New York Jets

Are the New York Jets a sleeper playoff team in 2019?

As his rookie season wore on, Sam Darnold showed why he was the Jets’ top choice. Do the additions of Le’Veon Bell and C.J. Mosley make them a playoff team?

The most important factor for the Jets to be a playoff contender starts with the play of second-year quarterback Sam Darnold.

Looking at Darnold’s stats on the season you wouldn’t be overwhelmed with confidence. He finished the year completing just under 58 percent of his passes. He also threw for almost as many interceptions (15) as he did touchdowns (17).

However, when you look at his last four games of the year, you can see the improvement and what has Jets fans so excited. In his last four starts, Darnold threw for six touchdowns and only one interception. He also completed at least 63 percent of his passes in three of those games.

New York also gave Darnold new weapons this offseason to aide in his development. Jamison Crowder came over from the Washington Redskins where he tallied 49 catches in just nine games in 2018. The two previous two seasons before that though, Crowder had 99 and 103 catches.

Crowder will join Robby Anderson and Quincy Enunwa on the outside. The combination of these three will bring a variety of skill sets to the field. Anderson is a speedster who has averaged 14.7 yards a catch in his two-year career. Peter Schrager of the NFL network believes Darnold and Anderson could be the best pass-catching duo in the NFL for the next eight years.

Enunwa is physical specimen, measuring in at 6-foot-2′ and 225 pounds. The cumulative potential that these three bring to the table is exciting. More exciting, though, is what is lining up behind Darnold.

Le’ Veon Bell was arguably the biggest name in free agency this year and after sitting out the entire 2018 season he chose to sign with the Jets in 2019. From 2013-17 with the Pittsburgh Steelers, he accumulated almost 10,000 yards from scrimmage and 42 touchdowns.

Bell will be an impact player both in the run game and pass game. He will provide Darnold with a security blanket to lean on when things get chaotic. He is also a mismatch nightmare in the pass game. Three times in his career, Bell has eclipsed the 75-catch mark.

The offense wasn’t the only side of the ball to make huge additions. The defense adds inside linebacker C.J. Mosley from the Baltimore Ravens. Mosley has been a stud in his time in the NFL getting named to four Pro Bowls and tallying over 100 tackles in every year but one.

Mosley will be joining the likes of Leonard Williams, Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye as the young defensive nucleus.  These core players will be the cornerstones for new defensive coordinator Gregg Williams. Additionally, he new-look defense will only face five opponents who finished inside the top 16 in total offense in 2018.

The Jets also own the No. 3 overall pick in the 2019 draft. The selection affords the Jets a lot of options. They can stay put and add to another top talent or trade down a few spots, acquire more picks, and add talent and depth throughout the draft.

The combination of an improved Darnold along with acquiring Bell, Crowder, and Mosley should do wonders. Factor in a softer schedule and holding the third-overall pick, and the Jets are a team to watch.

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