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The NY Jets have disappointed this season and these three players are the primary culprits.
The NY Jets have had a disappointing season. There’s really no feasible argument that insists the contrary.
Despite overwhelmingly low expectations to begin the year, the Jets have managed to fall short regardless, as they often tend to do.
The team sits at a woeful 0-4 through the first four weeks of the season. But it isn’t just their overall record that’s been the issue — that only details a smart part of their issues. It’s how the Jets have played in those four losses.
The Jets really haven’t looked competitive this season. Sure they managed to hang with an 0-3 Denver Broncos team that was traveling across the country on a short week as well as starting their third-string quarterback.
But they still lost by nine points and scored just one offensive touchdown against an injury-riddled defense. The Jets have a real shot at going 0-16 this season and no matter how bad everyone expected them to be, few likely would have predicted that at the beginning of the year.
There’s plenty of blame to go around for the cause of this. An incompetent coaching staff has been paired with an awful roster to form the worst team in the NFL. But even players who the Jets had high hopes for have fallen short.
Which players have disappointed the most though? That’s exactly what we’re about to figure out.
Next: 3. Connor McGovern
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3. Connor McGovern, C, NY Jets
The Jets’ offensive line is improved from last season. That’s not exactly saying much considering just how abysmal it was in 2019, but it’s a start.
General manager Joe Douglas overhauled the unit in the offseason adding four new starters to pair with the incumbent Alex Lewis. But while additions such as Mekhi Becton and George Fant have exceeded expectations, the same cannot be said for center Connor McGovern.
In many ways, McGovern was the Jets’ most notable free-agent signing of the entire offseason. A rock-solid starter with the Broncos, the Jets gave McGovern a three-year, $27 million contract with the hope that he could carry over the success he had in Denver.
Through four games, however, that hasn’t been the case.
While it may not be visible to the average viewer, McGovern has been a trainwreck to this point receiving a horrendous 44.2 Pro Football Focus grade which ranks as the second-worst out of 35 qualified centers.
His 26.3 pass-blocking grade is one of the worst of any offensive lineman in the NFL and his 52.5 run-blocking grade, while passable, is still below-average. Simply put, he’s been bad.
Right guard Greg Van Roten hasn’t been much better and if not for McGovern’s sluggish start, he’d be considered for this spot too. But the Jets had higher expectations for McGovern and he hasn’t come close to meeting them.
On a surprisingly adequate offensive line, McGovern has been a massive disappointment.
Next: 2. Pierre Desir
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2. Pierre Desir, CB, NY Jets
Another Joe Douglas free-agent signing, cornerback Pierre Desir has been one of the defense’s biggest letdowns through the first quarter of the season.
The Jets opted to steer clear of many of the top cornerbacks in free agency this spring passing on the likes of Byron Jones and James Bradberry. Instead, they handed Desir a meager one-year, $3.75 million contract and asked him to be their No. 1 cornerback.
It was a plan that always seemed doomed to fail, but few would have expected this level of play from Desir. Through four games, the former Indianapolis Colts’ defensive back has received a 56.7 grade from PFF which ranks him as the 70th-best cornerback in the NFL.
And if not for a strong run-defense grade and a couple of right-place, right-time interceptions in Week 4, it would likely be even lower. In fact, Desir was tagged for allowing eight catches for 134 yards and two touchdowns in that same game.
The lowlight of his season came in Week 4 when he assisted rookie Jerry Jeudy in scoring his first career touchdown when a potential interception hit him square in the facemask and bounced into Jeudy’s hands.
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It’s just been that kind of season for Desir.
The Jets may have asked too much of Desir being their No. 1 cornerback, but they at least expected starting-caliber play.
Unfortunately, they haven’t even received that from him.
Next: 1. Chris Herndon
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1. Chris Herndon, TE, NY Jets
Both McGovern and Desir were free-agent signings who the Jets expected to make a significant impact in 2020. But Chris Herndon has been disappointing in a completely different way.
After missing essentially all of 2019 due to a suspension and various injuries, the Jets hoped that Herndon would pick up where he left off in his rookie season and continue his ascent as one of the best young tight ends in the NFL.
A stellar training camp only fueled the excitement that both the team and fans alike had for their returning tight end. But you’d be hard-pressed to find a player who’s been more overhyped this season than Herndon.
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For whatever reason, Herndon has looked completely lost through four games and he seems like a shell of his former self. Maybe his head’s not in it, but this isn’t the same player the Jets saw two years ago.
Herndon has just 11 catches for 74 yards with more than half of those catches coming in garbage time during Week 1. In Week 4, he recorded more drops than he did receptions.
His 53.2 Pro Football Focus grade speaks for itself as he’s currently ranked as one of the worst tight ends out of 64 qualifiers. His receiving grade is second-worst while his run-blocking grade, while better, doesn’t even rank in the top-40.
And it’s not as if the Jets aren’t drawing up plays for him either. Head coach Adam Gase has done many things wrong this season, but he’s tried to get Herndon involved.
It just hasn’t worked.
Herndon is in a serious funk right now and it’s unclear what’s causing it. Whatever it is, he needs to snap out of it before his stock completely tanks.
If not, Herndon might go from a possible future building block to a replaceable afterthought before long.