The Jets officially pulled a Jets this season. After starting 0-13, the Jets have won their last two games. As a result, the Jets officially took themselves out of the Trevor Lawrence sweepstakes. In an unfortunate turn of events, Trevor Lawrence will not be donning the green and white next season. Thus, the Jets are going to have a lot of decision making come draft time as they decide which direction to go. Until then, the Jets have one last game to play.
Jets Head To New England For Final Game
The Jets head to New England for their final game of the season. They are coming off two wins in which they greatly beat the odds. Their last win was less shocking considering they played the beat-up Browns, but nonetheless prevailed. The team lost its first thirteen games of the year, setting them up perfectly for Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence. However, they shocked the world when they defeated the Rams, who were 9-4 at the time. The Rams were an incredible 17.5-point underdog, at home no less, and were still beaten by the winless Jets. It was the shock of the season by far and it may be looked at as a franchise-changing game for the Jets.
Most recently, the Jets are coming off another surprise victory against the Cleveland Browns. The Browns were 10-4 entering the matchup, needing just one win to clinch their first playoff appearance in 18 years. Unfortunately for Cleveland, COVID-19 hit the team at the most inopportune time causing them to lose all of their receiving core. While it was definitely a blow, the Browns are viewed more like a rushing team anyway, and they still had their top running backs. Alas, the Browns’ top two running backs combined for only 15 rushes and 39 yards for two touchdowns. For comparison, the Jets’ top rusher was ageless Frank Gore who had 14 rushes for 48 yards.
Sam Darnold Continues Strong Finish To Season
Sam Darnold had another strong game as well, at least compared to the rest of his season. He went 16 of 32 for 175 yards and had two passing touchdowns. He was also sacked two times, rushed seven times, and put up a quarterback rating of 87.4, which is down from the 99.8 he put up in his return home. Darnold has used these last couple of games to either show the Jets or the rest of the football world that he still has talent left in him when given the right pieces.
Thus, the Jets are going to have to decide whether to stick with Darnold while giving him a new staff and weapons, or moving on and trading him. Potential trade options include the Steelers, Vikings, Colts, and possibly his hometown Rams if they decide to move on from Jared Goff. Darnold will have one last hurrah in the Jets matchup with New England to show his worth.
The Patriots have been the Jets nemesis for years. Most of that was a result of the Tom Brady–Bill Belichick combo, which Brady is now not apart of. Instead, he has moved on to Tampa Bay, leading them to a 10-5 record with one left to play. The Patriots, on the other hand, have not responded well to the huge change at quarterback.
Crowder, Gore Lead The Way For The Jets
Cam Newton has been marginally better than Sam Darnold, who has a tough year himself. Newton has gone 221 for 338 for 2415 yards, five touchdowns, ten interceptions, and put up a QB rating of 78.9. Darnold has gone 194/330 for 1942 yards, eight touchdowns, nine interceptions, and a QB rating of 72.3.
The Jets’ top running back will be out due to injury as he finishes the season with 187 carries, 653 yards, two touchdowns, and one fumble. That of course is the ageless Frank Gore, who has been one of Gase’s favorite players this year as he’s opted to use Gore over younger options.
For the Patriots, it’s James White who has 35 carries for 121 yards and two touchdowns. On the receiving end, Jamison Crowder has 55 receptions on 85 targets for a total of 668 yards and six touchdowns. Crowder has been one of Darnold’s most popular targets, leading to the year he has put up. For the Patriots, Damiere Byrd has had 48 receptions on 74 targets for a total of 597 yards and just one touchdown.
2020, An Unprecedented Year For The Patriots
Overall, the 2020 year hasn’t been pretty to either the Patriots or the Jets. The Patriots are used to playing deep into January and early February as they contend for the Super Bowl year after year. For the first time in 20 years, the Patriots will finish under .500. It’s the first time since 2002 that they will not get at least ten wins. In the unprecedented year that is 2020, the Patriots performed well below what they’re used to. Cam Newton didn’t cut it at quarterback and they’re going to have the whole offseason to figure out how they’ll fix their club.
The Jets will be picking second overall and will have a slew of options. They can go for a quarterback such as Zach Wilson or Justin Fields. They can continue to strengthen their offensive line by picking Penei Sewell. Or they can also go after the top receiver of the class in Ja’Marr Chase. In Joe Douglas’ second offseason with the Jets, he will have many options in how he will be able to improve the team.
Jets vs Patriots Prediction
The Jets have lost nine consecutive games to the Patriots. However, these Patriots are much different from the Patriots’ of the past. The last win for Gang Green against the Patriots was in 2015. However, you’d have to go back to 2011 to find the last time the Jets defeated New England at their home turf. This was of course the 2010 AFC Divisional Playoff Game. The last time the Jets won a regular-season game in New England would be in 2008.
Evidently, the Jets have had an extremely tough time beating the Patriots, especially in Foxborough. However, this is as good as a chance as the Jets have ever had at winning in New England. Given how strong they’ve played the last two games, I see the Jets either winning or losing by a small margin. I’ll stick with the latter, however, taking into account how long it’s been for a Jets victory in Foxborough.