New York Jets: Three new Patriots to fear more than Cam Newton

Cam Newton certainly complicates matters for the New York Jets’ AFC East chances, but he’s far from their only new problem.

Cam Newton cast his shadow over the AFC East and announced six more years of New England Patriot dominance.

Fans of the New York Jets, Buffalo Bills, and Miami Dolphins sang of liberation after Tom Brady announced his departure from Foxboro for the warmer fields of Tampa Bay. After passing on a quarterback in the 2020 NFL Draft and signing only career journeyman Brian Hoyer on the throwers’ market, the assumed successor to the Brady throne was Jarrett Stidham, he of a 2019 fourth-round selection whose third NFL pass was taken back by Jamal Adams for.a touchdown. The arrival of Newton seemed to restore the Patriots to their former glory without even suffering a single instance of on-field regression.

But the fact remains…just because Brady left doesn’t mean the glory ever did.

It’d be foolhardy for even Brady’s biggest detractor to call him a bad quarterback, but there’s no denying that the six-time Super Bowl champion’s 2019 ledger wasn’t what football surveyors were accustomed to. Brady posted a passer rating under 90 in 10 games last season (in comparison, he had only 10 such games in 2017-18 combined), and the Patriots still managed to go 6-4 in such events. Even during New England’s most recent Super Bowl run, Brady had a combined 74.6 rating in the AFC Championship Game and Super Bowl LIII.

It’s undeniable that Newton does make the Patriots a better team. This is, after all, a dual-threat not far removed from a legendary MVP campaign. Time will tell if he can fully recover from injuries that limited him to two games last season, but if you have to replace arguably the greatest quarterback in football history, you can do far worse than Cam Newton.

But, as New England’s recent track record proves, success wasn’t determined by a single name. Whoever the new quarterback was, be it Newton, Stidham, or some third party, he was going to walk into a strong situation where he would work with veteran receivers (Julian Edelman, Mohamed Sanu, first-round project N’Keal Harry), a multi-faceted run game (James White, Sony Michel), and a strong, tenured defense and offensive line…and a Bill Belichick in a pear tree.

In fact, there are other New England newcomers that should warn the Jets and their East brethren that their Patriot problems were still active long before Newton’s arrival…

S/PR Kyle Dugger

The Patriots’ never-ending dynasty has been kept running by countless diamonds in the draft’s rough. No school is exempt from examination from Belichick’s relentless scouts, not even tiny Lenoir-Rhyne University football. The Division II program yielded New England’s first pick in Dugger (37th overall), who shot up the draft board after a strong showing at Senior Bowl week. New England was already relatively set in the secondary (Devin McCourty was re-signed) so the scariest part about Dugger is that he’s a potential force to be reckoned with down the road. Scouts have praised his size and speed, and he’ll have an elite group of mentors working with him (Stephon Gilmore, Patrick Chung, Devin and his brother Jason). More immediately, Dugger can make in the return game, serving as the primary punt man with the Bears.

S Adrian Phillips

Further depth was added in the form of Phillips, the ex-San Diego/Los Angeles Charger. A safety who has made a name for himself as a strong special teams defender, Phillips is coming off a lost 2019, limited to seven games after suffering a broken arm in Week 2. It overshadowed a breakthrough year in which he earned a career-best 94 tackles (an NFL-best 17 coming on special teams) and nine pass breakups. For his efforts, Phillips was named to his first All-Pro and Pro Bowl teams. Quarterbacks also posted a mere 44.8 passer rating when throwing into his area. Defensive upgrades seem redundant for the Patriots, but, Brady or no Brady, they seem to be operating on a time-honored axiom that should be obvious: can’t win if you can’t score.

LB Josh Uche

The Jets spent a good portion of the 2020 offseason upgrading their offensive line, which makes all too much sense when you look back on what Sam Darnold and Le’Veon Bell had to deal with last year. New England earned 6 of their 47 sacks (second-best in the AFC) in the pair of matchups against the Jets, and while Darnold was the victim of only one, as Luke Falk was the unfortunate soul who started the original game, the relentless pass rush had him infamously “seeing ghosts”. One could see the Patriots losing a defensive edge with their sack leaders Jamie Collins and Kyle Van Noy respectively leaving for Detroit and Miami, but the Patriots restocked by taking Uche out of Michigan. Reuniting him with fellow former Ann Arbor resident Chase Winovich, Uche can fill the roles the absconders left behind. His speed was particularly impressive, breaking into backfields for 14.5 sacks over the last two seasons. Uche’s arrival ensures that the numerous newcomers on the Jets’ frontline will still have a lot to deal with, as will the new mobile franchise quarterbacks in Buffalo (Josh Allen) and Miami (Tua Tagovailoa).

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags

Cam Newton and the Patriots: How it affects the New York Jets

Taking down the New England Patriots was always going to be a chore for the New York Jets. How does Cam Newton affect those plans?

For the New York Jets, the evil emitting from Foxboro never vanished…it simply evolved.

The autumn of Jarrett Stidham has instead given way to the summer of Cam Newton, as the eternal defending AFC East champion New England Patriots added the former NFL MVP to their roster on Sunday. Newton’s departure from Charlotte has now given rise to renewed hope for the Patriots, who are, of course, looking to replace the Tampa-bound Tom Brady. 

Of course, every New England matter, especially one this major in this period of transition, has ripple effects throughout the east coast, particularly in the New York area, where the Patriots’ green rivals reside. How does Newton’s northeast arrival affect the metropolitan area? ESM investigates…

An Elite Pass Rush Is More Important Than Ever

The halls of One Jets Drive and the Sunday parking lots of MetLife Stadium are graced with the likenesses of New York backfield invaders of yesteryear. Lately, however, the modern Jets haven’t been making Mark Gastineau, Shaun Ellis, John Abraham, Mo Lewis, and company proud with their sack exploits.

Since 2016, the Jets rank 29th in the NFL in sacks and have been haunted by rushing quarterbacks. In that span, only three Jets (Jordan Jenkins, Jamal Adams, Leonard Williams) have accumulated at least 10 quarterback takedowns. It has been enough of a challenge facing off against Josh Allen twice a year, for example, (the Buffalo Bills are 11-3 when Allen scores at least one rushing touchdown) and now they must deal with another multi-faceted threat in Newton, who brings a sense of mobility that Brady never had.

As has been the case with many running quarterbacks, Newton can be neutralized with a relentless rush. Carolina was 3-11 when Newton was sacked at least five times, which includes the merciless onslaught he saw from Von Miller and the Broncos in Super Bowl 50. Rare as it was, Brady (who has been sacked 5+ times on only 10 occasions in a nearly two-decade career) wasn’t immune from pressure-induced yips. Both the Jets and Giants played the trope to perfection in their respective victories in the 2011 AFC divisional playoffs and the Super Bowl XLII. To cap it off, New England’s new quarterback, be it Newton, Stidham, or otherwise, is walking into a decent situation on the offensive line regardless. The Patriots have built a solid foundation in front of their thrower. Marcus Cannon and Shaq Mason bring a combined dozen years of experience to the right side, while All-Pro left man Joe Thuney was franchise tagged. In contrast, it’s very possible Sam Darnold could start Week 1 without a single starting blocker leftover from his rookie season in 2018.

Blocking exploits were understandably the Jets’ top priority on the free agent wire this offseason but they addressed the rush with the very affordable re-signing of Jenkins (1-year, $3.75 million) and will also welcome back fellow linebackers C.J. Mosley and Blake Cashman from injury. Another offseason addition was Baltimore transplant Patrick Onwuasor, who is set to bolster the interior pass rush, as was third-round draft pick Jabari Zuniga, who continues New York’s youth revolution on the offensive line (joining second-year men Quinnen Williams and Kyle Phillips). Battling Brady was bad enough, but if Newton recaptures the electrifying brand of multi-talented football that made him a superstar, the Jets’ New England nightmare could be extended by another year and possibly beyond.

New York Giants, Bill Belichick
Jan 4, 2020; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick watches the game against the Tennessee Titans during the second quarter at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

There’s Definitely a Chance to Instill Major Worry in the Patriots

In the grand scheme of things, how much does Newton truly change the Patriots? As we mentioned after Brady’s departure in March, they still had a strong supporting cast to surround whatever poor soul had the unenviable position of walking in Tom Brady’s footsteps. There’s a strong rushing attack left behind in the form of Sony Michel and James White. Even when Brady was starting to show signs of age last season, the defense assured that things remained one-sided (the Jets found this out the hard way in a 33-0 Monday night shellacking last fall that saw Brady post a pedestrian 80.7 passer rating). Newton or no Newton, counting the Patriots before a single 2020 game was played was foolhardy at best.

Still, it’s fair to say there’s lingering doubt in the New England camp if and when the 2020 campaign commences.

While he’s undoubtedly an upgrade over Stidham, there’s no denying that Newton isn’t at the form we saw in his 2015 MVP season. Things probably never should’ve reached “is Kyle Allen a franchise QB” levels in Carolina, but time will tell if Newton can regain his game-changing form.

Every team in the NFL should have an unwritten rule that dictates that they should have a quarterback on their roster that they see as their start in three years. Stidham was a major question mark, but Newton’s impressive resume can at least put the Patriots in a more comfortable spot. The 2020 season is almost one of no consequence to the Patriots. They’re still relatively decent on paper, they’ve accomplished more in the last two decades than some franchises earn in their entire existence, and expectations are lowered with the emerging powerhouse developing in Kansas City. A Cam Newton with nothing to lose, especially one blessed with relative youth at 31, could spell doom for anyone looking to take New England’s crown of NFL dominance.

Having said that, this makes the Jets’ 2020 matchups with New England all the more crucial. Wins must come to knock New England off their perch. Strong performances can not only give the Patriots second thoughts about their current plan of turning over the future Newton or the unproven day-three pick whose NFL impact to date is an Adams pick-six. Any doubt the Jets can plant into the brains of a team that viewed their AFC East slate, including the yearly visit to East Rutherford, as a Sunday drive is good doubt from a metropolitan standpoint.

The Outlook

In the grand scheme of the things, the Jets’ task of a divisional coup doesn’t change drastically because of Newton. That’s not a slight on Newton at all; even if he’s not at 2015 levels, his signing was long overdue and if he’s going to get his career back on track, New England is perhaps the best place to do it.

Looking at the New England dynasty from a wider perspective, the Patriots have been able to be a continuous force in the NFL because they take care of business against divisional foes and reinforcements rising to take the place of a fallen comrade. Newton undoubtedly makes the task of rising up a bit harder, but the Jets’ primary concerns should rely on shutting down Newton’s support staff, one that has already dealt with years of Bill Belichick training.

The best move New York can make when it comes to Newton is upping their pressure and making him as uncomfortable as possible, creating feelings that can leave both an immediate and long-term impact on New England moving forward. Should all go according to NFL plan, the Jets will get those opportunities on November 9 and January 3.

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags


The past decade’s best moments in the New York Jets-Miami Dolphins rivalry

On World Oceans Day, we look back on the finest metropolitan moments the New York Jets-Miami Dolphins rivalry gave us during the 2010s.

As the world commemorates World Oceans Day, ESM looks back on the finest moments between the New York Jets and their most traditional aquatic opponents, the Miami Dolphins, from the past decade.

The 2010s were an interesting time for the Jets and Dolphins, a pair of star-crossed opponents trapped in the New England monopoly that was the AFC East. As such, postseason success was limited on both sides, but they did manage to provide their football-starved fans some brief moments of pride…

9/26/10: On the Mark in Miami

The last decade began with so much hope for the Jets, and the opening stanzas of the opening season did nothing to quell these feelings. New York began its season with a 5-1 mark, including a 31-23 victory in Miami in its first road game of the campaign. Mark Sanchez got things rolling with two touchdown tosses to Dustin Keller, but 17 unanswered points but the Dolphins ahead. Immediately after Brandon Marshall’s 11-yard score, however, Sanchez put the Jets ahead for good on a 67-yard hookup with Braylon Edwards. Miami was five yards away from a potential tying score in the dying stages, but Drew Coleman’s interception of Chad Henne officially set off the celebratory journey back home.

10/17/11: 100-Yard Grand

A winless Dolphins team waltzed into MetLife Stadium looking for some early momentum on Monday night. They succeeded with an early field goal deep in Jets territory and seemed poised to increase that lead as they got closer to the goal line. But, like so many other hopeful drives in the decade, Miami’s surge was put to a swift end by Darrelle Revis, who took back a Matt Moore toss the length of the field for a touchdown…literally. Revis’ 100-yard return permanently shifted momentum in what became a 24-6 Jets win, one that required only 13 New York first downs.

1/1/12: Wipeout in Miami

One week after Victor Cruz and his 99 yards put a major dent in the Jets’ playoff hopes, the Dolphins official deflated them with a 19-17 victory in the 2011 season’s listless finale. A lot needed to happen for the Jets to recover their dwindling playoff hopes, but Miami rendered it fully null and void by forcing their opponent into three Sanchez interceptions (two landing in the hands of Randy Starks). The game was also a coda for Dolphins legend (and brief Jet) Jason Taylor, who retired shortly after.

9/23/12: The Sparanos

That offseason, the Jets brought in a former enemy in Miami head coach Tony Sparano, who was hired to be the offensive coordinator. Sparano didn’t have to wait too long to administer revenge, as the first matchup of the Jets’ yearly Miami pair came in September. Miami took an early 10-0 lead, but the Jets knotted things up with a Nick Folk field goal and LaRon Landry’s interception return for a touchdown in the early stages of the third quarter. Overtime was needed as the teams went back forth for the rest of regulation. Sparano got to put the finishes touches on the victory, as Folk’s game-winning field goal from 33 yards out was set up by a 38-yard hookup between Sanchez and Santonio Holmes.

12/28/14: Geno’s Perfecto

Geno Smith’s perfect game didn’t go down in New York lore like those of, say David Wells, Don Larsen, and David Cone, but it was nonetheless impressive in an otherwise meaningless game. With the Jets and Dolphins set for quiet exits once again, Smith sent New York (as well as soon-to-be-fired head coach Rex Ryan) out in style with a 158.3 passer rating, the highest mark a quarterback can earn. Smith went 20-for-25 for 358 yards and three scores in a 37-24 victory to earn the sixth perfect game in Jets history…and the only one during the 2014 NFL season.

10/5/15: Cheerio, Joe!

The Jets dealt the final blow to Miami’s Joe Philbin era, indirectly paving the way for Adam Gase’s inclusion in the rivalry. Philbin’s last stand came when the rivalry went international, as the Jets beat up Miami in front their “home” crowd at Wembley Stadium in London. Chris Ivory put in a career-best 166 rushing yards in the upheaval while Muhammad Wilkerson tallied two sacks and a forced fumble. Revis Island was in effect on the island nation as well, earning an interception of Ryan Tannehill overseas.

12/17/16: Saturday Night Heaver

Head coach Adam Gase’s first career playoff clincher as a head coach came at MetLife Stadium. Alas for the metropolitan area, it wasn’t for the Jets, but rather the Dolphins, who more or less clinched their first playoff berth since 2008 with a 34-13 shellacking of the Jets in East Rutherford in a Saturday night prime time game (Miami officially clinched based on results from the next day). The third quarter was the dealbreaker via 21 unanswered Miami points, which consisted of two Matt Moore scoring passes and Walt Aikens returning a blocked punt for a touchdown.

9/16/18: Miami Thrice

The Jets’ 2018 home opener was one of the more hopeful ones the team had had in a long time. They were coming off a victory in Sam Darnold’s first career start in Detroit and were eager to see what he could do in the first AFC East tilt. Darnold was passable to the tune of 334 yards and a touchdown pass to Bilal Powell, but the Jets’ raucous crowd was silenced by a 20-12 Miami victory. Time was limited for Darnold, who was sacked three times and forced into two interceptions by a relentless Dolphin pass rush. It also didn’t help that Miami had jumped out to an early 20-0 lead via assistance from two Ryan Tannehill touchdown passes.

12/8/19: You’re a Lucky Fellow, Mr. Smith

Five weeks after granting the downtrodden Dolphins their first win of the season, the Jets were on the brink of a most embarrassing sweep at MetLife Stadium. They had built a lead via 16 points in the second quarter and kept Miami out of the end zone, but seven Jason Sanders field goals were enough for the visitors to hold a 21-19 lead in the penultimate minute. On the potential drive to victory, Darnold found Vyncint Smith for an immediate 37-yard gain into Miami territory before getting sacked by Andrew Van Ginkel. Darnold once again sought Smith for a big play downfield, but it appeared for naught when it fell incomplete. However, a review determined that Smith’s quest for the ball was interfered with by Nik Needham, and the Miami defender became the rare victim of a penalty view replay. The Jets subsequently moved back into Dolphins territory, where Sam Ficken booted the game-winning field goal from 44 yards out.

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags

3 Reasons why Frank Gore and the New York Jets are a perfect match

New York Giants, Frank Gore

The signing of Frank Gore has raised some eyebrows, but the newly minted 37-year-old may wind up being the New York Jets’ most vital addition.

If you assembled the all-time “He played for the JETS?!?!” team, Frank Gore would already be a top contender, but he’d have some competition.

Gore, who turns 37 on Thursday, joins a list of illustrious rushers that have spent their twilight years with the New York Jets. Others notables that have taken the green plunge include Chris Johnson, Matt Forte, and LaDanian Tomlinson. Aging legends of the game be found all over such a lineup, one whose depth chart includes Brett Favre, Derrick Mason, Jason Taylor, and Ronnie Lott.

While some names wind up hitting the blooper reels of NFL lore, others can wind becoming solid contributors to the New York cause. Law, for example, earned a career-best 10 interceptions during the 2005 season. A decade later, Brandon Marshall had the most illustrious season in franchise history with team-bests 1,502 yards on 109 receptions, 14 of which went for touchdowns.

Here’s why Gore can potentially lean toward ending up in the latter, more hopeful, category…

He’s Still Got What the Jets Are Looking For

Jets head coach Adam Gase took some heat for his usage of Le’Veon Bell last season. Comments to ESPN’s Rich Cimini earlier this offseason only seemed to further freeze the icy relationship Bell and Gase have reportedly had so far.

“I do think we have some guys that can help maybe lessen the load on (Bell) to where it’s not all on him,” Gase told Cimini on May 4, two days before Gore’s arrival. “Hopefully, we can get some of the younger backs to where we can make a good one-two punch to where we can really excel instead of feeling like it’s just all on him all the time.”

But Gase may have a point.

While Bell’s tally of 311 touches didn’t sniff the league-best 406 he had with Pittsburgh in 2017, it still ranked eighth in the NFL last season. It quickly became clear that Bell wasn’t the one-size-fits-all solution to the Jets’ offense some envisioned him to be. Things could get a little easier after the expansive offensive line renovations,  The Jets had to find a spell option for Bell, a process that became all the more imperative with Bilal Powell and Ty Montgomery on the free agency block.

They began to address the role when they took Florida’s Lamical Perine in the fourth round of last month’s draft and continued with Gore. No one’s expecting Gore to be the dominant rusher he was during his glory days in San Francisco, but he has spent the past few seasons fulfilling similar roles across the AFC East. Gore has earned 1,321 over the last two seasons with Miami and Buffalo. He would serve as a passable starting option when Devin Singletary went down with an injury. Among his notable efforts with the Bills last season was an 83-total yard performance at MetLife Stadium (also scoring a touchdown in a 28-14 win over the Giants) and a 109-yard ground output on 17 carries against New England. For what the Jets are looking for, Gore was a perfect fit.

Over the last seasons, Gore’s 1,321 rushing yards are good for second amongst running backs in their 30s (behind only Washington’s Adrian Peterson).

He Knows the Staff

If and when we get a 2020 season, it will undoubtedly be one of reckoning for Gase and his staff. He and offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains will be under particular scrutiny for how the offense flows with Sam Darnold entering the telling third year as the franchise quarterback, now armed with a revamped offensive line and a potential big-play receiver in Denzel Mims in tow.

It’s only natural for the staff to surround themselves with talent that has worked to their advantage before. Gore was brought into Gase and Loggains’ Miami squad in 2018. His duties were shared with youngsters Kenyan Drake and Kalen Ballage, but he still led the team with 722 yards. The 2018 season also served as a mini-revitalization, as Gore averaged 4.6 yards per carry, the first time he put over four yards since his final San Francisco season in 2014.

Gase has spoken highly of their brief shared tour of Miami. He referred to the Gore experience as “unbelievable” in the lead-up to the Jets’ Week 1 matchup with the rusher’s then-employers from Buffalo.

“If you watched him work day-in and day-out, it wouldn’t surprise you,” Gase said, per Brian Costello of the New York Post. “We would always say, ‘Hey, we think you should take today off,’ and he’s like, ‘Wednesdays, I’m practicing,’ and he wants every rep. You’re in full pads and he’s going at it like it’s Sunday. That’s just how he looks. That’s how he’s always been. He loves football. There’s no other place he’d rather be than the practice field, game day. Everything about football, he loves.”

(Photo by Anthony J. Causi/Icon SMI/Corbis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Good Country For Old Men

A lot has been made about the Jets signing yet another veteran past his prime. But that might be exactly what they need at this stage of the game.

The Jets’ perpetual rebuild is in perhaps its most hopeful stage yet, but it’s one stocked with youth. On the team’s current roster, only four other veterans are at least 30. When it comes to building a winning culture, a veteran that has done the dance of victory before is an essential ingredient. One can do far worse in a helpful veteran than a college football national champion, a five-time Pro Bowler, the rusher named to the 2010s All-Decade Team by the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and the third-leading rusher in NFL history.

An example at another position came in the form of Mark Brunell’s brief tenure as Mark Sanchez’s backup during the 2010 and 2011 campaigns. Brunell’s resume wasn’t as polished as Gore’s, but he was the quarterback that led the Jacksonville Jaguars to their earliest glory days and later won a Super Bowl as the understudy in New Orleans.

The aged Brunell, who was entering his 40s, had a calming effect on Sanchez, who posted the best numbers of his career with the ex-Jaguar in the room.

“He has a calming presence when everything is spinning out of control,” Sanchez told Cimini during the 2011 preseason. “When you’re not having a good game or practice is going too fast and you’re just not right, he’s got this way about him.”

A prominent rushing example came from Thomas Jones at the turn of the last decade. Jones’ was a solid contributor during his twilight years (he’s still seventh in franchise history with 3,833 rushing yards despite spending only three years in green), but he had a calming effect on the lineup as a whole. In another Cimini piece, Sanchez called Jones “one of the best teammates I’ve ever had”, even though their New York paths only merged for a single season.

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags

Fun Facts and Analysis of the New York Jets’ 2020 Schedule

New York Jets, New York Giants, Daniel Jones

Times and dates have been attached to the New York Jets’ 20 preseason and regular season matchups. ESM reveals what you need to know.

As if you didn’t need more of a reason to stay inside, the NFL just gave you 256 goals to work toward.

The league attached times and dates to its 2020 regular season matchups on Thursday, while preaching caution in the wake of the current health crisis. Nonetheless, the event gave fans a welcome reprieve as they continue to work their way through these trying times.

Here’s what you need to know about the Jets’ slate…


Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

TBD: NY Giants (TBD, WCBS)

The annual Snoopy Bowl stays in the Week 1 slot it found itself in last season, even though the Jets and Giants will not play each other during the regular season. Big Blue took last season’s matchup by a 31-22 final.

August 20: @ Detroit (8:00 p.m., ESPN)

The Jets will play a nationally televised preseason game for the second time in three years, the last matchup being a 2018 visit to Washington, which was also on ESPN.

TBD: Pittsburgh (TBD, WCBS)

Pittsburgh will return to the site where their playoff hopes more or less died, as a Marcus Maye deflection game the Jets a 16-10 win.

TBD: @ Philadelphia (TBD, WCBS)

Should it happen, 2020 will mark the 20th anniversary of the Jets and Eagles meeting annually in the preseason. The Jets took last year’s meeting at MetLife by a 6-0 tally

Regular Season

New York Jets, Sam Darnold, Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills
Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

September 13: @ Buffalo (1:00 p.m. ET, CBS)

For the third time in four seasons, the Jets will open their regular season against the Bills. Buffalo has taken each of the first two openers in that span thus far, but Sam Darnold has yet to lose at New Era Field, having bested fellow 2019 first-round pick Josh Allen twice thus far. The Jets have dropped their Week 1 matchup in three of the last four seasons, the lone exception being 2018’s Monday night visit to Detroit.

September 20: San Francisco (1:00 p.m. ET, Fox)

The Jets’ will welcome the defending NFC champions for their first East Rutherford visit for AFC business since the 49ers administered a 34-0 shellacking in 2012 en route to that season’s Super Bowl. New York’s last home opener win came in 2017 against Miami, but they have likewise gone 1-3 over their past four tries in such a game.

September 27: @ Indianapolis (4:05 p.m. ET, CBS)

The Jets are 3-1 at Lucas Oil Stadium since it opened in 2008. Alas, the lone exception is the 2010 AFC Championship Game. New York’s previous visit was a 20-7 Monday night triumph in 2015. Overall, the Jets have taken four of the past five meetings with their former AFC East brethren since that postseason match.

October 1: Denver (8:20 p.m. ET, NFL Network)

A previous Thursday night meeting with the Broncos didn’t go so well, as Tim Tebow’s 20-yard touchdown run gave Denver a 17-13 win at Mile High. Their 34-16 win over Denver ended a three-game losing streak in the series. The Jets are 2-5 on Thursday night games since the NFL made them a full-time phenomenon in 2012.

New York Giants, Lorenzo Carter
Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

October 11: Arizona (1:00 p.m. ET, Fox)

No matter what happens between the Jets and Cardinals, the quarterback matchup between Sam Darnold and Kyler Murray will definitely be more exciting than the last time they met at MetLife Stadium. Back in 2012, Greg McElroy relieved Mark Sanchez and guided the Jets to an ugly 7-6 victory. The Jets have won six of the last seven meetings, but fell in the last showdown in Glendale in 2016.

October 18: @ LA Chargers (4:05 p.m. ET, CBS)

Depending on health progress, the Jets are set to make their first two trips to SoFi Stadium, the site of Super Bowl LV this season. The Jets’ last game against a team with a Los Angeles moniker came back in 1993, when they fell to the Raiders at the Coliseum. More recently, the Jets dropped a 14-7 decision to the Chargers in their last meeting at home on Christmas Eve 2017.

October 25: Buffalo (1:00 p.m. ET, CBS)

The Jets will be looking to end a two-year losing streak at MetLife Stadium to the Bills, who are 4-2 at the relatively new establishment in East Rutherford after dropping their first four. This will mark the first time the Jets end their yearly pair with the Bills by the end of October since 2007, a Buffalo sweep.

Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

November 1: @ Kansas City (1:00 p.m. ET, CBS)

Kansas City ended their five-decade plus Super Bowl drought. Are the Jets next? Time will only tell, but the first two AFL champions will meet at Arrowhead Stadium for the first time since 2016. The Jets’ last Kansas City masterpiece came in 1998, when John Hall’s 32-yard field goal as time expired gave them a 20-17 victory.

November 9: New England (8:15 p.m. ET, ESPN)

After two appearances last season, the Jets get one showing on Monday Night Football, thought the MetLife meeting with the Patriots gets such a treatment for the second straight season. The Jets will look to end an eight-game losing streak in the rivalry and also seek their first Monday night win since the aforementioned Week 1 tilt against the Lions in 2018.

November 15: @ Miami (4:05 p.m. ET, CBS)

With the expanded AFC playoff picture, could these matchups with Miami hold major implications? The schedulemaker certainly seems to think so, as this is the first time a Jets-Dolphins game starts beyond the 1:00 p.m. ET timeslot since December 2016, when a Miami squad led by Adam Gase beat the Jets 34-13 in a Saturday primetime game.

November 22: Bye Week

The Jets’ bye week comes in Week 11 for the second time in the last three seasons.

Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

November 29: Miami (1:00 p.m. ET, CBS)

In this de facto home-and-home series with the Dolphins, the Jets will look to win after their bye for the first time since 2015, when they followed up a London win over Miami with another triumph against Washington. The Jets’ last-second win Miami last December, courtesy of a Sam Ficken field goal, ended a four-game losing streak against the Dolphins.

December 6: Las Vegas (1:00 p.m. ET, CBS)

The Jets finished their stretch against the Oakland Raiders with a 9-11 mark, but they were able to end things on a dominant note with a 34-3 win at MetLife Stadium last season. Las Vegas’ new franchise has not won in East Rutherford since 1996 and is 0-3 at MetLife Stadium.

December 13: @ Seattle (4:05 p.m. ET, CBS)

The Jets haven’t beaten the Seahawks since 2004, and their last win in Seattle came at the since-demolished Kingdom in 1997. Their prior matchup a 27-17 defeat at MetLife Stadium.

December 19/20: @ LA Rams (TBD)

Over the last two weeks of the season, a dozen matchups have been nominated to potentially appear in a trio of Saturday games. The Jets’ penultimate two games are a pair of such choices, including the latter half of their SoFi split.

Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

December 26/27: Cleveland (TBD)

Thus far, Baker Mayfield has gotten the better of Sam Darnold in the two meetings between 2018’s first two quarterbacks. Darnold, however, was unable to take part in last year’s Monday nite tilt, as his illness forced Trevor Siemian and later Luke Falk to oversee a 23-3 defeat in East Rutherford.

January 3: @ New England (1:00 p.m., CBS)

The Jets are still looking for their first win at Gillette Stadium since their epic divisional playoff wince in 2011, but they were at least able to snap the touchdown hex in their last visit. New England and New York last ended their regular seasons against each other in 2018, a game that served as the end of the Todd Bowles era.

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags






Report: New York Jets to face off against Buffalo Bills in week 1

New York Jets, Sam Darnold, Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills

As the NFL prepares to release the official schedule this evening, Manish Mehta of the NY Daily News has now leaked the New York Jets‘ first opponents. The betting favorites to win the AFC East, the Buffalo Bills will be hosting the Green & White in week 1.

The Jets will visit Orchard Park after facing the Bills in Week 1 & 17 of last season. They’re reportedly slated to play at 1 PM to kick off the season. Although there were initial reports that the NFL would structure the season with AFC vs NFC games for the first four weeks to kick off the season, they’ve now shown that’s not the case, at least for two AFC East teams.

Breaking Down The Matchup

A brief look at the Bills roster shows you how talented they are. Sean McDermott and Brandon Beane have built an excellent squad of high character guys in Buffalo. They’ve used lots of resources to build through the trenches, just like Joe Douglas has done for the Jets. The difference between the teams to me is in the coaching staff(s). The Jets are still looking to build an identity under second-year coach Adam Gase. The Bills have constructed that identity under McDermott and now been to the playoffs twice under his guidance. As Josh Allen continues to develop and the team added pieces like Stefon Diggs, Josh Norman, and AJ Epenesa to an already talented team, they look primed to contend for the AFC East title.

As for the Jets, although they’ve had a great offseason, the team has one of the hardest schedules in football and is facing a lot of pressure. There’s real skepticism about Adam Gase, and if he’s the right guy to lead this team, if he wins this year and shows he can win with this team, he’ll keep his job, but if he does not prove that he can lead this team to wins, the Jets will be looking for another coach. The Jets QB 1 also faces pressure. As his third year approaches, Darnold has shown flashes of brilliance. When he’s not hurt, the Jets have also been a productive offensive team. If he can stay healthy and produce, he will prove he’s the true franchise QB, but another average or slightly above average season could lead fans to question his ability to lead this team.

Both teams are young with loads of potential, and with pressure to win on both sides of the ball, week 1 can’t get here soon enough.

NFL Draft: New York Jets deal final day two pick to New England

The New York Jets earned three picks from the New England Patriots, in exchange for a pick they previously wrangled from Seattle.

The New York Jets ended the second day of the 2020 NFL Draft with a little bit of history.

For the second time in their respective timelines, the Jets engaged in a trade with the New England Patriots. New York sent over the 101st over pick, the 37th selection in Friday’s third round proceedings. The yield was a pair of choices in Saturday’s fourth round (Nos. 125 and 129), as well as a sixth-round pick in 2021.

New England subsequently used the pick on the latter of back-to-back tight ends, Virginia Tech’s Dalton Keene. They previously chose Devin Asiasi out of UCLA with the 91st pick.

Though trades between the AFC East rivals are indeed rare, this is the second deal they’ve made over the past seven months. In September, the Jets ironically sent over a 2021 sixth-round pick to the Patriots in exchange for receiver Demaryius Thomas.

The Jets now own six selections over the final four rounds of the virtual draft, which will finish up on Saturday (12:00 p.m. ET, ABC/ESPN/NFL Network). In addition to the newly acquired Patriots picks, they own their bestowed slots in the fourth (No. 120), fifth (158th), and sixth rounds (191st) and a sixth-round choice from Kansas City (via the 2019 Darron Lee trade). Their seventh-round pick was sent to Baltimore in a trade for offensive lineman Alex Lewis made late last offseason.

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags

The New York Jets Shouldn’t Fire Gase Because the Titans are in the AFC Championship Game

New York Jets, LeVeon Bell

Things did not go the way Adam Gase expected them to his first season with the New York Jets. Some of the problems he faced were out of his control (Sam Darnold’s mono), and some he could control (why won’t he give Bell the ball?). But to argue Gase should be fired because Ryan Tannehill “leading” the Titans to the AFC Championship game is lunacy in the highest order.

Ryan Tannehill Barely Played for Gase in Miami

Ryan Tannehill was so hurt as a Dolphin when Gase was his coach, he played in exactly 24 games for the Dolphins. That’s right, he played in 24 out of 48 games for the Dolphins, missing the entire 2017 season. So you can’t fault Gase for “hindering Tannehill’s development”, as some Jets fans are arguing because Tannehill couldn’t get on the field half the time.

Tannehill Was the Titans Backup for About Half the Season

The other reason why we can’t fault Gase by using Tannehill is the Titans didn’t start Tannehill until they went 2-4. So with about half the season over, they make the switch and had to have EVERYTHING fall their way to get into the Wild Card game against the Patriots. Do you know who else was in the same boat as the Titans? The Oakland Raiders. They ALMOST were the Titans this year. And if they were, we’d more than likely be staring Baltimore v KC in the mouth for Sunday’s game.

The TITANS Aren’t Trusting Tannehill That Much on This Playoff Push

Look at the Titans offense these last two games. Against the Pats, he went 8-15, for 72 yards, a TD, and a pick. Saturday, in Baltimore, he went 7-14, with 88 yards, and 2 TD. Derrick Henry has been the reason the Titans have won these games. So how can you cite what “Gase did to Tannehill, and look at the Titans now,” as proof why Gase needs to be fired? It’s just sheer lunacy!

New York Jets: Which AFC East QB Will Take Over When Brady is Done?

New York Jets, Sam Darnold

Over the past 20 years Tom Brady and the New England Patriots have ruled the AFC East only giving up the division title twice, but how long can he go? Entering the 2019 season at age 42, Tom Brady will most likely not be able to sustain his success for the next 2 years. This begs the question, which young AFC east QB will take over when Brady finally decides to hang up the cleats? We’ll be examining the three second-year QB’s from the Dolphins, New York Jets, and Bills to find out who will take over once the captain of the evil empire is gone.

Josh Allen

The signal-caller for the Buffalo Bills had a surprisingly good season manning an offense that had little to no talent. Allen had some help by having arguably the best defense in the league last year, but he still showed flashes of being a top QB in the league.

Allen put up 2,074 yards, 10 TD’s, 12 interceptions and a 52.8 percent completion percentage last season through the air. On the ground, Allen was a beast racking up 631 yards and 8 touchdowns. Allen’s ability as a dual-threat QB is frightening when you consider he has a 6’5, 240-pound frame and a cannon for an arm, sometimes launching balls over 70 yards downfield.

Allen showed a lot of progressions last year especially after coming back from an elbow injury he suffered Week 6 against the Texans. Allen became a more efficient QB after the injury throwing for an average of 207 yards, 1.33 TD’s and 1.17 interceptions from weeks 12-17 compared to 168 yards, .5 TD’s and 1.25 interceptions weeks 2-5. Josh Allen also played on a team with the ninth highest percentage of dropped passes at 8 percent according to PFF. Josh Allen has a lot of raw talent and can be the next QB up in the AFC East, but he must overcome his accuracy issues and make better decisions.

Josh Rosen

The 10th overall pick of the 2018 NFL draft had a very rough rookie season playing for the Cardinals finishing with the worst record in the league. Although the Cardinals finished with the worst record in the league Josh Rosen showed flashes of being a good starter.

Rosen finished the season with 2278 passing yards, 11 touchdowns, 14 interceptions, and a 55.2 completion percentage according to pro football reference. Rosen came out of college as very fundamentally sound QB with great footwork and flawless mechanics.

Many people look at the Cardinals season last year and assume that Rosen was awful because of their record, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Rosen was surrounded by absolutely no talent and it doesn’t help that the Cardinals were tied for fifth in the league for sacks allowed (52).

Unfortunately for Rosen, he might not be able to become the next QB up in the AFC East because he’s once again on the least talented roster in the league in Miami. The Dolphins are in full rebuild mode and are not committed to Rosen being their franchise QB. Rosen may find himself getting traded around draft time next season again.

The Dolphins are rumored to be in love with star Alabama QB Tua Tagovailola, they will be able to get him as their a favorite to land a top 5 pick this year. For Rosen to replace Brady as the face of the AFC east he must take a massive leap in his second year and become the franchise QB the Dolphins have lacked since Dan Marino.

Sam Darnold

The New York Jets franchise QB had an up and down rookie year passing for 2,865 yards, 17 TD’s, 15 interceptions and a 57.7 completion percentage. Coming out of the draft last year Sam Darnold was seen as the QB with the best chance to succeed in NFL.

The first half of the season for Darnold was very bumpy, he showed that at times he could be great, and other times that he wasn’t ready to play in the NFL. Darnold suffered a foot injury against the Dolphins week 9. After missing 4 weeks because of the injury Darnold came back and finished the season with his best stretch of football.

Darnold had the highest grade over the final month of the season according to PFF, giving Jets fans hope for the future. Darnold’s best traits are his accuracy and his ability to extend plays, which is the reason why so many people were in love with him in college. If Darnold wants to be the next man up he needs to work on his decision making, Darnold was tied for the third-most interceptions in the league this year. Darnold has all the attributes you look for in a QB he just needs to be quicker when making decisions for him to avoid turnovers.

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After analyzing these QB’s I’ve concluded that Sam Darnold will most likely be the face of the AFC east when Tom Brady’s reign of dominance is over. Darnold has all the talent in the world and isn’t nearly as raw as Josh Allen is. Darnold spot on the roster for the next couple of years is secure unlike Rosen whose future with Miami after the season is murky. Darnold is the most likely to succeed out of all these QB’s and has a great supporting cast around him to help achieve that. I believe each one of these QB’s will take big strides into becoming better players this year but with all things considered Darnold is the favorite to take over.

Josh Allen 2019 Stats Prediction: 2,978 yards, 19 TD’s and 14 interceptions


Josh Rosen 2019 Stats Prediction:  2,567 yards, 16 TD’s and 14 interceptions


Sam Darnold 2019 Stats Prediction: 3,345 yards, 22 TD’s and 16 interceptions