• James McWilliams

Rock Bottom - The Sad State of the New York Jets

Updated: Nov 16, 2020

The Jets have spent the last decade trying to find some magic, but all they've found is the reality of rock bottom.


In my 20+ years of die-hard Jets fandom, I'm not sure I have had less confidence in a team or the leadership at the organization than I do at this point in time. In years past, it would be clear what needs to be fixed and the team would find a way to look competitive week to week, even if expectations were low. Now, even with the lowest of expectations, the 2020 New York Jets find themselves even worse than most people predicted....and the solution is murkier than ever. Sitting at 0-4 and losing on national TV to the lowly Broncos starting a 3rd string QB, the Jets are the worst team in football....and it's not even close. Since it's clear there is more than just a single problem with this team, let's break down each area that needs to be addressed this year and beyond.


Now, even with the lowest of expectations, the 2020 New York Jets find themselves even worse than most people predicted....and the solution is murkier than ever.


The Coach


It's no secret Adam Gase is the first person fans point to when asked where to begin the tear-down. Fans wanted him gone the minute we received the notification on our phones that he was hired. In his five years as a head coach in the NFL, Gase has a losing record, is consistently blown out of games, and has no ability to make in-game adjustments that favor his team. His "offensive genius" has resulted in his offense ranking dead last in the league in every major category the two seasons he's been with the Jets.


But worst of all, he is just blind. He isn't able to get out of his own frame of view and consider there could be a better way. Instead, he goes back to the well of outdated play calling and players far past their prime (if they ever even had one). Case in point, trotting out 37-year-old Frank Gore to rush the ball 20+ times a game when you have a young, dynamic rookie in La'Michael Perine riding the bench. Gore is a future Hall of Famer, but how does it help the team to sit young talent in favor of old and slow players who will be gone next season. And let's not forget about 2nd and long. Out of all the teams in the NFL, the Jets run the ball the most on 2nd and long. Time and time again it fails, but time and time again, Gase calls the play. Oh and don't get me started on WR screens. This man's decision making is pure insanity; i.e. run the same failing plays over and over again expecting a different result.


Where do these commentators and talking heads on TV get the idea that Gase has had success building a team or calling plays? The example they always point to is Peyton Manning. You mean....one of the top 5 best quarterbacks in the history of the NFL and likely the smartest QB since football was invented? A man who could likely play his entire career without a coach? That's their example? Do you really think having Adam Gase as his offensive coordinator made any real difference on how Peyton played the game?


Nearly every player who struggled in their career under Gase has had tremendous success with other head coaches (i.e. Kenyan Drake, Ryan Tannehill, Devante Parker, Mike Gesicki....the list goes on). And not to mention the players who have clearly gotten worse under Gase (i.e. Sam Darnold, Chris Herndon, Le'veon Bell).


Bottom line. The Jets need more than a play-caller. They need a leader of men. And preferably one who has actually proven he can win.

Wherever Gase goes, he leaves a trail of broken players and bitter locker rooms. Look at Jamal Adams. Despite what you may think of him, he's finally happy. And players like Jarvis Landry finally felt liberated when Gase was no longer involved.


Bottom line. The Jets need more than a play-caller. They need a leader of men. And preferably one who has actually proven he can win.


The Roster


Did you watch the Chiefs play football on Monday Night? The most glaring and impressive aspect of their offense is team speed and taking shots downfield consistently. And here we have the Jets, power rushing with a running back who's best days are way, way behind him. Then throwing laterally for 2 and 3 yard gains behind the sticks. Even Troy Aikman, who commentated Thursday's game with Joe Buck exclaimed how little the Jets threw the ball down the field. The NFL favors downfield throwing. How often do you see pass interference called in the league? Constantly. Push the field.


Other than the team speed, the Jets' contingency plans at WR have been atrocious. Not a single player on that field could find separation or win a 50/50 ball against pedestrian cornerbacks. I know Mims is hurt and Perriman was supposed to be the deep threat, but you can't tell me throwing jump balls to Chris Hogan in the red zone is actually a real play in the playbook. Invest in the position beyond a 2nd round draft pick and a sporadic free agent who has a small sample size of success. Trade assets for proven commodities.


We can't forget about the defense. Cornerback is a mess. The linebackers and D Line are undisciplined. The pass rush is practically non-existent. There's not much more to say here. The fan base was quick to crown Joe Douglas as the savior at GM, but he's done nothing to prove he deserves the praise. Big changes need to be made.


Thankfully, Mekhi Becton has the look of a franchise left tackle. That's at least something to hold onto.


The Owner


Christopher Johnson claims to be the biggest fan of the Jets himself. This is clearly untrue. If he was, he'd be making changes. He'd see the way Gase has driven Darnold into a black hole and would swallow his pride to make a coaching change. Instead, he is lying to himself, acting as if the coach is not the problem at all. Instead of trying to save face, do the only thing you have the power to do; admit you were wrong and move on. And while you're at it, consider selling the franchise to someone who knows a little bit about football.


What's Next


At some point, the Jets need to come to terms with the fact that they aren't a good football team. Pretending they have the right pieces and that it's simply a matter of poor execution is naive. Pride comes before the fall. And in the case of the Jets, they have been falling for a decade now.


The team has to undergo a full reset, starting with the offense. That means a new QB and proven WRs by signing players for top dollar in their prime, as well as expending high draft capital on young stars at the position. The window for Sam Darnold appears to have closed. The front office truly failed him. It's a real shame. He had so much potential and zero help. For his sake, I hope he can reset his career elsewhere. Now the Jets need to swallow that pill and move forward to correct the mistakes they've made.


It's going to take time, but it's not impossible. Great rosters can be built in 2-3 years, not 10. Hopefully, Joe Douglas doesn't fail like his predecessors. Give this city a team to believe in.


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