointing season could lead to another round of rebuilding next offseason.
Below you will find what you need to know about the New York Jets as we get closer to the season.
New York Jets 2020 Schedule
|Week 1||Sept. 13||at Bills, 1:00 p.m., CBS|
|Week 2||Sept. 20||vs 49ers, 1:00 p.m., FOX|
|Week 3||Sept. 27||at Colts, 4:05 p.m., CBS|
|Week 4||Oct. 1||vs Broncos (TNF), 8:20 p.m., NFL Network|
|Week 5||Oct. 11||vs Cardinals, 1:00 p.m., FOX|
|Week 6||Oct. 18||at Chargers, 4:05 p.m., CBS|
|Week 7||Oct. 25||vs Bills, 1:00 p.m., CBS|
|Week 8||Nov. 1||at Chiefs, 1:00 p.m., CBS|
|Week 9||Nov. 9||vs Patriots (MNF), 8:15 p.m., ESPN|
|Week 10||Nov. 15||at Dolphins, 4:05 p.m., CBS|
|Week 12||Nov. 29||vs Dolphins, 1:00 p.m., CBS|
|Week 13||Dec. 6||vs Raiders, 1:00 p.m., CBS|
|Week 14||Dec. 13||at Seahawks, 4:05 p.m., CBS|
|Week 15||Dec. 19/20||at Rams, TBD, TBD|
|Week 16||Dec. 26/27||vs Browns, TBD, TBD|
|Week 17||Jan. 3||at Patriots, 1:00 p.m., CBS|
The Jets will face their AFC foes two times each, as well as the teams that make up the AFC West and NFC West. New York will also battle the Colts and Browns, two other third-place teams from 2019. It’s a regular-season schedule that is the second-toughest in all of the football based on opponents’ winning percentage, just behind New England’s.
New York Jets
Last Year’s History
The Jets could not have gotten off to a worse start last season. After blowing a 16-point lead and losing at home in Week 1, Darnold missed the next three games with mononucleosis. During that span, New York lost all three games and averaged under eight points per game. They got their first win of the season when Sam Darnold returned, a 24-22 home victory versus the Cowboys, but they still started the year 1-7.
Over the season’s final eight weeks, the Jets were a whole different team. They ripped off three straight wins, scoring 34 points in all of them. Then they would win three of five after that, including wins versus the Steelers and Bills in the final two weeks of the season. Even though their slim playoff hopes were dashed away during Week 14, New York managed to win six of their last eight games to finish 7-9, third place in the AFC East.
The 3rd overall pick of 2018’s NFL draft, the Jets are hoping Sam Darnold can lead this team to an above .500 season. Last season Darnold played in 13-games and posted a 7-6 record through that span. Now that he’s entering his third season, the expectations are starting to rise. Last season Darnold turned in 3,024 passing yards, 19 touchdowns, and 13 interceptions. Now that he’s gotten some experience under his belt, it’s time for Darnold to improve his touchdown to interception ratio. Preseason NFL MVP odds peg him at +9000.
Le’Veon Bell held out in 2018 to get a good contract and ultimately ended up in New York. However, his stats took a major dip. Last season Bell turned in 789 rushing yards, three touchdowns, and 3.2 yards per attempt average – a career-low for Bell. The Jets really need the offensive boost and Bell has the talent to deliver. We’ll have to wait and see what kind of damage he does in 2020.
Ok, so Gregg Williams isn’t a player, he is the defensive coordinator. But make no mistake about his importance to the defense. Many of the positive stats this squad will put together, especially after losing Jamal Adams to the Seahawks, will be because of Williams’ coaching. He creates blitzing schemes and rotations that puts his best players on the field every play.
New York Jets New Additions
Many teams this offseason made changes to their offensive line, but none did an overhaul quite like the Jets. New York will have four new starters along the O-line, three of them coming in free agency. The team handed nearly-identical three-year deals to Seahawks OT George Fant and Broncos C Connor McGovern, and also signed Panthers OG Greg Van Roten for three seasons. They continued to make moves on offense, signing Buccaneers WR Breshad Perriman and veteran backups in RB Frank Gore and QB Joe Flacco.
Defensively, the Jets weren’t as aggressive but still made a couple of impact moves. The team signed Colts CB Pierre Desir for one season, where he projects as New York’s top corner. They also added Ravens LB Patrick Onwuasor to help bring in some depth.
In the draft, New York selected their fourth new starter along the O-line and projected left tackle for the next decade in Louisville OT Mekhi Becton. The behemoth Becton was taken 11th overall and will be tasked with protecting Darnold’s blindside right away. The Jets then traded down and still managed to get Baylor WR Denzel Mims late in the second, another player who should crack the starting lineup right away.
With two third-round picks, they targeted defense with the selections of California S Ashtyn Davis and Florida EDGE Jabari Zuniga. Among the notable Day 3 picks, New York also took Florida RB Lamical Perine and FIU QB, James Morgan.
New York Jets Key Departures
New York’s biggest departure came in the form of WR Robby Anderson. Darnold’s favorite target signed a two-year deal with the Panthers a couple of weeks into free agency. Along with Anderson, several members of their O-line found new homes, including now-49ers OG Tom Compton, Seahawks OT Brandon Shell, and Texans OT Brent Qvale. DE Brandon Copeland left for the Patriots, while CB Maurice Canady joined the Cowboys.
Along with all those players, both RBs Ty Montgomery and Bilal Powell are gone, as is C Ryan Kalil and WR Demaryius Thomas. Veteran CBs Trumaine Johnson and Darryl Roberts were also cut around the start of free agency.
The Jets’ biggest rival over the years has been the Patriots. New England has captured the AFC East every year since 2009 but now moves forward with QB Tom Brady out of the picture along with key defensive players in LBs Jamie Collins and Kyle Van Noy. Overall, New York has dropped its last eight games against New England, with their last win coming in overtime in December 2015.
One team that may replace New England as the top dog in the division is the Bills. Not only has Buffalo continued to improve their defense that already features stars like CB Tre’Davious White and DE Jerry Hughes, but they also added WR Stefon Diggs. You can make a case that he is now the best receiver in the division. These teams split the season series in 2019, their third straight season doing so.
The final team in the division is the Dolphins, who come into the year with a very different roster than last year’s 5-11 squad had. Miami added CB Byron Jones, DE Shaq Lawson, and LB Kyle Van Noy, among others, while also drafting QB Tua Tagovailoa and revamping their offensive line. The Jets beat Miami in early December last season, which broke the Dolphins’ four-game winning streak against them in a stretch where Miami won six of the last seven games. The Dolphins were atrocious on defense last season so it’s unlikely that they’ll pose much of a threat in 2020.
New York Jets Offense
A tough start to the season is the bulk of the reason why New York finished last in yards per game with 273 and second-to-last with 17.25 points. They ranked near the bottom of most offensive categories, including rushing yards and rushing attempts as well. In fact, only the Miami Dolphins were worst at running the ball than the Jets.
Moving forward, we can expect some improvement from New York. They picked up a lot of offensive linemen this offseason which should pay off bigly.
New York Jets Defense
Defensively, the Jets were a much better team. Although they couldn’t run the ball on offense, their defense didn’t let opponents run the ball either, seeing as how New York was No. 2 in the league against the run. They struggled against the pass, however, finishing 17th in that category. Scoring-wise they ranked 16th in points allowed.
There’s no reason to expect New York to take a step back defensively in 2020. If their offense can improve this team can make the playoffs. They certainly have the defense for it.
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