It appears the more things change, the more they stay the same. Halfway through the 2019 NFL season, and the Jets are 1-7 and in last place in the AFC East. If the season ended today, the Jets would have the 3rd overall pick in the draft for the third consecutive year.
Everything seems to be going wrong for the Jets, starting with Sam Darnold missing time due to an enlarged spleen caused by mononucleosis. Upon his return, Darnold infamously said he was “seeing ghosts” against divisional rival New England. Finally, Jacksonville defeating then mocking Darnold.
On top of everything that took place with Darnold, we have Pro-Bowl Safety Jamal Adams getting into a dispute with the front office. Most recently, the Jets lost to the previously winless Miami Dolphins. This team is going in the wrong direction. It is time the Jets fire Adam Gase to save Sam Darnold.
Offensively Bad Offense
The Jets brought Gase in as an offensive guru. The plan was to have Darnold take the next step and develop into a star. In 2019, the Jets offense, specifically Darnold, has regressed. In the past three weeks, with Darnold back, the Jets only average 229.3 yards per game, which ranks 31st in the NFL. Last season, the Jets as a whole were near the bottom in many offensive categories. In 2018, the Jets offense ranked 31st in yards per drive (23.99), 31st in points per drive (1.55), and 31st in Drive Success Rate (.613) Amazingly, under Gase, the Jets have moved into last in the NFL, in each of these categories.
In 2019, the Jets are averaging 18.54 yards per drive, 0.77 points per drive, and have a Drive Success Rate of .559. Even where the Jets were last in the league in 2018, they have managed to be worse in 2019. For example: in 2018, the Jets led the NFL by going 3-and-out 30.2% of the time. In 2019, under Gase, the Jets are going 3-and-out on 33% of their possessions. Last season, the Jets’ offense was one of the worst in the NFL. This season, the Jets offense is on pace to be one of the worst in NFL history.
The Regression of Sam Darnold
The Jets’ struggle this year has come with and without Sam Darnold under center. They lost to the Bills via a missed extra point to open the season, then went on to lose three in a row with Luke Falk at quarterback. However, since Darnold’s return, the team has gone 1-3. Darnold has seen a decline in his game from his 2018 rookie season. This season, Darnold has seen a decrease in touchdown percentage, 4.1 in 2018 to 3.4. His interception rate has gone from 3.6 in 2018 to 5.2 in 2019. While this shows a sophomore slump on the part of Darnold, Total Quarterback Rating (QBR), shows how much of an impact Adam Gase has had on the Jets’ young passer.
As a rookie in 2018, Darnold held a QBR rating of 48.4. With Gase as his coach in 2019, Darnold has seen his QBR fall all the way to 35.6. For perspective, last season Gase’s quarterback in Miami, Ryan Tannehill, had a QBR of 35.0. Now with the Titans, and without Gase, Tannehill has a QBR of 49.4. The common dominator here is that both quarterbacks have played better when coached by someone other than Adam Gase. When the Jets finally fire Gase, Sam Darnold can develop into a star quarterback.