Changes are coming for the New York Jets.
The team’s current five-game slide makes it clear that Gang Green is less than a merely mediocre team and belongs among the NFL bottom feeders. They are 3-8 entering Sunday afternoon’s visit to the Tennessee Titans (5-6), joining five other teams with either two or three wins in 2018.
While the Jets are locked into rookie Sam Darnold as their quarterback of the future, several positions could use a major upgrade after the season. Here’s a look at the three areas most in need of offseason attention.
The outside linebackers aren’t putting enough pressure on opposing quarterbacks, making the job of a solid secondary led by safety Jamal Adams more difficult than it should be.
The trio of Jordan Jenkins, Brandon Copeland and Frankie Luvu individually rate poorly on Pro Football Focus — none are among the top 60 qualifying edge rushers. They have a combined nine sacks in 11 games, with Jenkins accounting for five of them.
It was no secret entering the season that the Jets were lacking in this area, and the results since then confirm those fears.
The whole thing is devoid of any standout blockers, especially in pass protection. As long as that’s the case, Darnold and any other man the Jets put under center will continue to struggle.
Only guard Brian Winters and left tackle Kelvin Beachum have been serviceable this season, but neither has played well enough to be considered irreplaceable. While this draft class isn’t pegged to be deep at blind side protection, there are sure to be young linemen the Jets will look at during rounds 2 and 3 of April’s draft.
The current crop of wideouts is … fine. Just fine.
That’s not going to cut it. One of the best ways to help a young passer like Darnold build confidence is to give him a dynamic receiver he can trust. With apologies to Quincy Enunwa and Jermaine Kearse, they are better as complementary pieces than as the top target.
Only one Jets season in the last 11 produced a 1,000-yard wide receiver — Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker both pulled off the feat in 2015. That’s not a winning formula in the modern NFL, and it must be addressed either through free agency or the draft.
Titans 20, Jets 10