Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck and Colts receiver T.Y. Hilton embrace after their victory over the Chicago Bears at Lucas Oil Stadium. (Thomas J. Russo/USA Today Sports Images)
Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck and Colts receiver T.Y. Hilton embrace after their victory over the Chicago Bears at Lucas Oil Stadium. (Thomas J. Russo/USA Today Sports Images)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

During the season, Bent's Game Analysis charts games for some of the New York Jets' upcoming opponents, enabling a breakdown of what to watch out for on game day…

This week's Monday Night Football will see the Jets hosting the 5-6 Indianapolis Colts. Despite having endured a disappointing year so far, the Colts were just one game out of first place in the AFC South entering this weekend. The Colts have lost three of their last four games, albeit to three potential playoff teams in Green Bay, Kansas City and Pittsburgh. The teams met early last year with the Jets defeating the Colts 20-7, again on Monday Night Football, in one of the best performances of the Todd Bowles and Mike Maccagnan era.

Let's break down the positional groupings (BGA-style) for the Colts to try and highlight what to watch out for.

Quarterbacks

While it might seem like Andrew Luck's inevitable ascension to ultimately becoming the league's best quarterback has never materialized, he is perhaps still progressing toward that goal. Although they've had some disappointing results in 2016, he has bounced back nicely from an injury-prone 2015 campaign. Including his postseason numbers, Luck is actually posting career-best numbers for quarterback rating, completion percentage and touchdown-to-interception ratio.

While the Jets have struggled against quarterbacks who tend to get the ball out quickly, that isn't how Luck plays; he spends more time in the pocket than most of the quarterbacks the Jets will face this year. However, he's a dangerous runner with 246 rushing yards on the season.

There was some doubt over whether Luck would be able to play on Monday night as he missed a few practices this week while passing through the concussion protocol. He should be good to go, but former Packer Scott Tolzien will be waiting in the wings. Tolzien started the last game against the Steelers, a 28-7 loss.

Offensive line

The Colts have an interesting group on the offensive line, led by Anthony Costanzo, who has developed into a very solid left tackle since being drafted in the first round five years ago. The Colts smartly dipped back into the first round lineman pool this year to select center Ryan Kelly, who is already showing signs of being a steadying influence on a group that has seen many changes over the past few seasons.

The Colts are strong on the left side of the line with Jack Mewhort providing excellent run blocking in between Kelly and Costanzo at left guard. Mewhort was arguably the Colts' best lineman in 2015 and got off to a great start this year. However, since his recent return from a month out with a triceps injury, he has looked like he might not be back to 100 percent yet.

The Colts are not quite as solid on the right side, where the inexperienced pair of Denzelle Good and Joe Haeg are listed as the starters. Good was a seventh-round pick last year and Haeg is a fifth-round rookie. They've given up 13 sacks between them and Good has also struggled in the running game.

Reserves Joe Reitz and Jonotthan Harrison have both seen extended work at guard and tackle respectively due to injuries. Haeg moving inside to guard is another option they've employed at times. Good is listed as questionable with a shoulder injury and Kelly didn't finish the Steelers game either, although he practiced fully all week.

Running backs

Veteran Frank Gore, who has 670 rushing yards and four touchdowns, leads the Colts' running game, though he averages fewer than four yards per carry. Gore is consistent, but not as productive as he used to be. He had a 100-yard rushing game against the Titans in October, but that was his only one since leaving the 49ers after the 2014 season. The Jets held Gore to 57 yards last year.

The other Colts backs don't feature much in the running game, but veteran backup Robert Turbin and rookie Josh Ferguson have caught 36 passes between them. Gore has 29 receptions himself. Dump-offs and check-downs are a big part of the Colts offense, so the Jets will have to ensure they do a good job of tackling in space.

Receivers

T.Y. Hilton has developed into a leader for the Colts this year and is putting up big numbers with 60 catches for 942 yards already. He has been dealing with a back injury, but was a full go at the last two practices.

Hilton, now in his fifth year, is mentoring the other three receivers on the Colts roster -- Donte Moncrief, the speedy Phillip Dorsett and undrafted rookie Chester Rogers.

Moncrief is tied with Hilton on five touchdown receptions and Dorsett has shown a knack for making big plays with a 16.5 yards per catch average, but both have had key dropped passes in recent games. Rogers made some good contributions early, but hasn't had a reception since Week 7.

The tight ends are a big feature of the Colts offense with Jack Doyle's role increasing since Coby Fleener joined the Saints. Doyle entered the year with 42 career catches in three seasons, but already has 39 this year. The Colts run a lot of two tight end sets with the dependable (but unspectacular) Dwayne Allen and even some three tight end personnel packages with Erik Swoope.

Defensive line

The Colts looked to be building a promising defensive line last season, despite Arthur Jones -- their highest-paid lineman -- missing the entire year with an ankle injury.

Youngster Zach Kerr, a 2014 undrafted free agent, provided unexpected production alongside veteran Kendall Langford and rookie Henry Anderson. All three returned this year along with Jones and David Parry, whom they hoped would build upon an inconsistent rookie campaign. They also drafted 307-pounder Hassan Ridgeway in the fourth round.

Things haven't worked out too well. Langford is now on injured reserve after a rough start to the season. Kerr and Anderson haven't performed as well as they did last season and Parry is still struggling. Jones hasn't had the same impact he did in his first year with the Colts back in 2014 either. Ridgeway, who is questionable with a back injury, has been contributing and is listed as a starter, but the Colts are often in a 2-4-5 nickel within which Parry and Jones are the current starters anyway. That personnel package will often see two of the outside linebackers moving to defensive end.

Linebackers

The Colts will be without the injured Robert Mathis, but they are able to replace him with veteran pass rusher Trent Cole, who was just activated from injured reserve. In any case, the Colts' biggest pass rushing threat this year has been Erik Walden. The ninth-year veteran has already surpassed his career high with eight sacks. Prior to this season, he'd only exceeded three sacks in a season once.

The Colts have struggled to find a suitable partner for the versatile 33-year old D'Qwell Jackson on the inside, but over the last few games it's been Edwin Jackson. The younger Jackson, who did not play as an undrafted rookie last year and lacks experience against top-level competition, has started three of the last four games.

Veteran Akeem Ayers is the primary backup on the outside, while special teamer Josh McNary would usually be the first guy off the bench to play on the inside. They've also been trying to gradually work rookie Antonio Morrison into the rotation.

Defensive backs

Veterans Vontae Davis and Darius Butler, each of whom has faced the Jets many times in their careers, are likely to be the starters. Expect backup Rashaan Melvin to see plenty of work too, as he's their biggest corner at 6-foot-2. Butler, who leads the team with two interceptions, will probably see most of the reps in the slot.

The Colts were dealing with an injury crisis at cornerback earlier in the season, but matters had improved for them of late. However, Patrick Robinson suffered a groin injury, so they are down one starter for this game.

At safety, Clayton Geathers is out with a head/neck injury, so veteran Mike Adams will be paired with rangy rookie T.J. Green, a second-round pick who has seen action as the third safety but has struggled in coverage. The Colts rely on their safeties to contribute in run support as Adams and Geathers have combined for 110 tackles.

Former Jet Darryl Morris and two undrafted rookies that have played just 16 snaps between them comprise the available secondary depth off the bench.

Special teams

The Colts' kicking game is one of the best in the league with Pat McAfee averaging over 50 yards gross per punt and Adam Vinatieri still one of the best kickers around. However, Vinatieri has missed two of his last three field goal attempts after a streak of 44 consecutive successes. McAfee, who also handles kickoffs, is a dangerous athlete that the Jets need to be wary of on fakes. He completed a 35-yard pass against the Steelers on a fake punt last week.

Nine different players have returned a punt or kickoff for the Colts this year, but they currently list Rogers as their top punt returner and back-up running back Jordan Todman as their primary kick-off returner. Todman had a 99-yard touchdown return earlier in the year.

In kick coverage, linebackers McNary, Jackson and Morrison have made all good contributions so far this year.


I'll be back on Monday to recap the game.

Pro Football Focus provided stats for this article.

Tags: BGA, Indianapolis Colts

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

With just three games remaining in the regular season, many 4-9 teams would be going through the motions and playing out the string.  

Yet there are valuable insights to be gained from these games for the Jets, which may play into decisions about staffing changes once the season is over.

Let's consider what the organization can get out of the rest of the year:

Tags: Quincy Enunwa, Robby Anderson, Sam Darnold
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New York Jets running back Isaiah Crowell is escorted off the field after being injured against the Buffalo Bills during the first quarter at New Era Field. (Rich Barnes/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets running back Isaiah Crowell is escorted off the field after being injured against the Buffalo Bills during the first quarter at New Era Field. (Rich Barnes/USA TODAY Sports)

Isaiah Crowell's season is over. 

The Jets placed the injured running back on the injured reserve on Friday, per ESPN's Adam Schefter. 

Crowell left Sunday's 27-23 win over the Bills with a foot injury and did not return. He was ruled out for Saturday's game against the Texans on Thursday after not practicing all week.

Tags: Elijah McGuire
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New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold throws a pass during the second half against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. (Timothy T. Ludwig/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold throws a pass during the second half against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. (Timothy T. Ludwig/USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

THE GAME 

The Jets (4-9) against the Houston Texans (9-4) at the Meadowlands in East Rutherford, New Jersey, on Saturday, Dec. 15, at 4:30 p.m. ET.

THE WEATHER

The Jets and Texans will be just a few degrees away from a snow game … but it doesn't look like they're going to make it. Temperatures should be above 40 at kickoff but will drop through the mid-30s as the game goes on. There is also plenty of rain sprinkled into the forecast throughout the night.

WHAT IT MEANS

They showed a little pride earlier this week against the Bills, but in the process they blew a chance to gain control of their destiny in the race for the No. 1 overall pick in the draft. They're only one game behind the Cardinals, Raiders and 49ers in that race, though. So a loss to the Texans here and they're right back in it.

Tags: Houston Texans, Leonard Williams, Sam Darnold, Ralph Vacchiano
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New York Jets running back Isaiah Crowell is escorted off the field after being injured against the Buffalo Bills during the first quarter at New Era Field. (Rich Barnes/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets running back Isaiah Crowell is escorted off the field after being injured against the Buffalo Bills during the first quarter at New Era Field. (Rich Barnes/USA TODAY Sports)

The Jets ruled running back Isaiah Crowell and wide receiver Quincy Enunwa out for Saturday's game against the Texans, while outside linebacker Jordan Jenkins will be a game-time decision.

Crowell left Sunday's 27-23 win over the Bills in the first half with a foot injury and did not return. Elijah McGuire recorded 60 rushing yards and 23 receiving yards in Crowell's absence, scoring the game-winning 1-yard rushing touchdown late in the fourth quarter.

Enunwa did not practice on Tuesday or Wednesday with an ankle injury. He missed two games in October with a sprained ankle.

Tags: Houston Texans, Jordan Jenkins, Quincy Enunwa
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'Cope's Chronicles' 00:01:28
New York Jets linebacker Brandon Copeland interviews some of his teammates about their Alma maters.

Jets LB Brandon Copeland took the microphone from SNY's Jeane Coakley to make his rounds in the locker room for "Cope's Chronicles," his new segment on Jets Game Plan.

Copeland naturally assumed the role of interviewer, asking his teammates about their alma maters and how much they regret not going to his own, the University of Pennsylvania.

"How mad are you on a scale of 1 to 10 that you did not go to the University of Pennsylvania," he asked WR Andre Roberts.

Tags: Brandon Copeland
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New York Jets running back Elijah McGuire celebrates his game-winning touchdown with offensive guard Brian Winters and offensive guard Dakota Dozier against the Buffalo Bills during the fourth quarter at New Era Field. (Rich Barnes/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets running back Elijah McGuire celebrates his game-winning touchdown with offensive guard Brian Winters and offensive guard Dakota Dozier against the Buffalo Bills during the fourth quarter at New Era Field. (Rich Barnes/USA TODAY Sports)

When Jets running back Isaiah Crowell went down, Elijah McGuire stepped up.

And he hopes to keep the momentum going in the future.

McGuire totaled 83 yards from scrimmage, the most he's had since Week 4 in 2017, and scored the game-winning 1-yard touchdown in Sunday's 27-23 win over the Bills after Crowell left the game with a foot injury.

"You can't take it for granted," McGuire said, according to the New York Post's Brian Costello.

Tags: Bilal Powell, Elijah McGuire
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Nothing to lose 00:01:24
Avery Williamson and Todd Bowles say they aren't taking the last three games for granted. Players must make the most and try and win out.

As the Jets continue to hope for a winning future, New York's three remaining games of the season are important to assess how the franchise's top players will establish themselves. 

New York is feeling confident after defeating Buffalo 27-23 on Sunday with a solid return from quarterback Sam Darnold. The 21-year-old went 12 of 18 for 139 yards in the second half and led a game-winning touchdown drive in the final two minutes to snap the Jets' six-game losing streak.

Linebacker Avery Williamson is not taking the Jets' final three games for granted and hopes the team's latest victory will stretch into Week 15 against the Titans. Williamson said it's not just about winning games, but he wants to end the season on a positive note -- by playing the best he can.

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Sam Darnold optimistic after win 00:01:01
Sam Darnold is feeling better physically after the Jets win. Darnold looks to build on his start for the last three games of the season.

Sam Darnold gave Jets fans a scare in the first half of Sunday's 27-23 win over the Bills when he exited the game after re-aggravating his sprained right foot. 

The rookie quarterback eventually re-entered the game and gutted it out as he led the Jets to a comeback victory, but there was still concern over his health, especially when he was splitting first-team reps with Josh McCown at the start of Tuesday's practice that was open to media. 

But Darnold was listed as a full participant and insists he "feels great."

Tags: Sam Darnold
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Jul 28, 2018; Eagan, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator John DeFilippo at Vikings training camp at TCO Performance Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Rempel)
Jul 28, 2018; Eagan, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator John DeFilippo at Vikings training camp at TCO Performance Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Rempel)

Another NFL coaching whiz became available on Thursday when the Vikings fired offensive coordinator John DeFilippo -- and the Jets likely already have their eyes on him.

DeFilippo is expected to be on the Jets' shortlist to replace head coach Todd Bowles, according to SNY's Ralph Vacchiano.

The 40-year-old DeFilippo was the Jets' quarterbacks coach in 2009, and the team even tried to interview him for its offensive coordinator job in 2017 before the Eagles blocked him. DeFilippo helped develop QB Carson Wentz over two seasons in Philly, but his 2018 season with Minnesota was cut short due to a struggling, Kirk Cousins-led offense. 

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Dec 9, 2018; Orchard Park, NY, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) passes the ball against the Buffalo Bills during the fourth quarter at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports (Rich Barnes)
Dec 9, 2018; Orchard Park, NY, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) passes the ball against the Buffalo Bills during the fourth quarter at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports (Rich Barnes)

Jonas Schwartz and Willie Colon rehash the Jets win over the Bills. Was the signature win for the rookie QB better than a potentially higher draft spot? The duo also examine the coaching carousel in the NFL and preview the game against the Texans.

Subscribe to the show here: https://on.sny.tv/2Od2Qzt

 

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New York Jets outside linebacker Jordan Jenkins (48) celebrates with teammates Marcus Maye (26) after recovering a fumble during the first half of an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons Sunday, Oct. 29, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig) (Seth Wenig/AP)
New York Jets outside linebacker Jordan Jenkins (48) celebrates with teammates Marcus Maye (26) after recovering a fumble during the first half of an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons Sunday, Oct. 29, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig) (Seth Wenig/AP)

If Jets outside linebacker Jordan Jenkins was happy about his team's first win in six weeks, he didn't show it. Instead, Jenkins had sharp words for young Bills quarterback Josh Allen and outside left tackler Dion Dawkins after New York edged Buffalo 27-23 on Sunday.

Allen pulled away from Jenkins, who was charging at the quarterback at the 15-yard line, for a 6-yard touchdown on Buffalo's first drive of the game. But Jenkins' emotional response during his postgame press conference was driven by Dawkins' chop block on the first play from scrimmage. 

The play caused Jenkins to retreat to the locker room with an ankle injury. Moments later, SNYtv's Ralph Vacchiano reported Jenkins was returning to the field, despite being doubtful to return. Jenkins finished with two tackles, including one tackle for loss.

Tags: Jordan Jenkins
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New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold scrambles out of the pocket against the Buffalo Bills during the second quarter at New Era Field. (Rich Barnes/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold scrambles out of the pocket against the Buffalo Bills during the second quarter at New Era Field. (Rich Barnes/USA TODAY Sports)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

Until the final drive, Sam Darnold's performance in his return to the starting lineup would be defined by his best and worst play. However, Darnold's composure in leading the team downfield for the late game-winning score in Sunday's 27-23 win over the Buffalo Bills was exactly the kind of thing the Jets and their fans had been hoping to see from him this year.

Let's look at some specific examples before we draw conclusions:

Tags: Buffalo Bills, Robby Anderson, Sam Darnold
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What to make of Sam Darnold 00:00:51
Sam Darnold returned to action against the Bills. What should Jets fans takeaway from the young QB?s season so far?

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Fourteen years ago there was a young quarterback in New York who had struggled through an up-and-down rookie season. He showed flashes of his potential, but not nearly enough to convince everyone he would someday be the man to lead his franchise.

Then in Week 17, Eli Manning got the ball with 1:41 remaining and drove the Giants down the field for a game-winning drive capped by a 3-yard Tiki Barber touchdown run. The Giants beat the Cowboys 28-24 that day and it seemed like the moment that Manning arrived.

Tags: Buffalo Bills, Eli Manning, Elijah McGuire, Robby Anderson, Sam Darnold, Ralph Vacchiano
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Report Cards from the Jets win 00:02:37
Willie Colon and Bart Scott give their grades for the Jets 27-23 win over Buffalo. It's all A's for special teams but what about the rest?

The Jets crew hands out grades after Sam Darnold led the Jets to a last-minute comeback drive in Sunday's 27-23 win over the Buffalo Bills on Sunday at New Era Field.

Tags: Buffalo Bills
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Jets beat Bills 27-23 00:01:17
The Jets got their much-wanted revenge on the Buffalo Bills, winning 27-23. After the game it was all smiles in the locker room.

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

When Sam Darnold limped off to the locker room after the Jets' first series, it looked like this season was going to go from bad to much worse. This season had always been about him. But he had already missed three games with a foot injury after three terrible performances.

And now he was going to be out again?

Well, though it wasn't exactly a Willis Reed performance, Darnold returned quickly enough to give some life and hope to what's left of this Jets season. He went 12 of 18 for 139 yards in the second half and led a game-winning touchdown drive in the final two minutes to give the Jets a 27-23 win over the Buffalo Bills.

Tags: Buffalo Bills, Elijah McGuire, Jamal Adams, Sam Darnold, Ralph Vacchiano
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New York Jets running back Isaiah Crowell looks for a hole to run through during the first half against the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium. (Christopher Hanewinckel/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets running back Isaiah Crowell looks for a hole to run through during the first half against the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium. (Christopher Hanewinckel/USA TODAY Sports)

Running back Isaiah Crowell left Week 14 against Buffalo with a foot injury. The Jets announced he is questionable to return. 

The 25-year-old was sidelined at Jets practice with a toe issue all week, and it could be related to Sunday's injury. Crowell had three touches for seven yards before exiting. Elijah McGuire took over for Crowell as the New York's lead back.

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Oct 28, 2018; Chicago, IL, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) jogs off the field after the second half against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports (Patrick Gorski)
Oct 28, 2018; Chicago, IL, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) jogs off the field after the second half against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports (Patrick Gorski)

Jets QB Sam Darnold left Sunday's game against the Bills after just three plays, heading to the locker room with team doctors before being replaced by Josh McCown.

Darnold missed one drive before jogging back on the field and coming back in the game. 

He is playing in his first game since Week 9, when he suffered a right foot strain.

Tags: Sam Darnold, Danny Abriano
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Aug 24, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterbacks Sam Darnold (14) and Josh McCown (15) watch second half of play against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Aug 24, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterbacks Sam Darnold (14) and Josh McCown (15) watch second half of play against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

After missing the last three games due to a foot injury, Sam Darnold will return as the Jets' QB on Sunday against the Bills, the team announced. 

Darnold practiced in full on Friday, but head coach Todd Bowles said a final decision on his availability wouldn't be made until right before the game. 

"We'll decide that on Sunday," Bowles said. "Both he and Josh (McCown) had good weeks."

Tags: Sam Darnold
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Nov 4, 2018; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) throws a pass against the Miami Dolphins during the first half at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)
Nov 4, 2018; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) throws a pass against the Miami Dolphins during the first half at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

THE GAME 

The Jets (3-9) at the Buffalo Bills (4-8) at New Era Field in Orchard Park, N.Y., on Sunday, Dec. 9 at 1 p.m. ET.

Tags: Buffalo Bills, Sam Darnold, Ralph Vacchiano
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Oct 14, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets cornerback Parry Nickerson (43) and defensive end Leonard Williams (92) celebrate a fumble by the Indianapolis Colts during a NFL game at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran/NorthJersey.com via USA TODAY NETWORK (Danielle Parhizkaran)
Oct 14, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets cornerback Parry Nickerson (43) and defensive end Leonard Williams (92) celebrate a fumble by the Indianapolis Colts during a NFL game at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran/NorthJersey.com via USA TODAY NETWORK (Danielle Parhizkaran)

As the Jets enter the final quarter of their schedule in the 2018-2019 season, the reality that there will be no postseason football for Gang Green has set in. But that does not mean players are packing it in on the whole.

That's certainly not how Jets defensive lineman Leonard Williams sees it.

"You can tell guys are tired of it - they want to win, no more losing," Williams told the New York Post on Friday. "I think it shows a lot."

Tags: Leonard Williams
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Oct 28, 2018; Chicago, IL, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) warms up before the game against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports (Quinn Harris)
Oct 28, 2018; Chicago, IL, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) warms up before the game against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports (Quinn Harris)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - The last time Sam Darnold was under center for the Jets, his rookie season was in a freefall.

In his last three games, he had completed just 47.3 percent of his passes for 588 yards, with two touchdowns and seven interceptions. He had a dismal passer rating of 43.2.

Tags: Buffalo Bills, Josh Allen, Sam Darnold, Ralph Vacchiano
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Manish Mehta responds to Bowles 00:02:56
Daily News Jets writer Manish Mehta responds to Todd Bowles' denial of his story about tension between and GM Mike Maccagnan and himself.

Even though Todd Bowles claims there was "never any tension" between him and anyone else on the Jets staff, New York Daily News Jets writer Manish Mehta isn't buying it. 

Mehta doubled down on his Daily News report Friday, saying the head coach's denial of friction between him and GM Mike Maccagnan were "predictable" and he wouldn't expect the two to publicly say otherwise.

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New York Jets linebacker Darron Lee is chased by Indianapolis Colts running back Marlon Mack after an interception in the fourth quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Robert Deutsch/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets linebacker Darron Lee is chased by Indianapolis Colts running back Marlon Mack after an interception in the fourth quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Robert Deutsch/USA TODAY Sports)

The Jets season still manages to reach a new low. 

Linebacker Darron Lee was suspended four games without pay for violating the NFL Policy and Program for Substances of Abuse, the team announced on Friday. 

Lee will begin his suspension immediately and will be eligible to return to the Jets' active roster on Dec. 31, the day after their final game. 

Tags: Darron Lee
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Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy looks on from the sideline in the second half against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium. (Jay Biggerstaff/USA TODAY Sports)
Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy looks on from the sideline in the second half against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium. (Jay Biggerstaff/USA TODAY Sports)

In the latest episode of The Jet Stream, Jonas Schwartz is joined by Good Morning Football's Peter Schrager to discuss why a younger, offensive-minded head coach would be a lot better than hiring Mike McCarthy and could get the most out of Sam Darnold. Lastly, The Athletic's Jets beat writer Connor Hughes goes in-depth on the Jets roster and how the losing is impacting the locker room.

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Todd Bowles denies rift with GM 00:00:36
Jets head coach Todd Bowles denies a published report that there's a rift between himself and GM Mike Maccagnan.

Todd Bowles insists everything is just fine between him and GM Mike Maccagnan

The Jets head coach denied a report form Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News that said there was "friction and passive aggressive petulance" between Bowles and Maccagnan. 

"I'm not big on responding to articles, but there's never been any tension between me or anybody else in this building," Bowles told SNY's Jeane Coakley on Friday.

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Oct 14, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles looks on before his game against the Indianapolis Colts during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)
Oct 14, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles looks on before his game against the Indianapolis Colts during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

After a 30-9 Titans beatdown on the Jaguars Thursday night, the Jets were officially eliminated from playoff contention this season. 

A 3-9 Jets team had extremely slim chances of staying afloat, but Tennessee put the nail in the coffin to send New York packing after Week 17 for the eighth straight season. This playoff drought is the second-longest in franchise history. 

In turn, head coach Todd Bowles' job could be in some serious jeopardy. SNY's Ralph Vacchiano says it "seems like a given at this point" considering the lackluster performance the team has had all season long. So, while fans will be focused on the Jets' high draft pick, finding a new head coach will also be on their radar. 

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Nov 4, 2018; Foxborough, MA, USA; Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy on the sideline during the third quarter against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports (Stew Milne)
Nov 4, 2018; Foxborough, MA, USA; Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy on the sideline during the third quarter against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports (Stew Milne)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

There doesn't seem to be any way for Todd Bowles to save his job now, which means the Jets are probably already thinking about what comes next. Most good executives always have a list of future potential coaches. Surely GM Mike Maccagnan and CEO Christopher Johnson have lists, too.

It's hard to say for sure who is on it with four games to go in the regular season. It's not even absolutely certain who will lead the search, though one team source indicated Maccagnan will have "strong influence" if not total control. Regardless, the Jets will have several strong candidates from which to choose.

Tags: Sam Darnold, Ralph Vacchiano
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Darnold looks good, could start 00:00:53
New York Jets offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates is encouraged by what he's seen from Sam Darnold in practice, but will he play on Sunday?

Jets rookie QB Sam Darnold was back with the first team at practice on Thursday, which means the first-year signal-caller could see action for the first time in nearly a month when the Jets hit the road Sunday to take on the Buffalo Bills.

Talking on "Good Morning Football" this morning, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport said Darnold is "expected to exit the injury report pretty soon." Darnold took part in full practice drills, and seems to be back on track after a foot injury that sidelined him in Week 9.

Jets head coach Todd Bowles hasn't said whether or not Darnold will start across from fellow rookie QB Josh Allen. Darnold noted feeling great after practice Wednesday, as he continues to practice hard...

Tags: Josh Allen, Sam Darnold
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New York Jets safety Jamal Adams reacts during the second quarter against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets safety Jamal Adams reacts during the second quarter against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)

The Jets are looking to avenge their embarrassing 41-10 loss to the Buffalo Bills last month, and in Jamal Adams' eyes, "It's personal.

"They came in and they whupped us," Adams continued, according to ESPN's Rich Cimini. "They don't like us, we don't like them, so it's going to be a tough battle."

So much went wrong for the Jets on Nov. 11 that it was fair to question of the players quit. The heat under head coach Todd Bowles' hot seat was scorching; owner Christopher Johnson did comment on Bowles' job status after the game. 

Tags: Buffalo Bills, Jamal Adams, Josh McCown, Quincy Enunwa, Sam Darnold
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Get to know Jonotthan Harrison 00:02:19
Jonotthan Harrison would be a homicide detective if he wasn't playing football. He shared a lot of interesting facts with Jeane Coakley.

Jets C Jonotthan Harrison is something of a Renaissance man.

The 27-year-old University of Florida product revealed to SNY's Jeane Coakley some of his varied interests.

Harrison said football came later in his life because he was simply too big to play in his youth. That put the sport on the back burner until around halfway through college, he said.

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