Five Reasons Why the Jets Will Make the Playoffs

  • New York Jets
  • playoffs
  • Sam Darnold
By Tommy Griffenkranz August 26, 2020 0 Comment
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It’s been ten years since the Jets were in the postseason. Tom Brady is in Tampa and there’s an extra playoff spot. It’s time for New York to end this drought.

The New York Jets have not made the playoffs in a decade.  New York finished an injury-riddled 2019 by going 6-2 during the final eight games of the season.  2020 has been one of the weirdest years on record, so why not get even weirder and show you how the Jets can end their playoffs drought.

Improved offensive line play and depth

General manager Joe Douglas promised Sam Darnold‘s parents he would do everything in his power to protect their son.  To this end, Douglas added several starters on depth pieces to the offensive line. Last season the Jets averaged just 0.7 yards per rushing yards before contact per attempt, worst in the NFL, per Pro Football Focus (PFF).  Adding to that, Football Outsiders had the 2019 Jets as the 31st ranked unit in pass protection.

Adding center Connor McGovern to be the anchor of the newly built line should show immediate returns.  McGovern allowed just one sack and no penalties on 1,013 snaps last season.  New York has been unable to replace former center Nick Mangold since he retired, McGovern will solidify the position.

Douglas spent two draft picks on offensive linemen, starting with first-round pick tackle, Mekhi Becton.  In the fourth round, the Jets selected Cameron Clarke, a tackle from UNC Charlotte.  Clarke will move to guard and provide depth initially.

New York also added Greg Van Roten and George Fant to complete the line overhaul.  Adding all these new players certainly comes with risk, especially with no preseason games.   If the unit can provide Darold with even average protection, it would be a major step to allowing him to take a huge jump in 2020.

New offensive weapons and a major player returns

Continuing to fulfill his promised Douglas added two new receivers during the offseason.  After losing wide receiver Robby Anderson to the Carolina Panthers, the Jets added pass-catcher Breshad Perriman.  Perriman was a stud last year during the final five games, hauling in 25 catches for 506 yards.  If Perriman can build on this stretch in 2020, New York could have their number one wide receiver.

Denzel Mims was added to the wide receivers room after being selected in the second round of the NFL draft.  At 6’3/207 with 4.38 speed, Mims represents a major weapon Darnold.  Mims ranked second in the nation last year hauling in 20 contested catches, according to PFF.   While Mims has dealt with a nagging hamstring injury thus far in training camp, expect him to get back on the field soon and become a solid weapon for the Jets.

A healthy Chris Herndon returns as Darnold’s security blanket.  After showing such promise as a rookie in 2018, 2019 was a lost season for the tight end.  Herndon now fully healthy is turning heads in camp.  Herndon is an unrated player that will be a major factor in New York returning to the playoffs in 2020.

Improved depth in secondary

In week one last year Trumaine Johnson and Darryl Roberts were the starting cornerbacks.  Both were terrible and both will not return in 2020.  Addressing the secondary New York added three cornerbacks, Pierre Desir as a free agent, Quincy Wilson in a draft-day trade, and added potential sleeper Bryce Hall in the fifth round of the draft.

Late last season the Jets may have found a diamond in the rough in cornerback Blessuan Austin.  He was awesome in his first four starts in weeks 10-13.  He was coming off two ACL injuries and allowed just 77 yards and no touchdown in 141 snaps, before cooling off down the stretch.

Austin showed up to camp in tremendous shape and has been turning heads.  Cornerbacks coach  Dennard Wilson recently called Austin, “dialed in.”

Marcus Maye is ready to take his game to the next level

Marcus Maye is ready to emerge from Jamal Adams‘ shadow.  Maye has been a safety that has flown under the radar thus far in his career.  Last year the former Florida Gator allowed just four receptions in 455 coverage snaps.  Maye has emerged as a leader in training camp filling void left by Adams’ departure.  A free agent after the season, look for Maye to become a top 10 safety in 2020.

Not many elite quarterbacks on the schedule

The Jets had a very easy schedule in 2019.  This season has much more travel and some better teams on in but the list of opposing quarterback contains only two elite players.  Only Patrick Mahomes in week eight and Russell Wilson in week 14 would be considered elite.  Arizona Cardinals Quarterback Kyler Murray is an ascending player but is still just in his second season.  The X-factor in the schedule could be a healthy Cam Newton in New England.

Jets fans are starving for a winning team.  The Jets need to have a lot of things break right for them to make the playoffs in 2020.  Not having to play Brady twice a year and an extra playoff spot should let the door to the playoffs crack open just a bit.  It’s now time for Darnold and the Jets to push that door open.

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