The New York Jets and New York Giants both made bold, but unpopular decisions when they hired Pat Shurmur and Adam Gase. The Jets and Giants were moving away from head coaches who had previously never done it before in Ben McAdoo and Todd Bowles, and replaced them with guys who had experience at the positions. Gase spent three years as the Miami Dolphins head coach, and Shurmur was the head coach of the Cleveland Browns from 2011-2012. Shurmur also finished the 2015 season as the interim Philadelphia Eagles head coach after the firing of Chip Kelly, as well as being the offensive coordinator during Case Keenum’s magical run in 2017. They were hired for their offensive minds, and were supposed to bring offensive football back to New York. Unfortunately, it just hasn’t worked out that way. It’s all just one simple problem; they don’t know how to win.
Shurmur and Gase are offensive coaches in an NFL filled with them and is a league that’s always looking for more. While Gase and Shurmur have done well as offensive coordinators, they’re head coaching resumes are not the best, far from it. After the Giants latest loss to the Green Bay Packers, Shurmur is now 17-44 as a head coach, and 7-22 as the head of Big Blue. Meanwhile, Gase is now in the middle of a disastrous season that just saw the Jets lose once again to a team without a win, falling to the Cincinnati Bengals 22-6 in Cincinnati, dropping the Jets to 4-8 on the year after winning three in a row. The loss puts Gase’s record to 27-33 in his career, and considering the expectations for the Jets this season, it is an absolute failure the team is where it’s at and has losses to Miami, Cincinnati, and the Jacksonville Jaguars to boot.
Both Shurmur and Gase are also at the helm of young franchise quarterbacks in Daniel Jones and Sam Darnold. Jones has shown flashes of brilliance, but is also miring with rookie mistakes and turnovers. Gase, granted, lost Darnold for three games due to mononucleosis. When Darnold returned, he went on a rough three game stretch that saw him throw eight interceptions, all resulting in Jets losses. Darnold proceeded to play extremely well the following three games by scoring nine total touchdowns as part of the three game winning streak. The streak ended in Cincinnati and Darnold ended up taking a beating thanks to the offensive lines worst game of the year, and he suffered a foot injury as a result. Gase’s play-calling and gameplan was also poor.
Their offenses rank at 25th (Giants) and 31st (Jets) in the NFL this season and for two offensive coaches, that isn’t acceptable. It’s true that both New York offenses need offensive line help desperately and need a number one wide receiver for Jones and Darnold, but the problems go far beyond the offense. Shurmur and Gase don’t bring a winning atmosphere and foundation to neither New York team. They have a history of struggles and it doesn’t give you any confidence they can turn around teams that are a mess.
The Giants won two Super Bowls under Tom Coughlin, and even made the playoffs in McAdoo’s first season in 2016, but ever since Super Bowl 46, the Giants have been a microcosm of failure aside from 2016. They’re 49-75 since defeating the New England Patriots for the second time in a Super Bowl, and are well on their way to having yet another top draft pick in 2020. The Jets haven’t made the playoffs since 2010, and they haven’t defeated the Patriots at Gillette Stadium since their big playoff upset of New England in the 2010 AFC Divisional Playoffs.
There needs to be a sense of direction for both teams, and neither of it looks like it will happen with Gase and Shurmur. Shurmur is on the hot seat now, and Gase’s seat figures to be hot again after the loss to the Bengals. If the Giants and Jets are both searching for head coaches again in 2020, even if it means switching coaches and offenses again for their young quarterbacks, they must find a coach who can create a winning atmosphere. Only then can they get the most out of their players, and especially Jones and Darnold if they are to succeed in the future.