There are a few obvious and not-so-obvious factors to consider when thinking about a possible 2020 New York Jets playoff berth.
The New York Jets final 2019 season tagline is read as “seven wins, nine losses.” If certain things broke in another direction, perhaps 10 wins could have headlined the season.
It just did not go down that way, and the pro football history book will reflect that sentiment.
Sam Darnold‘s mono, Adam Gase’s mysterious ways, the lack of a four-man conventional pass rush, and a horrid offensive line just could not allow this roster to get over the hump in 2019.
The question is, “Has Joe Douglas fixed the necessary issues to the point that a tournament appearance is possible in 2020?”
We break down the factors that would allow the Jets to think playoffs this coming season.
This past offseason featured an angle rarely experienced by the organization: gather as much depth as possible.
Douglas, the former offensive lineman, understands what it takes to increase player development ceilings. It begins up front and especially starts when the competition is raised to a serious level.
While many onlookers would argue the overall talent level of the roster, what cannot be disputed is the increase in depth at many spots. The offensive line is equipped with a possible 10 starters. Jonotthan Harrison, Brian Winters, Chuma Edoga, Josh Andrews, and rookie Cameron Clark are currently listed as the reserves along the offensive line. To think where this line was this time last year, how the O-line depth chart looks at the moment is a mini-miracle.
Injuries represented a huge factor a year ago. And hey, of course injuries are always a factor heading into any season; but that’s why depth is so critical. Ensuring the probability reserve players can come out of nowhere to shine when given the opportunity is essential for winning programs.
5. The edge presence
Another offseason brings another disappointment in the edge area. A year ago, it was Jachai Polite. This year, it’s Jabari Zuniga and Bryce Huff. The emergence of a single legit play-in-space edge man would allow Gregg Williams’ defense the chance to reach its full potential.
Blitzing defensive backs would no longer be required. Labeling that strategy as “optional” behind a conventional four-man pass rush that gets the job done on a consistent basis is a key factor for any potential playoff team.
4. Adam Gase’s leadership
I’m quite confident in Adam Gase’s offensive play-calling abilities. His concepts and schemes fit today’s landscape, and, yes, those ideas should work.
But is the man a head coach? Rarely has a fairer question been asked.
His three-year, one-playoff-appearance stint in Miami with the Dolphins coupled with his freshman season in New York leaves the jury firmly at the hotel thinking over the all-important question.
Communication, culture, trust—it’s still all up for grabs.