It’s been a long and tryin season, but the mission is nearly done.
Coming off a home loss against the Houston Texans that sunk them to 4-10, Gang Green hosted the Cheeseheads this past Sunday for their final game at MetLife Stadium. And after the final whistle, it was apparent that this was likely Todd Bowles’s final home game as Head Coach of the New York Jetsl.
Prior to the opening kickoff, both the Jets and the Packers were already eliminated from postseason play. The game was nothing but a scrimmage for the Packers. But for the Jets, this game had much greater significance: draft pick positioning, Sam Darnold’s development, and Todd Bowles’s job. How well did the Jets meet each of these objectives?
1. Draft Pick Positioning
At the conclusion of Week 15, the Jets sat pretty as the 4th-worst team in the NFL with only a 2.5% chance of moving up to the number 1 overall pick. After 60 minutes of play, a Packers comeback, and a little help from Oakland, New York found themselves now at #3 in the upcoming draft. With an away game in New England coming up where the Patriots are fighting for a first-round bye, there is near certainty that the Jets will finish with at least the 3rd pick at the end of the season with a legitimate chance to squeak into the number 2 or even number 1 slot.
2. Sam Darnold’s Development
Darnold has faced a fair amount of adversity this season, whether it is his swiss cheese offensive line, his month-long foot injury, or his inexperienced Offensive Coordinator calling the plays. And yet, the rookie QB has exhibited professionalism and class with every step, not to mention promising growth. Prior to last week, Darnold had his best game as an NFL pro with 253 Passing Yards, 2 Touchdowns, 0 Interceptions, and a 100.0 Passer Rating, a performance that earned him the top QB ranking from Pro Football Focus with a score of 90.3. Well, this week Sam the Man found a way to best himself, throwing for 341 Passing Yards, 3 Touchdowns, 0 Interceptions, and a 128.4 Passer Rating. The cherry on top would have been a W. Needless to say, the future is bright for #14.
3. Ending the Bowles Era
After missing the 2015 playoffs with a 10-6 record, the Todd Bowles Jets have finished an ugly 5-11 each of the last 3 seasons. With this week’s loss to Green Bay, New York again hit the 11 loss threshold, but this time with only 4 wins. Regardless of what happens next week in Foxborough (which is an impending loss), this is certainly it for Bowles. He blamed the refs for this week’s loss. That’s nothing but loser talk. And even if true, what excuses are there for the other 10 losses. Bowles’s ass has been scorching on the hot seat and after this week he has finally booked a ticket to freedom this offseason.
Purveyor of truth. Breaker of chains. Foolish fan of the Mets, Jets, and Knicks.