In January, the New York Jets announced the hiring of Adam Gase as Head Coach. Previously, Gase had served as the coach of the Miami Dolphins. Under Gase, the Dolphins had a record of 23-25 in 3 seasons and made the playoffs after the 2016 season. Before Miami, Gase was the offensive coordinator for the Denver Broncos and Chicago Bears. Gase is inheriting a Jets team that has finished last in the AFC East each of the past 3 seasons. The Jets have also landed the 3rd overall pick in the last two drafts. Additionally, the Jets have not made the playoffs since the 2010 season. However, coming into the 2019 season, the Jets and their fans are not very optimistic. There is still a lot of uncertainty around what Adam Gase brings to the New York Jets.
Adam Gase’s tenure in Denver as offensive coordinator was effective, exciting and record-breaking. No, seriously. In 2013, the Bronco’s offense finished 1st in the NFL in points scored, yards gained, first downs, passing yards, passing touchdowns, and net yards per pass attempt. But, it definitely helped having Peyton Manning as a quarterback, calling audibles at the line. Gase did not find the same success in his lone season with the Bears. In 2015 under Gase, Chicago finished 23rd in the league in points scored and 21st in yards gained. Most recently in 2018, Gase’s Miami Dolphins finished 31st in yards gained and 30th in passing yards. Unfortunately, Ryan Tannehill only started 11 games due to injury with a record of 5-6. Brock Osweiler started the other five games for Miami, going 2-3. Nonetheless, the Jets and their fans are expecting much better results.
Room for Improvement
The Jets are hoping that Sam Darnold will take a step forward in 2019. As a rookie, Darnold had a passer rating of 77.8 with 17 touchdowns and 15 interceptions in 13 games. Comparably, Tannehill posted a passer rating of 92.2, 17 touchdowns and 9 interceptions in 11 games with Gase. The addition of Le’veon Bell, provides pro bowl talent to the Jets’ backfield. Last season, Gase’s Dolphins targeted Kenyan Drake 75 times, second-most on the team. This bodes well for Bell, who had 85 receptions in 2017, and has a career catch rate of 78%. Danny Amendola, led the 2018 Dolphins with 79 targets and 59 receptions but only gained 575 yards. Jets number 1 receiver Robby Anderson, gained 752 receiving yards despite starting only 9 games. Darnold, Bell and Anderson are more than talented enough weapons for Gase to dial up the offensive production.
The problem is, almost any production is an improvement for the New York Jets. The Dolphins ranked near the bottom in most offensive categories under Gase in 2018. Sadly, the Jets ranked lower in many of those same areas. Miami averaged 25.7 yards per drive which was 29th in the NFL, two spots better than the Jets. The Dolphins went 3-and-out on 26.7% of their drives, also 29th best in the league. The Jets, however, were the worst in the NFL going 3-and-out on 30.2% of their drives. One bright spot for the 2018 Jets, is that in his rookie season, Darnold actually performed better than Tannehill in several advanced metrics.
More of the Same
In 2019, Adam Gase has to develop Sam Darnold. Recently, Gase stated he believes Darnold can be the next Peyton Manning. In order to accomplish this, Gase has to trust Darnold to throw the ball downfield. Last season, Gase’s offensive play call with Miami, looked very similar to the play call for the New York Jets. Both offenses ended up around the bottom of the NFL. This is especially on third-down situations, where short passes have failed for the Jets. If Gase continues to keep the offense to small-gain plays, the Jets will be drafting in the top 10 come 2020. However, if he lets Darnold use Anderson and Bell as explosive weapons, the Jets might be playing in January.
For more follow us on our sports forums! Also follow me on twitter @TheEricMintzer.