With a record of 4-12, the New York Jets will head into the offseason with a lot of wounds to lick and decisions to be made. It's not the kind of season the Jets fan base expected, but it happened and it's time to start looking towards the future with the future being the 2019 season.
The first shot has already been fired with the termination of Head Coach Todd Bowles. After three straight seasons with at least 11 losses, someone had to take the bullet for the team's consistently poor performances. By the end of the season, it would have been impossible to convince a novice sports bettor armed with a free promo from Unibet to wager on the Jets.
Rumors have been circulating that management might be interested in bringing Jim Harbaugh back to the NFL for another head coaching stint. However, Harbaugh has his own wounds to lick after his #7 Michigan Wolverines took a savage beating at the hands of the Florida Gators in the Peach Bowl. With that said, the search is on for a new head coach.
As for what's good heading into next season, rookie QB Sam Darnold made great progress in his first season as a starter. In week 16 against the Green Bay Packers, Darnell became the youngest QB in NFL history to pass for 300+ yards and 3 touchdowns in a game. Over the last four games, the talented rookie QB completed 63% of his passes for 931 yards and 6 TDs with only a single interception. The progression he made during the season was solid, offering great hopes for the future.
Regardless of who gets hired to lead the team in 2019, there are obviously holes that need to be filled. Injuries in the backfield made it difficult to get a good picture of the talent level that exists in the backfield. After five seasons, it doesn't look like Isaiah Crowell has the prowess to help keep pressure off Darnold. His value comes as a pass catching 3rd down back, but he just doesn’t have the explosiveness needed to threaten defenses. A solid running back should be high on the Jets shopping list.
At wide receiver, Robby Anderson has shown some promise as a primary target. The often injured Quincy Enunwa, who recently signed a 4-year contract worth $36M, has to stay healthy. Jets management needs to provide Darnold with the tools he needs to be successful, making a quality wide receiver a must.
Finally, a little more depth on the offensive line to protect the QB and open holes for a quality running back should be in the plans. If the Jets can focus on offense this year, the defense might be able to hold up a little better by not having to spend so much time on the field. In 2020, a couple of pieces on defense might be enough to put the Jets back into position to make the playoffs.