New York Jets 2019 Season Preview
Russell S. Baxter
New York Jets 2019 Season Preview
By Erik Kortz
Special to Pro Football Guru
The last time the New York Jets reached the playoffs, Glee and Lost were still on TV. That was 2010, the second seasons for head coach Rex Ryan and quarterback Mark Sanchez with the Green and White. Now those guys are talking heads on ESPN and the Jets have had one winning season in eight years.
Yet there might be hope. The 2019 offseason brought big changes including an overhaul of the coaching staff, the ousting of the general manager and big additions on both sides of the ball. Will it be enough to get Gang Green some wins this year?
Offense: The Jets’ future depends on new head coach Adam Gase. Once heralded as a great young offensive mind, his name has lost much of its luster due to questionable personnel decisions and a losing record in Miami. Yet, Sam Darnold is more talented than any quarterback Gase had with the Dolphins. Though he struggled at times in his rookie season, he put together quality games in December. His 2019 prospects are lifted by Le’Veon Bell, the Jets’ marquee free-agent signing. Veteran slot-man Jamison Crowder joins a receiving corps featuring rising talent Robby Anderson, tight end Chris Herndon and wide receiver Quincy Enunwa – rounding out a good set of weapons for the young signal-caller. More importantly the Jets have taken steps to protect Darnold, adding five-time Pro-Bowl center Ryan Kalil to anchor the offensive line.
Defense: Gase brought in experienced Gregg Williams as the team’s new defensive coordinator. His 2018 Cleveland Browns’ unit was rated 12th by Football Outsiders. This is good news for a Jets’ defense which finished in the bottom half in all 2018 team defense rankings. But this is a group with talent. Strong safety Jamal Adams is “off to a hall-of-fame-esque trajectory” though two seasons, as per Michael Renner of Pro Football Focus (subscription required). He was a first team All-Pro for 2018. Other defenders, including defensive end Leonard Williams, inside linebacker Avery Williamson and cornerback Trumaine Johnson received PFF grades of 74 or higher. Even more exciting are the new additions. Defensive tackle Quinnen Williams, the third overall pick in April, will be an immediate impact player while C.J. Mosley, the big free-agent acquisition late of the Baltimore Ravens, has made the Pro Bowl four times in five years and racked up 100-plus stops in all but one of his first five seasons.
Special Teams: In 2018, the Jets had Football Outsiders’ highest-graded unit, but they let All-Pro returner Andre Roberts and Pro-Bowl kicker Jason Meyers walk, replacing them with sophomore Trenton Cannon and journeyman Chandler Cantazaro, respectively. Positively, Gase retained coordinator Brant Boyer, who had transformed a bottom 10 unit into last year’s excellent squad.
Prediction: This club is bursting at the seams with young talent and promise. The Jets could be a contender soon, but not in 2019. Were Gase’s slow offenses and low-scoring outputs in Miami more a function of the talent at hand than of his intentions as an OC? He’s certainly capable enough to help Darnold develop. In any case, this is a team on the rise. It’s not hard to improve on 4-12, and the AFC East is wide open behind the Patriots. There’s as many as ten games on the schedule up for grabs.
Win-Loss Record: 7-9 (2nd Place, AFC East)