It’s the midway point of the NFL season and as most writers, bloggers, fans and pundits like to do, we’re going to take a look at the team’s results at with half the season in the books. But let’s be honest here folks, at 1-7, there will be a whole lot more bad and ugly than good. A whole lot more.
DT Folorunso Fatukasi: That literally might be the best thing about this miserable season. The second-year defensive tackle who was taken in the sixth round of last year’s draft has been a force when called upon. During his rookie training camp we mentioned many times over that Fatukasi was showing excellent strength at the point of attack and that has now translated to game day. If the best thing you’ve got going for you is the play of a young defensive tackle, you might be 1-7. And yes, you are 1-7, Jets.
OLB Jordan Jenkins: Okay, there might be slightly more to offer than Fatukasi in the “good” category, but not much more. Injuries have limited Jenkins to just five full games and he has still managed three sacks and several QB hits. It’s gone largely unnoticed because the team is terrible, but kudos to Jenkins for continuing to show improvement off the edge.
DT Steve McLendon: Same thing every year for McLendon. Plays damn good football, keeps his mouth shut and goes unnoticed by the casual fan. Should be a coach one day.
DL Kyle Phillips: A pleasant surprise as an undrafted rookie free agent out of Tennessee, Phillips has shown he can play at the pro level and is frequently seen roaming the opponent’s backfield.
CB Brian Poole: Poole has been consistently solid as a slot corner, but of course he’s only here on a one-year deal. Of course.
RB Le’Veon Bell: Under offensive genius Adam Gase, you may be surprised from time to time when you’re reminded that Bell is on the roster. Gase has managed to make Bell disappear in his first season with the Jets, but when he does get involved, Bell is getting every single inch the offensive line is allowing him (sometimes that’s all they’re allowing) and more. Bell has also proven himself to be a far better leader than advertised when he came over from Pittsburgh.
Notice a trend? The Jets imported Gase to get the offense in to this century, and Gang Green’s top players have been largely on defense.
The Bad and the Ugly: There’s so much bad and ugly that we’ll limit this to the worst of the worst, but you could probably put 30 or so names on this list.
Offensive Line: That’s right. We’re not going to take the time to list every o-lineman on the roster. With the exception of Jonotthan Harrison, this entire group deserves to be ridiculed. The season is only 8 games old and they’ve already allowed as many sacks this season as they did all of last year (37). The line continually gets beaten on blitzes and stunts and at some point it’s likely to cut Sam Darnold’s season short. Jets fans had better just hope that when Darnold does get blasted by opposing defenses that it doesn’t cause any lingering issues. The worst of the bunch have been $8.4 million center Ryan Kalil and rookie Chuma Edoga.
CB Trumaine Johnson: Any hopes of a Johnson revival under Gregg Williams were dashed early on when Johnson looked like the same slow overmatched corner who didn’t belong on the field last year. He’s now on IR with a severely bruised ego and will be dumped this off season, leading to a cap hit of over $10 million.
CB Darryl Roberts: Roberts played well enough at cornerback last season to earn himself a shot at the number two spot this season. He’s been down more than he’s been up and recently made waves for ripping Jets fans who had the nerve to be upset at the team’s play.
S Jamal Adams: The bad on Adams is more related to him exposing himself as a player who sees himself as being bigger than the team despite his reputation as a leader. Mired in a miserable season that’s screaming for leadership, Adams pouted for days and publicly ripped his front office for doing their jobs. This isn’t a trait that anyone looks for in a leader, and despite claiming GM Joe Douglas apologized to him for answering his telephone, don’t be surprised if Adams is sent packing this offseason. On the field, Adams has played at a high level more often than not, but not as consistently as he did last season.
QB Sam Darnold: This disastrous offense is far from Darnold’s fault, but we’re gonna’ tell it like it is. Too often we’re seeing Darnold make sloppy throws to beat pressure that isn’t there. He’s been hit and hurried far more than we’d like, but even when given time to throw he’s been off the mark. All Jets fans can do at this point is sit back and hope Gase hasn’t broken Darnold for good.
Head Coach Adam Gase: Gase has been an unmitigated disaster. Say what you want about the personnel problems, but this roster added Le’Veon Bell and Jamison Crowder, yet somehow got significantly worse on offense with the aforementioned O-line regression. The Jets currently rank last in the NFL in points per game, passing yards per game and total yards per game. The only category that they don’t find themselves last in is rushing, where they’re ranked 30th. No matter who you have on your roster, this is not the work of an offensive genius.
Jets end the season.