Coming into the 2019 NFL season, it was known the New York Jets could very well be off to a rough start. Nobody could have foreseen exactly just how brutal the first month and a half would be. Numerous starters lost for the season. Their young star quarterback Sam Darnold missing multiple games due to mononucleosis. Not to mention the brutal offensive line play in front of former two-game fill-in starter Luke Falk. The Jets were playing football on the same level as the tanking Miami Dolphins.
That is no more.
The Jets are getting the gang back together. Sam Darnold led the team to an upset against the Dallas Cowboys last week at MetLife. The quarterback of the defense -linebacker CJ Mosley – is set to play for the first time since the third quarter of Week 1. Chances are that tight end Chris Herndon will make his season debut by the end of October.
So where does that leave Gang Green entering their Monday Night Football showdown against the New England Patriots?
The New York Jets Are Almost Healthy, Now What?
The Jets that fans witnessed this past Sunday are what they were waiting for. The team that gave them hope this off-season. Maybe they are right to have it.
Sam Darnold came back, not even 100%, and through over 300 yards and two touchdowns. Le’Veon Bell was effective out of the backfield in large part due to great blocking upfront. Above all, Adam Gase finally showed his offensive genius. Robby Anderson, Jamison Crowder and Demaryius Thomas pieced together the best receiving performance as a unit of the year.
Credit must be given to defensive coordinator Gregg Williams. With a struggling pass rush, lacking cornerback depth, and no CJ Mosley, the defense has remained solid. Linebacker Neville Hewitt, slot corner Brian Poole are amongst those who have stepped up.
Jets Opponents Week 8-14
The Jets have the Patriots coming to their house this Monday. The team is hungry to get on track and beat their arch rival. Specifically looking for revenge is the veteran receiver Thomas, as he stated on Thursday:
“It was insulting, for sure. Once I got cut, I could have just come here [New York] and not stayed and re-signed. When they re-signed me, I was thinking that I was good. Two weeks later, I was gone… Because at the end of the day, it was kind of a waste of time for me.”
The Jets are not going to go down with a fight, as this game could define where their season is heading now. It will be time to break out all the trick plays, and for Sam Darnold to work some MetLife magic as he debuts against the Patriots for the first time at home. After all, another upset or even tight loss against the Patriots might put them on track for a surprising playoff push. After New England, the Jets schedule is the following:
Jets Opponents Week 8-14
Week 8- @ Jacksonville Jaguars (2-4)
Week 9- @ Miami Dolphins (0-5)
Week 10- vs New York Giants (2-4)
Week 11- @ Washington Redskins (1-5)
Week 12- vs Oakland Raiders (3-2)
Week 13- @ Cincinnati Bengals (0-6)
Week 14- vs Miami Dolphins (0-5)
Between this seven-game stretch and the team regaining strength, there have been stranger things that have happened in the NFL before than a potential Jets playoff run. It won’t be easy, however. The Jaguars are no pushover. The Giants have proven they can have life on offense, and the Raiders are in the playoff picture. Even if the Jets lose to the Patriots, by winning at least five of these games, the Jets are hovering .500 and are back in the hunt.
Additionally, Gase’s team has a ways to go before proving to be any kind of contender. Darnold must continue what he did against Dallas. Bell must get in sync with the offensive line, and the offensive line must get in sync with each other. Herndon must come back and pick up where he left off and become the biggest threat of the Jets receivers. Gregg Williams needs Leonard Williams to show life as a pass rusher. Trumaine Johnson or Darryl Roberts must step up to be the ballhawk the Jets need.
In the end, this team has a lot to prove in order to be a legitimate playoff threat. Without a doubt, it all begins with upsetting the Patriots this Monday at MetLife Stadium.
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