Remember when we thought Sam Darnold might be the Jets’ savior? Then there was that time we swore the addition of star running back Le’Veon Bell would make this offense complete. Well, it didn’t quite work out that way for the Jets this season, but their victory over the Washington Redskins this weekend is something, right? After two straight wins (their first back-to-back W’s in 13 months to be exact), the Jets still have a measly record of 3-7, but hey, at least they’re not dead last in the AFC East. And we’re seeing some drastic improvement from their young QB and the entire defense. So, is there hope that the Jets’ ship will be righted this season? Let’s discuss. Either way, it’s a great time to buy Jets tickets and go see a game!
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What’s Working for the Jets
Safety Jamal Adams has come through in a big way to lead a dominant defense as of late. The Pro Bowler has had six sacks in just three games, more than he’s had in his first two seasons. The whole Jets defense – and Adams’s three sacks in this game alone – really set the stage for the Jets’ 34-17 win over the Redskins. Washington didn’t even reach the end zone until the fourth quarter.
Meanwhile, on offense, Sam Darnold managed a career-high four touchdown passes. The Jets were able to get out ahead of the competition 13-0 in the first half alone, and they kept their foot on the gas for the rest of the game. This is their first win by double digits since 2018 and a welcome relief to Jets fans after a dreadful 1-7 start to the season. This victory also solidified head coach Adam Gase’s job for 2020 according to the team’s CEO (a position that was on shaky ground before Sunday). That means confidence in this team must be building…
After a tough October, Sam Darnold is clearly improving and feeling more confident as well. He missed three games due to mono this season (yeah, the virus), which hasn’t been easy on his team. On Sunday, however, Darnold completed 19 of 30 passes for 293 yards with just one interception. The young quarterback connected with five different players to score – Le’Veon Bell, Robby Anderson, Jamison Crowder, Ryan Griffin, and Daniel Brown. The entire offense followed suit, racking up 400 yards for the first game all season. And Griffin had his first 100-yard game ever. Over the past two games, the Jets have scored eight touchdowns, the same number of TDs they had in their first eight games combined. Needless to say, things seem to be looking up!
Going forward, the Jets have an easy couple of games left in their schedule, so they really need to take advantage. After facing the 6-4 Oakland Raiders, they’ll need to capitalize on the terrible Cincinnati Bengals and the bottom-of-the-division Dolphins. Miami has already beaten this Jets team once this season, so Darnold and company should be looking for some revenge there.
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What About Le’Veon Bell?
One of the most talked-about NFL players of the past two years and one of the most dynamic running backs of his time, Bell kind of disappeared off the radar after winding up on the Jets roster and signing a contract for $52.5 million. Before Sunday, he was averaging just 49.9 yards per game compared to his usual 81.5 yards. In seasons past, Bell has had 16 games with 100+ yards. The most he’s had in any game this season with the Jets is 70.
Bell hasn’t had room to run, but he hasn’t complained about his frustrations – surprising considering how publicly vocal he’s been in the past – and his teammates have noticed. Center Jonotthan Harrison said, “His positive attitude and willingness to keep swinging with us shows a lot about his character.’’
So when can we expect to see the star RB back to his old ways? According to the rather optimistic Bell, “I feel like it’s going to come. And when it comes, I’ll be ready.’’
For the Jets’ sake, let’s hope it comes soon. They take on the Raiders on Sunday, November 24th at home.