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NY Jets: 3 X-factors for the team on offense in 2020

NY Jets (Photo by Al Pereira/Getty Images).
NY Jets (Photo by Al Pereira/Getty Images).
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NY Jets (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images)
NY Jets (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images)

The success of the NY Jets’ offense in 2020 will rely on how these three players perform.

The offense was a wasteland for the NY Jets for the majority of the last decade. Other than a good 2010 and 2015, it’s been an eyesore to watch the Jets on the offensive side of the ball.

Obviously, these things can always change. Personnel changes are made, new players are brought in, and offenses begin to flourish.

Funny though, the Jets have undergone two full staff changes in the last 10 years, with countless new players brought in on offense. The one constant is the team’s continuous struggle to put together a good season.

They’ve had good defenses, no doubt. The 2019 Jets finished with a top-10 defense in football, and have had plenty of other good seasons on the defensive side of the ball. It isn’t enough though.

How many times over the last few years have you seen the team start with horrendous field position just to punt right from where they started? Thus pressuring the defense to make a stop and ultimately try holding the opposition to a field goal.

Good teams have great attacks on both sides of the ball, and the Jets desperately need to find themselves on the offensive side of the game.

There are several new faces on the Jets offense this season, and plenty of returning guys that are surely itching to find an identity.

Every team has an X-factor on each side of the ball. A player that the team needs to perform at a high level for the whole team to succeed. This is even more important with a team like the Jets, who really don’t have a huge playmaker on offense.

So who would the Jets X-factors be? To me, it’s going to be guys that can excel the offense on their own, and help Sam Darnold succeed and progress to the next level.

I guess I’m looking at X-factors on the team as guys who make Darnold’s job easier.

Next: 1. Breshad Perriman

NY Jets (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
NY Jets (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

1. Breshad Perriman, WR, NY Jets

Earlier in the offseason, following the loss of Robby Anderson to the Carolina Panthers, the team inked former Tampa Bay Buccaneers receiver Breshad Perriman to a one-year deal.

Perriman will most likely become the top wideout on the Jets depth chart, making him an extremely important piece on offense.

Sam Darnold needs a true number one wide receiver, and although I don’t think Perriman is quite that, he’s certainly someone that needs to produce for the entire offense to succeed.

The Jets have lacked a true number one wide receiver since 2015, when Brandon Marshall burst on to the scene and shocked many people.

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Whether Perriman produces enough to be considered a number one wideout is a huge question mark, and support from Denzel Mims and Jamison Crowder will certainly help, but the team really needs him to put up good numbers this season.

The fourth-year receiver put up incredibly outlandish numbers in the final quarter of last season, and it’s still a question mark whether or not he can replicate something similar to those four games. If he can, the Jets would be thrilled.

Perriman is known for his speed and route-running ability, which should help Darnold greatly. Outside of Anderson, he hasn’t had many serviceable receivers to throw to. Perriman being an above-average pass catcher would be huge for Darnold in 2020.

A good season from Breshad Perriman can go a long way for the Jets offense in 2020. If he crumbles, it may be over and out for a team that can’t afford to struggle on offense again.

Next: 2. Mekhi Becton

NY Jets (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
NY Jets (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)

2. Mekhi Becton, OT, NY Jets

The Jets used their first-round pick this year on Louisville left-tackle Mekhi Becton. In reality, the entire offensive line will be an X-factor, but if one stands out, it’s certainly Becton.

Becton is used to standing out, however, not just because of his talent on the line, but being 6-foot-7 364 pounds as well. Becton is huge, and a monster on the football field. Him having a good season will be paramount to whether the Jets have a successful offensive season.

As I said, the entirety of the Jets line will have to succeed for the offense to have any real shot. If you give Sam Darnold time, he has shown he can succeed. That’s a huge “if” however.

Anytime you spend a first-round pick on a player, you expect him to succeed fairly quickly. I have no doubt that’s the Jets expectation for Becton.

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Becton can learn from the other veterans on the Jets line, and if he can prove he’s a solid blocker in both the passing game and running game, it would be a huge help for the Sam Darnold, Adam Gase, and the entirety of the Jets offense.

I mentioned other vets on the Jets line, such as recently signed center Connor McGovern. He should be a big help to Mekhi Becton in learning how to read defenses and just become a good all-around blocker.

One of the most important things for an offensive line is gelling and building chemistry. If the entire line isn’t on the same page, defenders will take advantage. Becton is young and will learn a lot in his rookie year and beyond.

I don’t expect him to be an All-Pro out of the gate, but if he can be a successful blocker for Darnold and Le’Veon Bell, the team should see success.

Next: 3. Chris Herndon

NY Jets (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
NY Jets (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)

3. Chris Herndon, TE, NY Jets

Third-year tight end Chris Herndon may be one of the most important pieces on the Jets offense in 2020. Herndon was drafted by the team in 2018, and quickly became a favorite target of Sam Darnold.

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In 16 games in 2018, Herndon caught 39 passes for 502 yards and four touchdowns. Those numbers aren’t incredible, but all throughout the year, you could see how much he and Darnold connected.

An injury-riddled 2019 held Herndon to just one reception. Darnold and the Jets offense certainly missed him.

The team has lacked a solid tight end prescience since the departure of Dustin Keller almost a decade ago. Herndon showed flashes of someone that may be able to call himself a top tight end in the league. The Jets would love for him to return to his 2018 form and produce at a high level.

Some would argue that tight end isn’t that important of a position for an offense, but when your quarterback gels so nicely with one, he becomes more important.

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Herndon has the chance to be a huge factor for the team in 2020. If he’s healthy, Darnold has another big target to throw to look for whenever he pleases.

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