The 2019 NFL season is approaching quickly and optimism characterizes the New York Jets fan base. Fresh faces and budding stars hope to assist in taking gang green to a new level of success. Luckily for the fan base, there are standouts among these players who possess superstar potential. Here are the types of seasons star New York Jets players would need to have in order to consider the 2019 season a success.
What Successful 2019 Seasons Would Look Like for Star New York Jets
Quarterback, Sam Darnold
The biggest Jets storyline in 2019 will be the play of second-year quarterback Sam Darnold. While his play in 2019 was a bit erratic at times, Darnold showed immense improvisational talent. Additionally, his play in the last quarter of the season was nothing short of excellent. An extra year to practice and develop chemistry with his weapons should result in a large leap for the second year gunslinger. Just how big of a leap should fans be looking for?
In Darnold’s case, his excellent play late in the season could not save his overall numbers from being subpar. A nearly 1:1 touchdown to interception ratio is indicative of some of the turnover struggles he endured in 2018. As such, the first step forward for Darnold would be to improve this number to somewhere at least in the 2:1 range. A 24 to 12 split would be the type of growth fans should be excited to see. His yardage output in 2018 was solid for a player who missed four games, but there is room for improvement. Darnold should be aiming for the 3500-4000 yard range in order to demonstrate true improvement in this area.
Despite these numbers, what Darnold will ultimately be judged on is the team’s win-loss record. Fair or not, this is the reality of the situation. First-year head coach Adam Gase has a tall task ahead of him, as the past three first-year head coaches the team has hired have all reached at least nine wins in year one. As such, this should be the target for Gase, Darnold, and gang green in general.
Running Back, Le’Veon Bell
Undoubtedly the most exciting new face in New York is former Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell. The big-ticket free agent enters the 2019 season with the hopes of being the deciding factor in getting this team over the hump. But, after sitting out the entire 2018 NFL season, exactly what type of production should fans be expecting in 2019?
Frankly, fans should expect a lot. This speaks volumes about just how great Bell has been thus far in his career. An impressive 4.3 career yards-per-carry average should be the bar for Bell in 2019. In seasons where Bell has actually played the majority of games, his lowest ground yardage output was 1,268. A truly impressive feat, Bell should be aiming for a minimum of 1,250 ground yards in 2019.
What Bell adds to an offense doesn’t stop at his ground game; his contributions in the passing game are just as valuable as his skills on the ground. Bell’s 312 career receptions are immensely impressive as is, and even more impressive when you consider the 18 games he has missed in his five-year career. As such, it is absolutely not unreasonable for fans to expect an 80+ catch season from the versatile back. Couple that number with a 650 receiving yard expectation, given his 8.5 yards per catch career average, and the picture of a successful Le’Veon Bell season begins to emerge.
Safety, Jamal Adams
There are no players who carry the same sentimental weight as third-year safety Jamal Adams. The President, as he is known by the Jets fanbase, has been steadily improving for the Jets, culminating in his first pro bowl appearance this past season. The clear vocal leader on the defense, what should Adams be looking for in order to consider 2019 a success?
Simply put, Adams’ status as an underrated player by most fans is due to his lack of interceptions. Adams has only recorded one in his brief career. While this is not too much of a concern for those familiar with Adams’ game, more picks would certainly benefit Adams in the eyes of the broader NFL fan spectrum. Three interceptions is a reasonable expectation for Adams’s 2019 season.
Other than boosting his interception numbers, Adams has very few statistical categories to improve upon in order to have a successful season. Tackles, sacks, quarterback hits, and forced fumbles have all been respectably represented by the LSU product. As such, Adams simply needs to continue playing as he is, increase his interception number, and most importantly, ensure he is on the field for all 16 games in order for 2019 to be his best season yet.
The Last Word
The 2019 New York Jets are the most exciting iteration of the team in recent memory. High expectations are the norm for many of the players on the current roster. If the three star New York Jets players listed above meet the thresholds laid out for them here, the team should see immense success this upcoming season.