Team: New York Jets
2018 Record: 4-12 (4th, AFC East)
2019 Record: 2-7 (3rd, AFC East)
Outlook: Old friend Todd Bowles saw his tenure as an NFL head coach come to an end (for now) when the 2018 Jets slumped to a 4-12 record after a 3-3 start. Rookie quarterback Sam Darnold wasn’t spectacular, but he certainly showed promise, especially considering he was calling signals for a last-place team.
The Jets acquired Le'Veon Bell in the offseason, and (somewhat curiously) named Adam Gase head coach after Gase got fired by the Dolphins following back-to-back losing years. With one of the most dynamic runners in the NFL in Bell, the returning Darnold, plus Gase, the mind that spurred the Peyton Manning Broncos to record offensive output, there was reason for guarded optimism in New Jersey.
Things . . . didn’t go to plan. Darnold got mono early in the year, and the Jets were considering trading Bell just a few weeks into a near-disastrous 2019 campaign.
New York is dead last in offensive yardage and 30th in points scored, mustering a meager 130 through nine games. Bell has predictably seen his productivity drop off dramatically since the move from the Steelers. He currently averages a paltry 3.1 yards per carry and under 50 yards rushing per game. By comparison, soon-to-be-35-year-old Adrian Peterson has more rushing yardage than Bell this year on 28 fewer carries.
On the plus side for New York, another old friend of ours, Jamison Crowder, has turned into the Jets’ most reliable and prolific receiver. He pairs with deep threat Robby Anderson to provide at least some spark when Darnold is on-target.
The Jets have limped to a 2-7 record that includes a loss to the Miami Dolphins. However, with Darnold back in the lineup, the Jets have won two of their past five, including a victory this past Sunday against the Giants
How Worried Should They Be?: Somewhat worried. The Jets won’t have many chances to win this year, and the Redskins provide a golden one.
Still, the Jets stink, too. With a loss against the Dolphins under their collective belts, New York has to realize it can’t take anyone for granted—especially a Redskins team that routed the Dolphins 17-16 in Miami!
Sarcasm aside, other than the fact that the Skins are coming off a bye, this is lousy timing from the Washington perspective. Darnold has been wildly inconsistent this year, but, except for a game in which the Patriots’ phenomenal defense made him look absolutely atrocious, the former USC Trojan has performed at a level that’s high enough to beat the Redskins more weeks than not. Let’s also remember that he’s 2-0 against the NFC East so far this year, with a 24-22 win over the Cowboys back on October 13 to go along with the victory over the G-Men.
And, for all of the statistical struggles the Jets have had, they’re merely keeping the Redskins company down at the bottom of the rankings . . . except in one crucial respect. The one area that gives the Jets a big edge is in run defense: New York is second in the NFL, allowing just 81 yards per game.
Given the fact that Washington has an inexperienced quarterback in Dwayne Haskins and has been leaning heavily on the run since Bill Callahan took over (a shift I agree with), the game seems to set up to favor the Jets.
Finally, there’s this. It is now November 14, 2019.
That means it has been 382 days since the Washington Redskins last won a home game.
The Jets aren’t the Patriots (or the Steelers or the Cowboys or the Eagles), but, rest assured, there will be an unusual amount of green at FedEx come Sunday. I mean, not counting when the Redskins are playing the Eagles.
Yes, the Jets should be somewhat worried. This isn’t a lock by any means, and losing here could send New York to a worse final record than it experienced in 2018. However, there’s nothing in this match-up to indicate that the reeling, rag-tag Redskins aren’t the underdogs yet again.
Which will happen first?
This poll is closed
Redskins win a home game
Colin Kaepernick is signed by an NFL team
Bruce Allen is fired
Gardner Minshew shaves moustache