New York Jets: Bye week is coming at a perfect time for Gang Green
By Michael Henken
With the New York Jets off to an incredibly disappointing 0-3 start, the team’s bye week could not be coming at a better time.
Following another losing season in 2018, the New York Jets made many changes in the offseason in hopes of finally changing the culture of the team and finally putting together a better product on the field.
In terms of the team’s staff, new head coach Adam Gase was brought in to reinvigorate the team’s offense. Labeled as an “offensive guru”, Gase was the first offensive-minded head coach hired by the Jets in years and his creative play calling was expected to bring the team to new heights.
On the other side of the ball, Gregg Williams was hired to be the defensive coordinator and serve as a head coach of sorts for the defense. He was supposed to bring his attacking style of relentless physicality to a Jets defense that severely underperformed in 2018.
In addition to changes made to the staff, there were also many personnel changes made. The team inked deals with players like star running back Le’Veon Bell, slot receiver Jamison Crowder and highly touted linebacker C.J. Mosley. Alabama defensive lineman Quinnen Williams was also drafted with the No. 3 overall draft pick.
The additions of these players and coaches along with the presence of talented young players like second-year quarterback Sam Darnold, Pro Bowl safety Jamal Adams and second-year tight end Chris Herndon was supposed to put the Jets on the right track. Things were supposed to be different this year. For the first time in years, there seemed to be a glimmer of hope amongst Jets fans.
Through three weeks, however, the outlook of the Jets season has taken a drastic turn for the worst. Not only has the team gone 0-3, but the Jets just haven’t performed well at all.
To be blunt, the team has performed brutally in almost every aspect of the game.
Now, it’s important to note that injuries have badly plagued the Jets thus far this season. After Week 1, for example, it was announced that Darnold was suffering from mononucleosis and was out indefinitely. He’s missed the last two weeks and is just now beginning to do light cardio.
Aside from that, Darnold’s backup, Trevor Siemian, who started in Week 2 against the Cleveland Browns, went down with an ankle injury and is out for the season. Until Darnold returns, the Jets are forced to roll with third-string quarterback Luke Falk, who started his first NFL game just this past weekend.
In addition to the issues at quarterback, wide receiver Quincy Enunwa also suffered a season-ending neck injury. Herndon, meanwhile, has been sidelined due to a suspension.
To make matters worse, the Jets have been forced to deal with the injury bug on defense as well. Linebacker Avery Williamson suffered a torn ACL in the preseason and will miss the entirety of this year.
In the third quarter of the season opener, Mosley went down with a groin injury and has been out of action since. Without him on the field, the Jets defense is a completely different unit. Quinnen Williams has also been dealing with an ankle injury and hasn’t yet been able to make an impact.
Obviously, the Jets didn’t expect many of their key players to get hurt at the same time this early in the season. And of course, this isn’t an ideal situation for the Jets to succeed in, but there have also been factors that the team can control that have led to a lack of success.
Offensively, for example, the team has been downright terrible.
Yes, the lack of playmakers doesn’t make it easy, but Gase hasn’t exactly been the creative mind
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he was advertised to be. The Jets have scored just 11 offensive points through three games, unable to muster up any type of momentum and failing to take big shots and make things happen.
Bell has seemingly put his heart into the season thus far and he’s performed well, though he too has been hindered not only by the play calling and strategy but by the poor play of the offensive line, who has looked lost at times due to communication issues.
On the defensive side of the ball, the team has struggled as well. The secondary has repeatedly been burned. Defensive lineman Leonard Williams has been incredibly quiet. And overall, Gregg Williams’ patented pressure and attacks have been unsuccessful.
And while the Jets season has been covered in negativity thus far, there have been players performing well. As previously mentioned, Bell has done as much as he can given the circumstances. Adams continues to be a bright spot for the Jets to build around. Crowder has shown he can be a weapon. Without Mosley and Williamson, Neville Hewitt has impressed.
But, it hasn’t been enough. And because of that, the upcoming bye this week is coming at a perfect time for the Jets. The team needs to regroup both physically and mentally. Hopefully, those injured players will near closer to returning. Hopefully, Gase and Williams can regroup, re-strategize and come up with new ways to get the job done.
Following the loss to the New England Patriots this past weekend, Adams was asked if he was worried:
“We’re going to stick together,” he said via NewYorkJets.com. “Because I’m not [worried about it]. Because it’s going to be handled. I got it. We’ll be fine.”
Here’s to hoping that Adams can hold true on that promise and that this bye gives the Jets a chance to find a new light. If not, a long, long season may lie ahead.