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New York Jets fans predict 2020 depth chart, win total, and more (Part 3)

Adam Gase
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What is the New York Jets fanbase’s approval rating for the job done by Adam Gase thus far? This and other hot-button questions answered by the fanbase.

Previous fan survey breakdowns:

Around 200 Jets fans submitted their opinions in my 50-plus question survey regarding the future of the team. After going through the first and second portions of the questionnaire, we move on to the third and final chunk.

Where will the pass defense rank? (efficiency-wise)

I asked fans to estimate where they see the pass defense ranking in terms of efficiency – meaning something like yards per play or DVOA rather than total passing yards (which is not a good indication of actual effectiveness).

New York Jets Fans

About half of the voters see the Jets ranking in the 11-to-16 range, or slightly above average. Another 12% envision a 6-to-10 finish, so that makes approximately 62% that expect the Jets to field a top-half pass defense.

The Jets ranked 18th in pass defense DVOA a year ago. They were able to reach a competent level in spite of key weaknesses thanks to the elite coverage production of Jamal Adams, Brian Poole, and Marcus Maye, in addition to the solid play of Arthur Maulet and Bless Austin from Weeks 10-17. What held the unit back from pushing into the top half was an abysmal pass-rush, poor coverage at linebacker, and terrible play from the outside cornerbacks over the first eight games.

To reach the top half in passing defense, the most important factors for the Jets will be:

  • Pass-rush progress from the interior DL
  • Maintaining the solid play at CB that the team enjoyed over its 6-2 finish
  • Adams, Maye, and Poole maintaining their excellent play in coverage
  • Improved coverage at LB with C.J. Mosley and Avery Williamson

Quinnen Williams and Nathan Shepherd hold the keys to their interior rush. The Jets need both players to extrapolate their hot pass-rush stretches to close 2019 (details on Williams’ progress and Shepherd’s progress) if the defensive line is to improve upon its No. 27 ranking in interior pressure rate (6.7%). Obviously, an improved edge rush would also make a huge impact, but it seems unlikely the unit’s production changes much given the lack of additions made there.

At cornerback, the Jets need Bless Austin to patch up some weaknesses for him to fulfill his potential and establish himself as a solid starter. It is equally important for Pierre Desir to give the Jets a respectable season of coverage that is devoid of back-breaking mistakes like the ones Trumaine Johnson, Darryl Roberts, and Nate Hairston made all too frequently.

Adams and Poole were arguably top-3 cover men at their respective positions in 2019, while Maye’s coverage impact was in the top 5-10 range among deep safeties. Without elite talent on the outside (EDGE or CB), it is essential for these three players to continue providing tremendous coverage if the Jets are to avoid an awful season of pass defense.

Having Mosley and Williamson back will provide a massive boon in coverage over the issues the Jets dealt with at linebacker in 2019. I found the Jets linebacker group to rank as the league’s fourth-worst in coverage.

Where will the run defense rank? (efficiency-wise)

New York Jets Fans

After watching the Jets rank second-best in both rush defense DVOA and yards per carry allowed (3.3), the voters expect nothing less in 2020. About 65% see another top-5 finish, while 93% envision a top-10 finish. Not a single voter expects the Jets defense to rank in the bottom half against the run.

The Jets did not lose a single solid run defender from a year ago and should be getting back two of the absolute best run-stopping linebackers in the game. This unit has limitless potential.

Where will the defense rank overall? (efficiency-wise)

New York Jets Fans

With the majority decisions being an 11-to-16 finish against the pass and a top-5 finish against the run, expectations are high for the defense overall. A whopping 98% of voters see the Jets defense landing in the top half, including a considerable 14% chunk that has its eyes on the top-5.

About 56% of fans see the defense ranking in the 6-10 range, which is where it fell in 2019, placing 10th in DVOA and seventh in EPA (estimated points added).

The Jets have strong trends going both for and against them here. Positively, they have the returns of Mosley and Williamson – major upgrades – in addition to potential upticks from the young trio of Austin, Shepherd, and Williams.

On the downside, the schedule is going to be much tougher than the cupcake slate the Jets beat up on from Weeks 10-17 of 2019. Over their hot stretch to close the year, the Jets faced six of the bottom-12 offenses in DVOA, including two rookie quarterbacks and a Bills team playing its backups.

Plus, Brian Poole, whose elite coverage was a major piece of the defense’s success, could be in for a steep regression considering how much of an outlier his 2019 season was compared to his first three seasons. This isn’t to say that a decline is guaranteed – Poole could very well have another excellent season and prove to be a perfect fit in New York under Gregg Williams – but the odds are strong he will take a step back to some degree.

At this moment in time, what is your approval rating of the job Adam Gase has done?

What do fans think of the job that Adam Gase has done up until the present moment? I asked voters to rate his performance on a scale of 0-to-10.

To be completely honest, these results were a bit shocking to me.

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