When Adam Gase worked behind the scenes to get then, New York Jets General Manager Mike Maccagnan fired during the offseason heading into the 2019 season, he might have finally altered a very dysfunctional system of drafting. A few weeks later, the Jets signed Joe Douglas to a six-year contract. Douglas finds himself with the colossal task of supplying the organization with players to fill the multiple holes on their roster.
Douglas brings an impressive resume of finding productive players wherever he was part of assisting in the draft. However, in the what have you done for me lately NFL, Jets fans will not be impressed unless he achieves similar success.
The Jets currently own four picks in the first three rounds of the 2020 NFL Draft. Regardless of the players available, the Jets have too many holes to be content with only four picks.
Every loss from over the final four weeks of the season secures the Jets additional leverage in building the best scenario for the franchise.
The higher up on the draft board the organization finishes, the higher return should Douglas should trade it, which he definitely should.
Since I am hiring myself as the Jets general manager for a day, I would set a goal to secure seven picks in the first three rounds.
HOW CAN THAT REALISTICALLY HAPPEN?
The first thing that I would be doing is shutting down key players that are my building blocks for the future. Both Sam Darnold and Jamal Adams should be placed on IR for the remainder of the regular season. The last thing the Jets can afford is a severe injury to either player. Adam’s injury against the Bengals should scare the Jets into what they would look like without his ability to blitz, cover receivers, and running backs, along with making tackles coming up the line of scrimmage.
Darnold is seemingly running for his life every week. God forbid Darnold hurts himself and risks his future being the franchise QB behind the worst offensive line in the NFL. Sam I am has shown enough during their three-game streak of 34 points to see what the Jets needed.
TEAMS WITH MULTIPLE PICKS IN FIRST THREE ROUNDS
First Round: Raiders (2), Jaguars (2), and Dolphins (3) all have multiple picks in the first round.
Second Round: Colts (2), Seahawks (2), Bears (2), Dolphins (2) and Falcons (2)
Third Round: Broncos (3), Raiders (3) and Jets (2)
If the Jets draft in the top three:
Trade first and the lower of their third-round picks to Dolphins for lowest two of their first-round picks and both second-round picks. That gives the Jets six picks in the top three rounds. In this scenario, I would exceed that original number of seven, by trading the higher of my two second-round picks to the Broncos for their two highest third-round picks.
Total picks in first three rounds: Eight
If the Jets draft Fourth or Fifth:
Trade first-round pick to the Raiders for both their first-round picks. Trade the lowest of the first-round picks obtained from Las Vegas to the Dolphins for both second-round picks and their lowest third-round pick.
Total picks in first three rounds: Seven
In Part II of my article on being Joe Douglas, I will discuss the draft picks that will make the Jets a playoff team in 2020.
As Week 13 turns to Week 14 in the NFL, here are some notes around the league.
The Ravens became the first team in NFL history to record at least 2,490 passing and rushing yards through 12 games. Their victory over the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, combined with the New England Patriots loss to the Houston Texans, pushes them to the top of the AFC.
The Ravens three-point win over the 49ers ended their streak of dominance over recent opponents. In their previous three games, the Ravens became the first team in NFL history to win three consecutive games by 34 or more points.
Lamar Jackson is on pace to throw for 3,400 yards. The last QB to win the NFL MVP Award to throw for under 3,500 yards was Steve McNair of the Tennessee Titans in 2003.
Since taking over for Marcus Mariota at QB, Ryan Tannehill has led the Titans to wins in five of six games. When Tannehill took over on October 20, the Titans ranked 19th in Red Zone TD Percentage (53.3). Over their last six games, Tennessee has scored TDs on just under 88 percent of their Red Zone visits to vault to first entering Week 14 (71.8).
Derrick Henry continues to show why he is one of the NFL’s most dominant running backs. Henry has averaged 165.0 rushing yards per game over his last three games.
New York Jets
Entering their game against 0-11 Cincinnati, the Jets had posted three consecutive games with 34 points (first time accomplishing that since 2008). However, San Darnold and company managed just six points in a 22-6 loss to the Bengals.
The Jets became the first team in NFL history to suffer losses against teams 0-7 and 0-11 in the same season. While that looks like a damning stat (and it is), since the NFL extended the season to 16 games in 1978, they were just the fourth team to play such teams.
Faced 0-7 & 0-11 Opponents, Same Season, Since 1978
New York Jets
Lost at 0-7 Dolphins
Lost at 0-11 Bengals
Won vs 0-7 Colts
Lost at 0-13 Colts
Tampa Bay Bucs
Won at 0-7 Lions
Won vs 0-11 Lions
Los Angeles Rams
Won vs 0-8 Saints
Won at 0-11 Saints
Los Angeles Chargers
This Sunday, the Chargers found another fascinating way to lose a close game. A pass interference call with three seconds remaining, allowed Denver to kick a game-winning 53-yard field goal.
Despite being four games under .500, the Chargers have a +3 point differential. The last team to finish as many as four-game under .500 with a positive point differential was the 2011 Miami Dolphins (6-10, +16).
If the Chargers continue on their trend, they might have a chance to equal their own record. Since 1978 the record for most games under .500 to finish with a positive point differential was the 2001 San Diego Chargers, who finished six games under (5-11, +11).
The Dallas Cowboys have lost six of their last nine games after starting the season 3-0 and lead the NFC East with a 6-6 record. The Eagles loss at Miami on Sunday dropped their record to 5-7.
In NFL history, only five teams have won their division with a record of .500 or worse.
NEW YORK, N.Y.- An all-too-familiar image flashed on the television Sunday afternoon as Jason Garrett was seen clapping his hands and shouting encouraging words towards his players coming off the field as yet another game slipped out of the grasp of the Dallas Cowboys. This image has become synonymous with the Cowboys, seeming almost as iconic as the star that brands their logo. The beleaguered head coach has earned a reputation of his teams underperforming on the big stage, and it’s time for the Cowboys to make a change if they are truly serious about finishing the season as the lone team standing.
“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” This is a powerful message from Albert Einstein that Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones needs to recognize, as he continues to expect championship results while employing the same head coach that has proven time and time again he is unequipped to tackle that task.
The NFL head coaching position is the most impactful of all four major sports. We’ve seen brilliant head coaches elevate bad teams and terrible head coach destroy great teams. The latter is what is happening to the Cowboys with Garrett at the helm. One of the best indicators of this is simply looking at the win-loss record coupled with the talent on the roster
The Cowboys have built one of the best rosters in football this season and have done so smartly, locking up young players on long-term deals earlier in their careers to save money in the future. Every position group is solid and Dallas is littered with top-five players at their respective position. Ezekiel Elliott. Leighton Vander Esch. Amari Cooper. Demarcus Lawrence. The list goes on and on. This roster is built for sustained success and on paper, should be one of the elite teams in the league.
The problem is “the clapper” hasn’t been able to take all of that skill and translate it to wins on the field. While the Cowboys are 6-5 and alone in first place in the NFC East, a large part of that “success” so far has been beating inferior teams coupled with the rest of the division struggling mightily. Their six wins have come against: Giants (twice), Redskins, Dolphins, Eagles and Lions. The combined record of those teams is 14-40-1. On the flip side, Dallas has yet to beat even an average team, losing to the Saints, Packers, Jets, Vikings and Patriots. With the talent in place to win these games against tougher opponents, the blame has to fall upon the coaching staff.
The good news if you are a Dallas fan is that it seems like the czar of the Cowboys is finally getting fed up with losing and coming after Garrett. After Sunday’s loss to the Patriots in which New England was severely outmanned yet still found a way to win, Jones called out the coaching staff, saying “I don’t think there’s a game where a coaching staff couldn’t do better.” Jones also went on to say he “shouldn’t be this frustrated” given the makeup of this roster, echoing the same sentiment that a majority of the fan base has been lamenting for years.
Hearing this first major criticism towards Garrett from Jerry should be an encouraging sign for fans because the Cowboys’ championship window is as wide open as it might ever be. With so many key pieces in place for the next few years, Dallas needs a head coach that can put them in positions to succeed and take this team to the next level. In the 10 years that the former Cowboy quarterback has been the head coach, has there ever been a game where Garrett was credited with outcoaching the opponent?
The best analogy to describe the 2019 Cowboys is to compare them to a sports car. Dallas has a souped-up engine in a great offensive line, powering the rest of the team to have success. Ezekiel Elliott is like the best set of tires, running steady to give the offense rhythm. Adding Amari Cooper to this offense is like taking the restrictor plate off the engine. And the defense is a reliable pair of brakes, providing a safety blanket. The only issue is the driver of this perfectly crafted vehicle is a man who’s unable to push this car to its potential.
Criticism of Jason Garrett’s conservative decision making isn’t new. Neither are the calls for him to be fired. But those calls do take on a different meaning with the way the team is currently constructed. Dallas has never been better equipped to win their first Super Bowl since 1996 than they are in the next two-to-three years. Jerry has to realize this and bring in a coach that can take this team to its peak, something Garrett has failed at for the past 10 years.
If Jerry truly wants to win another Lombardi Trophy, he needs to heed Einstein’s advice and try something new, or run the risk of falling into a never-ending cycle of insanity.
NEW YORK, N.Y.- Heraclitus,
a Greek philosopher, described the NFL best when he said, “Change is the only
constant in life.” Nothing speaks truer about the parity, turnover and landscape
of the NFL. Change is rampant, from players to coaches to philosophy.
Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay has been at the
center of the latest philosophical change in the NFL, engineering a pass-happy,
wide-open offensive system that took the league by storm and helped guide the
Rams to the Super Bowl in just his second season at the helm. At the time of
the hire, McVay was the youngest head coach in NFL history, which has since
changed the way executives look at head coaching candidates.
NFL offenses have changed dramatically, now geared towards establishing the pass, spreading defenses out with four and five wide receiver sets, and emphasizing speed. Enter the Baltimore Ravens, whose offensive game plans have been the latest change agent in the NFL, deviating from the throwing craze and instead opting for an old-school approach that has been unstoppable up to this point.
The Ravens, led by Lamar Jackson, have not only set the
league on fire with their dominant run style, they have changed the way the
quarterback position is defined. In an era that is predicated on and dominated
by throwing the ball, the quarterback position has become the most important in
all of sports. With that comes a certain pigeonholed set of standards that a
quarterback must check off in order to succeed in today’s NFL. This was
especially the case for the Louisville great during the draft process, as teams
continued to quibble over whether they could fit the square peg that was
Jackson’s skillset into the round hole of what NFL offenses should be.
What many of us failed to see coming was the latest change
in philosophy: the Ravens scrapped the idea of the traditional quarterback and
catered their entire offense to fit the style of their first round pick.
After the rookie had his ups and downs in an offense built for Joe Flacco, head coach John Harbaugh decided to go all-in on the style that helped guide Jackson to win the Heisman Trophy and promoted Greg Roman to offensive coordinator. This decision has helped to reinvigorate the Baltimore franchise and flip the narrative that more passing equals more winning.
This idea of the Ravens zigging when the rest of the league is zagging has paid immediate dividends. The Ravens are currently second in the NFL in total offense, averaging 428 yards per game, while leading the league in rushing yards per game with 203. What makes Baltimore so dynamic is that they aren’t just running the ball with their running backs; they are using Jackson at the point man for the entire operation. The second year starter is the leading rusher on his team and 10th in the entire league in rushing, amassing 781 yards.
With defenses focused on containing the pass game and
getting after the quarterback, the Ravens have feasted on a scheme that’s
extremely difficult to game plan for and defend on a weekly basis. They’ve swung
the pendulum so far in the other direction that while they are the only offense
averaging over 30 points per game, the Ravens have actually attempted to throw
the ball the least amount of any team in the NFL.
Baltimore has blended the perfect combination of smash mouth
football with current speed concepts that has resulted in highlight-worthy runs
and spin moves that leave defenders bewildered. While Jackson has been
extremely successful with his legs, the 22-year old has actually been more
dangerous with his arm.
Lamar is completing 66% of his passes, a percentage that is
higher than Chiefs superstar Patrick Mahomes. He’s thrown 19 touchdown passes, which
are more than Aaron Rodgers and Deshaun Watson while his five interceptions are
the same amount as Tom Brady. His quarterback rating is 106.3, which is good
enough for fourth in the NFL. So while the passing attempts may be limited,
Jackson is making the most of his opportunities and flat out torching defenses.
Baltimore isn’t just having success against bottom of the
barrel teams. Jackson and the Ravens already own wins over the Seahawks in
Seattle, the Patriots and most recently the Texans. The big question for the
rest of the league is how long will this last? The litmus test for this run
heavy, throwback system continues the next few weeks as the Ravens travel to face
the Rams, host the 49ers and visit the Bills in consecutive weeks.
There’s no doubt Lamar Jackson with this new offense have
changed the fortunes of the Ravens. Sitting in second place in the AFC winners
of six in a row, including handing the Patriots their lone defeat of the season,
has hopes bright in Baltimore. Not to mention the last pick in the first round
of the 2018 draft has catapulted all the way the MVP rankings, currently owning
the best odds to take home the award.
Louise Penny once said, “Life is change. If you aren’t
growing and evolving, you’re standing still, and the rest of the world is
surging ahead.” It’s safe to say the Ravens have changed, and right now, they
are surging ahead of everyone else in the NFL.
New York, N.Y.- The green and yellow faithful packed in to
watch another Packers game. Screams of “Go Pack Go” reverberated throughout the
stadium as Green Bay enjoyed a nice advantage given to them by their fans. The
only issue is this game wasn’t being played at Lambeau Field, it was 2,000
miles away in Los Angeles.
The NFL’s thinking that Los Angeles could support and welcome
two teams after not hosting any team for 21 years has backfired. The Rams have
benefitted from their history in the City of Angels as a large chunk of their
fans remained loyal when they returned home. The Chargers have been kicked to
the curb and left virtually irrelevant in the second biggest media market in
the United States.
This has turned the Chargers into a punch line, as no matter the opponent, the visiting fans take over and deck the stadium out in their colors. Even small market teams take over the Dignity Health Sports Park eight times a year.
A change has to be made because the NFL can’t be comfortable
knowing Los Angeles is apathetic to one of it’s franchises. A move has to be
made, but with San Diego all but out of the question, is there a place that can
allow the Chargers to flourish? An answer might come across the pond.
Athletic reported late Monday evening that while the Chargers still plan on
moving into their new home in Inglewood next season, they would listen to the
option of permanently playing in London. The report also went on to say that NFL
owners, who expressed concern over the viability of the Chargers in Los
Angeles, would support the move to London if pursued.
Bingo. This is it. This is the perfect situation for the
Chargers to take advantage of. For the record, I’ve never been a fan of the
London series and thought the idea of having a full-time team there was ludicrous.
But this situation with the Chargers is different. I’m all-in on the Chargers moving
to London, as this would provide a fresh start and more importantly, a fanbase
they can call their own.
If your argument against a move to London is that the NFL
should look at domestic options first, no U.S. market without an NFL team is as
expansive, lucrative and already set up to embrace a franchise better than the
London market. Moving the team to Oklahoma, Alabama, Mississippi or any other
state wouldn’t generate the revenue to make it a logical choice. Not to mention
with many of these states treating their college teams like professional teams,
the Chargers wouldn’t capture the market as easily as they would in London.
The NFL in London has grown exponentially since it was first
introduced 17 years ago. Of the last 28 games played in England, 25 have drawn
at least 83,000 fans. While many of the locals that attend these games don
jerseys of all 32 teams, having a team to call their own could draw them to
drop the one team they were rooting for and latch on with the home team. I’m
sure the Chargers would welcome this with open arms as they’ve never felt the
home town support since leaving San Diego three years ago.
The infrastructure needed to house a team is already set. The recently completed Tottenham Hotspur Stadium was built with the NFL in mind and half of the games played across the pond this season were played there, so it’s been tested and passed. Saving the cost of having to build a new stadium is an extraordinary advantage for London, as it was the lack of funding for a new stadium that forced the Chargers to leave San Diego in the first place.
The Athletic laid out the growing fanbase in the United
Kingdom, citing that there are five million NFL fans, with four million of them
being labeled as avid fans. Between streaming, social media engagement and an
increasing digital presence, all of the numbers are pointing up, a good sign
that the interest in the NFL is rampant in a soccer-crazed country.
This solution is without hurdles as travel, division layouts
and other issues will need to be ironed out before this can be a practical
solution. Would players be willing to play for a team in another country? The
obstacles can be tough, but the reward of tapping into an international market
full-time is something the NFL and the Chargers shouldn’t pass up.
Albert Einstein once described insanity as “doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.” Although the New York Jets franchise was not in existence when he uttered those words, I believe he was predicting the future of the team.
On Monday Night Football in front of a Prime Time audience, the Jets once again showed that they are not a real football team. This game was not the result of the Jets having an off game. This game was not the result of just poor execution by the home team. This game was not the result of the Patriots defense setting records for holding offenses through their first seven games. Those not familiar with the New York Jets franchise could believe those were crucial factors in the New England Patriots 33-0 victory. They were not.
The Johnson Brothers (Johnson & Johnson) purchased the team back in 2000 after longtime owner Leon Hess passed away in May of 1999. They Johnson Brothers deserve the vitriol of a fan base that is forced to hide in humiliation. Week after week, season after season, year after year, decade after decade, a quarter-century after quarter-century and a half-century after a half-century, Jets fans take verbal abuse.
The latest clown in the circus that is the New York Jets is Adam Gase. Just like his predecessors, Todd Bowles, Rex Ryan, Eric Mangini, and Herman Edwards, Gase cowers in fear of the mighty Patriots.
I don’t enjoy being vicious with my words of choice when describing a professional sports franchise. However, the Jets effort on Monday was not the effort of a real franchise. It was not the effort of a functioning organization. The Jets were an embarrassment and a black mark on the National Football League on Monday.
PATRIOTS CONTINUE TO OWN THE JETS
Monday Night’s 33-0 victory was the Patriots’ eighth straight victory over the hapless Jets, setting a franchise record for most consecutive wins against them. Since the Jets supposed landmark victory over New England in the 2010 AFC Divisional Round, the Patriots are winners of 16 of 18. In eight of those victories, Tom Brady and company scored 30 or most points. Six of those wins saw Foxboro’s heroes triumph by 20 or more points.
Jets vs Patriots
Last 8 Prime Time Games
Tom Brady TD-INT
Jets QB TD-INT
>>Patriots 32 Jets 14
More disturbing than those dominant figures are the consistent beatings Brady’s teammates have laid upon Gang Green in prime time.
The Patriots have won the last eight meetings against the Jets by an average of 18 PPG (32-14). Tom Brady’s passing numbers are almost perfect, throwing 19 TD to 1 INT.
On the flip side, the Jets quarterbacks suffered many nights as Darnold did on Monday. Darnold is the sixth different quarterback to start for the Jets during this stretch. All of the Jets quarterbacks combined to throw 5 TD to 19 INT.
In closing, I would like to make a simple request to the NFL. PLEASE do not schedule Jets-Patriots prime time games anymore. Airing such destructing programming could permanently scar young children.