Has Sam Darnold saved Adam Gase?

by Evan Mazza | Dec 3, 2019 | General | 0 comments

The New York Jets made a not so popular decision when they chose former Miami Dolphins head coach Adam Gase to be the new leader of Gang Green this offseason. The reason for caution was warranted. Gase finished his three-year tenure in Miami below .500 as a head coach, while only taking the Dolphins to the playoffs once in the 2016 season. While he is known as an offensive coach, his offenses in Miami were always among the worst in the league, with the unit being 31st in total offense in his final year in South Beach.
While a lot of the blame went to him, there were some that felt Gase was still a decent head coach in the league and felt he never found a franchise quarterback in Miami. Ryan Tannehill struggled with injuries, and Gase started the likes of Jay Cutler and Matt Moore in his place. So when Gase came to the Jets, it seemed he had finally found his guy in Sam Darnold. Unfortunately, Darnold would be lost for three games with mononucleosis, and when he returned, the team hit a three game skid that saw Darnold struggle mightily. Add up the fact the Jets had embarrassing losses to the Jacksonville Jaguars and a Dolphins team that had yet to get a win before defeating the Jets in Miami. Darnold had thrown eight interceptions during this stretch, the team was 1-7, and Gase was on the hot seat yet again and was looked at as a guy who was stalling Darnold’s progression. However, something has clicked as of late.
After the loss to the Jaguars, Darnold reportedly sat down with Gase and went over the offense. Over the last three games, Darnold and the offense have been one of the best in the NFL and the Jets signal-caller has thrown for 838 yards, scored nine total touchdowns and has compiled a 117.2 passer rating. All three games have resulted in Jets victories, with a big statement win this past Sunday against the AFC playoff-contending Oakland Raiders. Since the meeting with Darnold, Gase has given more control of the offense to New York’s franchise quarterback and the results have paid off immensely. So much so, that it might’ve saved Gase’s tenure with the Jets.
If Darnold didn’t sit down with his coach, a coach that he himself wanted, then the team might still be floundering, especially on the offensive side of the football. Questions about Gase would’ve continued at a rapid rate, along with if Darnold was indeed the answer at quarterback for the Jets. Gase was riding a short leash at 1-7, but now the team sits at 4-7 having won three in a row with a trip to Cincinnati to take on the Bengals, and a rematch with the Miami Dolphins at the Meadowlands coming up. As always with the Jets, caution is always the best way to look at things since this team has previously lost to Miami, and the Bengals are another team they will face that does not have a win as of now.
New York still has a lot of momentum right now, and it all goes back to a potential turning point when the second-year quarterback out of USC decided he had to talk to his coach about the direction of his unit. If the Jets finish the season strong, and go on to do bigger and better things in the coming years, that meeting will be looked at as the moment the Jets finally found their franchise quarterback, and the moment Gase became the right choice at head coach for the Jets.
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