BGA is back...and this time it’s preseasonal (again)!

Coming up, part one of your breakdown of Saturday night's 28-18 win over the Giants with detailed analysis of the defense and special teams including the Revis-Beckham duel, Muhammad Wilkerson's return and some linebacking struggles. We'll move on to the offensive review in part two.

Join me after the jump as I attempt to cover every angle. It's good to be back!

This was a much more satisfactory performance from the Jets in all three phases. While the 18-point lead the Jets took into the fourth quarter might have flattered the Jets slightly, they were in control throughout and deserved the 10-point win even though the Giants actually outgained them in total offense. Maybe the defense is starting to coalesce or maybe having all of their starters available made all the difference. Either way, it was an encouraging way to prepare for the season opener, with most key players expected to be rested next week.

Defensive Line

The big downside from this game was the knee injury suffered by Leonard Williams. As I write this, the latest update is that it's not expected to be serious, but any absence could have big ramifications even if it's a short-term thing, because the Jets are already one key man down for the first four weeks of the season. While Williams was out there, he didn't make any flashy plays, but again was solid at the point of attack, getting some good penetration on a handful of plays. He stuffed one run for a short gain.

At least Muhammad Wilkerson was back, although his reps were managed and he was taken out in some nickel situations.

After shaking off some initial rust, Wilkerson (who played 26 or 38 first-team snaps) was in on a couple of run stops and then picked up a sack as he had his man on rollerskates before throwing him off to get Eli Manning. As a sign of his influence, Wilkerson was triple-teamed on the next play, giving both outside rushers a one-on-one.

The other starter, Damon Harrison, has been one constant throughout preseason. He held up well as usual at the point of attack and was in on two run stuffs.

Leger Douzable continued to rotate in with the first-team nickel package and also had some rotational reps. Douzable had a nice sack and an even nicer sack dance and also got a low hit on Manning when he threw his pick-six. He could have had a second sack, but missed the tackle in the pocket and was peanlized once. He got in on a run stuff in the second half.

Sheldon Richardson , suspended for the first four regular-season games, got plenty of work all the way into the fourth quarter. He saw a lot of blocking attention but did showcase some good power and spent plenty of time in the backfield. He didn't really make any plays until the second half, when he exploded up the middle for a sack on a stunt and beat his man for a pressure.

One guy who really impressed me was Ronald Talley, who - let's not forget - was a starter while Muhammad Wilkerson was out. Talley's get-off is impressive and he got some excellent penetration. He stuffed one run and leveraged his man inside for a pressure in the second half.

Stephen Bowen worked alongside Talley in the second-team nickel defense. While he isn't as explosive as Talley, he held up really well at the point of attack and is good at getting off blocks. He was in on three run stuffs and had one pressure. He could have had a sack when Giants reserve QB Ryan Nassib stepped up, but missed the tackle in the pocket leading to a first down scramble.

T. J. Barnes played nose when that team went to a base personnel alignment and he also rotated into some nickel packages down the stretch. He doesn't hold up as well as Harrison at the point of attack, but I'm hopeful he can do a job as the backup nose tackle this year, not that there will be many reps available if Harrison stays healthy. He did stuff one run for no gain.

Rookies Deon Simon and Jordan Williams got into the game in the fourth quarter, but didn't get many reps because the Jets ran out the clock. It was good to see Williams out there after he left practice with an injury a few days ago, but he was dominated on a couple of plays, including a short yardage conversion.

Kevin Vickerson again did not play and has missed all of preseason so far. The Jets might be wishing they left him on the PUP list.

Linebackers

Much of the negative focus from this performance falls on Demario Davis, who had two pass interference penalties and a bad missed tackle on the Giants' long second-quarter touchdown drive. The inside linebackers will be under a lot of pressure this year if the Jets cornerbacks and defensive line play as well as hoped, so his struggles are concerning. To be fair to Davis, he actually played quite well before the drive and was in on three run stops close to the line. He also had one other play where he missed the tackle, but slowed the man up for someone else to clean up. Davis was also taken out of a play at the second level on the touchdown drive, but did take on a lead blocker well to help bottle up a run on the next drive.

Early on, I was more concerned with David Harris' performance. Harris had a quiet first quarter and was blocked out of a couple of plays early on in the second. He did respond, getting in on a couple of run stops and pursuing out to the flat to make a stop. Other than that touchdown drive, Davis (team-leading eight tackles) would probably grade out much better than Harris.

Also quiet initially was Quinton Coples, but he stepped it up with a couple of nice plays. His best play saw him drive his man upfield while setting the edge and then get off the block to wrap him up for a loss. He got good penetration on a couple more runs and had a hit and a pressure in the pass rush, driving Marshall Newhouse back on one play.

Calvin Pace dressed but did not play as expected This gave a good opportunity to Trevor Reilly, who started and played deep into the second half. Reilly was credited with a half-sack along with Wilkerson and added two tackles. He had one quarterback hit and a pressure when he was unblocked and Manning had to throw the ball away. He was offside twice, although he got bailed out on third-and-2 because the Giants wide receiver flinched first.

Generally speaking, Reilly didn't really beat his man cleanly in the pass rush and at times was outmuscled when trying to hold up on the edge. Reilly is listed on the Jets' official roster at 225 pounds, but that's obviously a mistake because he was 245 at the combine last year and would presumably have added some weight since.

But I'm still a little worried that he might not be able to hold up too well at the point of attack if given significant reps as a starter. To his credit, he did hold up well on the edge on one play that was bottled up and he looks comfortably dropping into coverage, although he wasn't targeted.

Jason Babin also jumped offsides on one of those plays, so Reilly was unfortunate to be the one tagged with the flag. Babin almost had a sack, with Nassib throwing the ball away while Babin had him wrapped up. He added a pressure and was in on a run stop. He also held up well on the edge on one run stop.

Deion Barnes, who impressed me last week, gave an interesting insight into the difference between making plays against backups and then being required to face starters. With Reilly heading to the bench for a couple plays, Barnes was driven badly off the line by a slot receiver and couldn't get off the block as a run off the edge went for a first down. His confidence perhaps dented, Barnes did play more in the second half, but didn't make much of an impact.

Bryan Johnson, who only signed with the Jets a few days ago, did get some fourth quarter reps, chasing the quarterback from the pocket on one play.

Backing up on the inside, Joe Mays and Jamari Lattimore worked with the second unit and both struggled. Lattimore gave up three big plays in coverage, including one touchdown, although the score did seem like some kind of coverage breakdown which may not have been entirely his fault. He was also blocked out of one running play at the second level. Mays didn't fare that much better, getting blocked out of a couple of running plays and being a step slow to get across in coverage on a completion down the middle. Each did record a pressure on a blitz.

Taiwan Jones filled in for Lattimore when he left the game with a knee injury, but he did return. Jones worked with Mays on the third unit, suggesting that perhaps Lattimore is considered to be ahead of Mays. While Jones had a quiet performance, he did have one tackle - which was more than could be said for Lattimore.

Erin Henderson and Lorenzo Mauldin did not dress for the game.

Defensive Backs

Antonio Cromartie seemed to have a rough camp and had been on the wrong end of a couple of negative plays in the first two preseason games, so it was nice to see him bounce back. His 59-yard touchdown return was a great play as he sat on James Joes' route and then gambled and jumped it for the easy score.

However, this doesn't entirely alleviate my concerns with Cromartie because we know he can make plays with his closing speed coming forwards - it's those plays where he has to turn his hips and stay with a receiver that are worrying. Cromartie did well on a couple of other targets, making tackles short of the first down marker on two passes which were, again, in front of him. Cromartie was also blocked out of one running play.

Darrelle Revis comes out of the Odell Beckham Jr. matchup with his reputation intact. But, truth be told, he was actually pretty lucky a couple of times. He did give up three short first-down conversions and nearly gave up two downfield catches as Beckham got a step on him deep but Manning missed the throw and Beckham made a signature one-handed catch but came down just out of bounds.

In Revis' defense, one of those first downs should have been incomplete because it hit the ground. Also, he stumbled on the deep ball and was arguably pushed off before the one-hander. Even so, it's a testament to how good Beckham is that he gave Revis the run-around. Revis did come off his man to make a stop short of the marker to force a punt on the first drive.

Buster Skrine didn't fare too badly at nickel corner. He gave up one first down on a short third down completion and one other catch on second and long short of a first down. He was in a good position on another target that was incomplete, although that play was negated by a penalty anyway. There was one play where he struggled to get off a block on a screen pass though.

At safety, both Marcus Gilchrist and Calvin Pryor made some good contributions in run support, although Pryor had a missed tackle in the open field that led to a first down run and Gilchrist also slipped and missed a tackle on one play. Gilchrist did have a couple of important open field tackles, one on a short pass, and Pryor made a third down stop. There were no issues in coverage from either of them.

Jaiquawn Jarrett was another safety that came up and made some contributions in run support. Maybe that's more of a focus for this team than it was under Rex Ryan. He made a good hit and was in on a tackle for a short gain. To nobody's surprise, Rontez Miles was around the football a lot too, getting in on two run stuffs and making an open field tackle on a short pass. He was credited with six tackles. Rookie Durell Eskridge made his return following his recent concussion and closed well on one low incompletion on the outside.

Darrin Walls, who had issues with penalties last week, gave up three first downs, slipping downfield on one hitch route and allowing a 3rd and 10 conversion on one play. He did make an outstanding tackle in the flat for a loss and also was closing well on a receiver short of the marker on another pass that was dropped.

Marcus Williams was the only defensive back penalized (illegal contact in the second half). He gave up two first downs and a two-point conversion, but on one of those first downs he superbly ripped the ball away from the receiver for a turnover. Williams had good coverage on another deep incompletion and also had a pressure blitzing from the slot.

Dexter McDougle had a rough game last time out, but held up well Saturday. He almost gave up a first down but the receiver dropped it and there was a penalty anyway. On another incompletion, he did a good job of locating the football as he ran deep with the receiver.

Javier Arenas, Keith Lewis and Keon Lyn did not play on defense this week. Neither did Curtis Brown who played his first game of the preseason as Dashaun Phillips was the only other defensive back to join Dee Milliner on the inactive list.

Special Teams

After my disappointment with the special teams performance in the previous game, this was a step in the right direction. However, there were still a couple of breakdowns. The one which is getting the most attention is the muffed punt by Eric Decker.

After Walt Powell ran a punt back 54 yards for a second-half touchdown, some beat writers are asking why Decker was in there in the first place, but isn't it obvious? The Jets obviously don't feel they have room for Powell on their roster so were going with the back-up plan that would be in place if Jeremy Kerley were unavailable for a regular season game.

Let's not assume that because Decker looked a bit rusty fielding punts (he also misjudged one that went over his head and rolled downfield for a 66-yard punt), he's totally incapable of handling the role. In fact, the Broncos felt he was reliable enough that when Trindon Holliday was struggling, they put him into that role for a cold-weather playoff game. Let's also not assume that because Powell ran one back, he's 100% reliable fielding punts. He had a crucial muff against the Broncos last year and also fumbled a kickoff in the same game.

Does Powell's return change the Jets' thinking and guarantee him a spot? Not necessarily. Ian Smart had a punt return touchdown in 2004 and didn't make the roster. With roster spots at a premium and Powell yet to show much in the passing game, the role probably still belongs to Kerley heading into next week. While I'm not a fan of Decker as the emergency guy due to the risk of losing him to injury, he does have more experience in fielding punts than most of the other guys who will be on the 53, apart from maybe Gilchrist. Kerley himself was probably the Jets' second-best receiver in 2013 and 2014 and still had the role full-time, not even just as an emergency fill-in.

One thing well worth noting is that Decker had next to no vice protection on any of those plays as the Jets were working on some punt block packages. If this had to be repeated - and even if they retained Powell or Kerley as the primary punt returner, that doesn't mean they won't get hurt so the Jets would need someone to fill in - then I'd imagine they'd be a lot more careful with that.

Anyway, it was a nice play by Powell and a couple of bad ones by Decker. That gives the Jets plenty to think about.

Another breakdown came when Nick Folk missed an extra point. That will probably happen a lot around the league this year. In the CFL, the percentage on the new 33-yard extra point has been significantly lower than on field goals from the same distance. On this particular one, I believe a Giant may have deflected the kick. Even if he didn't, he got into the backfield easily on a lazy block by Jeff Cumberland. Folk did hit his other two PATs.

Ryan Quigley had a pretty good game for the second week in a row. He was consistent, with five of his six punts going for at least 40 yards and the other one downed inside the 15.

Coverage units were much improved on last week too. Among those making good plays were Skrine, Saalim Hakim, Walls, Jarrett and Jones. Tommy Bohanon did overpursue on one kickoff and missed a tackle on a punt though. Nobody has locked down the gunner role(s) yet, with the likes of Chris Owusu, Skrine, McDougle and Walls among those getting reps there.

Finally, the returning Owusu did a great job returning kickoffs, averaging 38 yards and bouncing off a big hit on one. Hopefully that's a sign the latest concussion issue is behind him.

Part two will cover the offensive performance including insight into whether Quincy Enunwa would at last show any signs of what the Jets apparently see in him, some disappointing blocking from the tight end position and an update on how the offensive line chemistry is developing. That will be posted this afternoon. Please note that there is no "BGA Extra" mailbag during preseason, but if you do have any specific questions, ask me in the comments section to that article and I'll try to answer them there or in next week's BGA.

Tags: bentdouble, BGA, jmcguire860, Bent Double
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Jan 6, 2018; Los Angeles, CA, USA; General overall view of the NFC Wild Card playoff logo during a football game between the Atlanta Falcons and the Los Angeles Rams at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)
Jan 6, 2018; Los Angeles, CA, USA; General overall view of the NFC Wild Card playoff logo during a football game between the Atlanta Falcons and the Los Angeles Rams at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)

Changes are reportedly coming to the NFL's playoff structure.

According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the current CBA proposal includes seven teams from each conference making the the playoffs (currently six teams from each conference make the playoffs), with only one team per conference getting a bye.

The new rule would add one more Wild Card team per conference (meaning the Steelers and Rams would have made the playoffs last season), while putting extra importance on securing the number one seed.

Also of note in the new CBA, the players on the teams with a first-round bye would now be compensated for that weekend, whereas they currently are not. 

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Robby Anderson
Robby Anderson

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

After Jets general manager Joe Douglas spoke to Robby Anderson at the end of last season, he said "He knows how valued he is here."

But the problem for the Jets is Anderson likely knows how valued he might be everywhere else, too.

The 26-year-old Anderson is set to hit the free agent market in March as one of the top receivers available -- and possibly the top target, according to some NFL sources, depending on which receivers actually shake free. That could mean a huge contract for Anderson, who may already be priced out of the Jets' range.

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With his future in Cleveland uncertain, Odell Beckham Jr. would view the Jets as an "ideal landing spot" if the Browns trade him, reports Kristian Dyer of Sports Illustrated.

The source Dyer spoke with said Beckham isn't actively seeking a trade, but that a return to New York would be "welcomed" by him.

SNY's Ralph Vacchiano reported on Dec. 12 -- when the possibility of Beckham wanting out of Cleveland first arose -- that Beckham would "not be afraid of a return to New York." Vacchiano also listed the Packers, Vikings, and Rams among potential suitors for Beckham.

Tags: Odell Beckham Jr., Quincy Enunwa, Robby Anderson, Danny Abriano
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Dec 30, 2018; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs (14) reacts during the fourth quarter against the Chicago Bears at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports  (Brace Hemmelgarn)
Dec 30, 2018; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs (14) reacts during the fourth quarter against the Chicago Bears at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports (Brace Hemmelgarn)

Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs doesn't seem to be too attached to his current team. 

Diggs, who expressed frustration with the Vikings in October prior to the NFL trade deadline, removed all Vikings content from his Instagram account on Tuesday night, leading people to believe that he's once again ready to move on from the team. 

The only problem is that Diggs is still under contract with the team for four more years, and has about $48 million left on the contract that he signed just this past summer.

Tags: Quincy Enunwa, Robby Anderson
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Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Le'Veon Bell's future with the Jets remains as uncertain as it was at the end of last season, when GM Joe Douglas said he'd listen if teams called about his star running back. A trade remains "unlikely" according to a source familiar with the Jets' plans, but they'd consider it for the right offer.

It's just complicated because of Bell's contract. And it all depends on how eager the Jets are to get rid of Bell -- if they're even eager at all.

It's the contract that makes it "unlikely," though. Bell, who turned 28 on Tuesday, is entering the second year of a four-year, $52.5 million contract that includes $13 million in guarantees for 2020, which would be the responsibility of his new team. The Jets would almost certainly have to eat some of that money, as they did when they traded defensive lineman Leonard Williams to the Giants for a third- and fifth-round pick back in October.

Tags: Le'Veon Bell, Ralph Vacchiano
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Dec 22, 2019; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; New York Jets running back Le'Veon Bell (26) reacts after his game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 22, 2019; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; New York Jets running back Le'Veon Bell (26) reacts after his game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The Jets still haven't full closed the door on moving running back Le'Veon Bell before next season, but it could cost them to do so. 

According to a report from NFL Network's Ian Rapoport on Monday, the Jets have never been fully closed off to the idea of potentially trading Bell. Bell's name was tossed around in the rumor mill during the 2019 NFL trade deadline, but the Jets never pulled the trigger on any deal. 

The latest report says things are status quo. 

Tags: Le'Veon Bell
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As he continues to pursue his dream of playing in MLB, Mets minor league prospect and former NFL quarterback Tim Tebow addressed the media on Sunday afternoon, and made some positive comments on the two young quarterbacks playing in New York.

When asked if he was "yay or nay" on Giants quarterback Daniel Jones, Tebow laughed at the question and then gave an encouraging answer on the No. 6 overall pick in last year's draft.

"I think he's got a lot of talent," Tebow said on Jones. "I think he was coached really well in college. I think he will continue to improve. I think continuing to get him more weapons and confidence is pretty critical."

Tags: Sam Darnold
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Nov 17, 2019; Landover, MD, USA; New York Jets tight end Daniel Brown (87) celebrates after catching a touchdown pass against the Washington Redskins in the first quarter at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports (Geoff Burke)
Nov 17, 2019; Landover, MD, USA; New York Jets tight end Daniel Brown (87) celebrates after catching a touchdown pass against the Washington Redskins in the first quarter at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports (Geoff Burke)

The Jets have signed tight end Daniel Brown to a one-year contract extension, the team announced on Thursday.

Brown made seven receptions for 72 yards and one touchdown in 16 games (five starts) for the Jets in 2019. He also finished third on the team in special teams tackles with 11.

Brown, 27, was signed by the Baltimore Ravens as an undrafted free agent out of James Madison in 2015. He played eight games for the Ravens from 2015 to 2016 before getting claimed off waivers by the Chicago Bears on Oct. 24, 2016.

In 34 career games with the Bears from 2016 to 2018, Brown made 29 receptions for 253 yards and one touchdown.

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Nov 25, 2018; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; Ottawa RedBlacks defensive back Anthony Cioffi (24) tries to catch Calgary Stampeders wide receiver Chris Matthews (81) during the 106th Grey Cup game at The Brick Field at Commonwealth Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports (Perry Nelson)
Nov 25, 2018; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; Ottawa RedBlacks defensive back Anthony Cioffi (24) tries to catch Calgary Stampeders wide receiver Chris Matthews (81) during the 106th Grey Cup game at The Brick Field at Commonwealth Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports (Perry Nelson)

The Jets have added some secondary help, signing a former local product in safety Anthony Cioffi, the team announced on Thursday. 

The Springfield, NJ native was a four-year standout at Rutgers where he totaled 169 tackles, eight interceptions and 13 passes defended over 41 games. 

After graduating in 2016, Cioffi spent time in training camp with the Raiders in 2017. However, he would move on to the CFL, where he has been since 2018. He had a breakout year with the Ottawa Redblacks, tallying 61 defensive tackles, two interceptions, two sacks and one forced fumble over 18 games. 

The Jets don't need safety help with Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye manning those positions. However, with the injuries the secondary as a whole endured last season, depth from a versatile player like Cioffi who can roam around is valuable. 

Tags: Jamal Adams, Marcus Maye
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 (Ron Chenoy)
(Ron Chenoy)

Detroit Lions wide receiver Kenny Golladay is entering the final year of his rookie contract, and while he seems to be content with that for now, it's fair to wonder if he could be a fit in New York.

"I wouldn't mind being in Detroit for a while," Golladay told USA Today's Doug Farrar. "Everything should work itself out. I'm enjoying myself."

Originally a third-round pick of the Lions in 2017, Golladay has been tremendous with Detroit. surpassing the 1,000-yard mark in two of his three pro seasons. In 2019, he caught 65 passes for 1,190 yards and 11 touchdowns, proving to be one of the league's best young wide receivers. He's also proven to be a big-play threat, as his 18.3 yards per reception ranked second in the NFL. 

Tags: Robby Anderson
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Dec 29, 2019; Orchard Park, New York, USA; General view of a New York Jets helmet prior to the game against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports (Rich Barnes)
Dec 29, 2019; Orchard Park, New York, USA; General view of a New York Jets helmet prior to the game against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports (Rich Barnes)

The Jets made an addition to Adam Gase's coaching staff on Tuesday, hiring Leigh Torrence as the team's assistant defensive backs coach. 

Torrence has been a member of the New Orleans Saints coaching staff for the last four seasons. He was hired as coaching intern in 2016 and was then promoted to a defensive assistant the following season.

The 38-year-old Torrence made the transition to coaching after spending spending parts of seven seasons with five different teams as a player. After going undrafted out of Stanford, Torrence had his most significant playing time with the Saints from 2008-11, where he was a member of the Super Bowl LIV championship team.

In New York, Torrence will work with Jets passing came coordinator/defensive backs coach Dennard Wilson, and he'll be taking over for Steve Jackson, who was hired by Cincinnati as the Bengals cornerbacks coach.

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The NFL season officially came to a close last Sunday, as the Kansas City Chiefs knocked off the San Francisco 49ers to bring capture the Lombardi Trophy.

So that's it for football until training camp opens in July, right?

"Not so fast," says the XFL.

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Aug 22, 2019; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; NFL former player Michael Strahan is seen before a game between the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)
Aug 22, 2019; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; NFL former player Michael Strahan is seen before a game between the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)

More than 18 years after Michael Strahan broke Mark Gastineau's single-season sack record, the former Jets pass-rusher wants the world to know that he thinks the record should still belong to him.  

"I just want to be recognized for the record," Gastineau told ESPN on Monday. "You wouldn't want your son getting a record like that. I don't think it's good for the NFL. It was never good for the NFL, and I'm surprised the NFL didn't step in."

Strahan's sack in question came against the Packers during the final game of the 2001 season. Sitting at 21.5 sacks, Strahan needed just one to break Gastineau's record. With the Packers up 34-25 late in the game, Strahan blew past Packers tight end Bubba Franks and had a free shot at Favre, who went down to give Strahan the single-season record.

 

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 (Seth Wenig)
(Seth Wenig)

Things didn't go according to plan for Chris Herndon in 2019. 

The Jets tight end was suspended four games for violating the NFL's PED policy, missed another four games with a hamstring injury, then fractured his ribs only 16 snaps into his season debut, ending his season. 

Without Herndon, Ryan Griffin stepped up.

Tags: Chris Herndon
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Nov 12, 2015; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets defensive line coach Pepper Johnson gives direction as New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles looks on in the second half at MetLife Stadium. The Bills defeated the Jets 22-17 Mandatory Credit: William Hauser-USA TODAY Sports (William Hauser)
Nov 12, 2015; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets defensive line coach Pepper Johnson gives direction as New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles looks on in the second half at MetLife Stadium. The Bills defeated the Jets 22-17 Mandatory Credit: William Hauser-USA TODAY Sports (William Hauser)

Pepper Johnson, was has been affiliated with both the Giants and Jets in his football career, was abruptly fired from his XFL gig only hours removed from the league's beginning over the weekend. 

Johnson, 55, was employed by the Los Angeles Wildcats as their defensive coordinator and linebackers coach. The team announced he was relieved of his duties on Monday.

The Wildcats had lost their inaugural game, 31-17, to the Houston Roughnecks, a game which featured winning quarterback PJ Walker tossing four touchdown passes. 

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Nov 24, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) throws in the first half against the Oakland Raiders at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 24, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) throws in the first half against the Oakland Raiders at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Jets quarterback Sam Darnold is listed at 100-1 to win the NFL MVP in 2020, according to BetOnline.ag.

Darnold played in Week 1 in 2019, but missed the next three games recovering from mononucleosis. He returned in Week 6 and played the rest of the season, finishing the year with a 7-6 record at quarterback. He threw for 3024 yards and a 61.9% completion percentage, along with 19 touchdowns and 13 interceptions.

Darnold is joined at 100-1 by Giants running back Saquon Barkley, former Giants wide reciever Odell Beckham Jr., former Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick and others. 

Tags: Sam Darnold
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Dec 29, 2019; Orchard Park, New York, USA; New York Jets strong safety Jamal Adams (33) jogs on the field prior to the game against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports (Rich Barnes)
Dec 29, 2019; Orchard Park, New York, USA; New York Jets strong safety Jamal Adams (33) jogs on the field prior to the game against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports (Rich Barnes)

Pro Football Focus named New York Jets safety Jamal Adams to their list of the top-101 players from the 2019 season recently. 

Between both New York football teams, the Jets and Giants, only Adams was selected for the list produced by the football analytics outlet. 

Adams slotted in at the No. 32 overall spot. 

Tags: Jamal Adams
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 (Tim Fuller)
(Tim Fuller)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Free agency hasn't worked out well for the Jets. They spent a lot of money under former GM Mike Maccagnan and very few of those contracts have turned out to be worth the money. Some of them, in fact, now look like the worst deals the Jets have ever made.

So it's with that knowledge and a sense of great caution that the Jets head into their first offseason under new GM Joe Douglas. He's armed with about $50 million in salary cap space to spend, and likely a lot more coming when he's finished with his cuts. And he will spend, because he has to on a team filled with far too many holes.

Tags: Brian Winters, Le'Veon Bell, Sam Darnold, Trumaine Johnson, Ralph Vacchiano
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 (Brett Davis)
(Brett Davis)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The Jets will head into the first free-agent signing period under new GM Joe Douglas with a ton of money to spend for the third straight year. This time they'll start with at least $50 million, and probably a whole lot more.

The question, though, is whether he'll spend it any better - or smarter - than former GM Mike Maccagnan did.

That remains to be seen, of course, but Douglas will have to begin this offseason erasing some of Maccagnan's mistakes. There are plenty of players on the roster with huge salaries who aren't exactly living up to the numbers. Douglas will have the opportunity to clear a few of them out.

Tags: Avery Williamson, Brian Winters, Quincy Enunwa, Steven McLendon, Trumaine Johnson, Ralph Vacchiano
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Dec 29, 2019; Orchard Park, New York, USA; New York Jets head coach Adam Gase looks on against the Buffalo Bills during the second quarter at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports (Rich Barnes)
Dec 29, 2019; Orchard Park, New York, USA; New York Jets head coach Adam Gase looks on against the Buffalo Bills during the second quarter at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports (Rich Barnes)

The 2019 Giants season ended up being a start of a rebuild, and as often happens in such cases, the team underwhelmed in the win column. In their own right, the Jets weren't rebuilding and had higher hopes heading into last season, but didn't have the year their fans had hoped for, either. 

Despite both teams hitting their unders in 2019, the two are trending in opposite directions in the eyes of oddsmakers early in the 2020 offseason. 

The Giants, entering 2019 with a win total of six and missing that with four wins, see their over/ under increase to 6.5, according to OddsShark. 

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Sep 8, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets running back Le'Veon Bell (26) celebrates with New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson (11) after scoring a touchdown against the Buffalo Bills during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports  (Noah K. Murray)
Sep 8, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets running back Le'Veon Bell (26) celebrates with New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson (11) after scoring a touchdown against the Buffalo Bills during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Le'Veon Bell's Jets tenure has been rocky, with head coach Adam Gase seemingly unhappy from the get-go with how much they spent to sign him and GM Joe Douglas refusing to rule out a trade.

But Bell, who is entering the second year of a four-year deal worth $52.5 million, seems confident he's staying put.

"Jets for four more years unless something drastic changes," Bell told TMZ Sports. "We'll see."

Tags: Le'Veon Bell, Danny Abriano
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Jan 1, 2020; Orlando, Florida, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide wide receiver Jerry Jeudy (4) makes a catch against the Michigan Wolverines during the second half at Camping World Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)
Jan 1, 2020; Orlando, Florida, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide wide receiver Jerry Jeudy (4) makes a catch against the Michigan Wolverines during the second half at Camping World Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)

While the Jets could use some help in the trenches at the 2020 NFL Draft, but Pro Football Focus says one offensive playmaker is simply too good to pass up. 

The football analytics outlet has Alabama wide receiver Jerry Jeudy falling all the way to the No. 11 pick, and the Jets scoop him up. 

The upcoming class of wideouts has long said to be a talented and deep group, but the Jets are still able to make Jeudy the first one off the board.

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Dec 22, 2019; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; New York Jets head coach Adam Gase coaches against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the third quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 22, 2019; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; New York Jets head coach Adam Gase coaches against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the third quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

With the 2019 season in the history book after the Chiefs' win over the 49ers in Super Bowl LIV, the Giants and the Jets have some of the most salary cap to make their moves before next season. 

According to Spotrac, the Giants and Jets are both in the top 10 in terms of NFL teams with the most salary cap space heading into the offseason. 

The Jets round out the top 10, while the Giants slide in at No. 6. 

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Joe Douglas
Joe Douglas

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

There are still nearly three months to go until the NFL Draft, and teams are a long ways away from having their draft meetings and finalizing their boards. It's too early to know anything, really, especially with the scouting combine still three weeks away.

But it's never too early to take a look, so here's a projection of how the first 11 picks of the draft will go, including the picks for the Giants (at 4) and Jets (at 11). Their needs are easy to figure out, even if it's still too difficult to zero in on the players:

1. Cincinnati Bengals - LSU QB Joe Burrow

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Iowa offensive tackle Tristan Wirfs
Iowa offensive tackle Tristan Wirfs

Scott Thompson, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Jets GM Joe Douglas has a plethora of options to work with at No. 11 overall in the 2020 NFL Draft, and that's mainly because there are holes left and right on his current roster. But one of, if not the, biggest hole to fill is on the offensive line.

It was a rough 2019 season for that Jets unit, which had Sam Darnold running for his life, and Le'Veon Bell left without many holes to run through. The Jets tried a bunch of different variations with the players they had, but nothing they did had positive results.

More help is definitely needed, and it could be coming in the form of Iowa tackle Tristan Wirfs

Tags: Brandon Shell, Kelvin Beachum, Scott Thompson
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Dec 22, 2019; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) drops back to pass during the first quarter against the Pittsburgh Steelers at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)
Dec 22, 2019; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) drops back to pass during the first quarter against the Pittsburgh Steelers at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

With the Chiefs beating the 49ers in Super Bowl LIV, the 2019-20 NFL season officially came to a close. And with the season over, it's time to look ahead to the 2020-21 season and Super Bowl LV, taking place on Feb. 7, 2021 in Tampa.

The Chiefs are the favorites to repeat, with the Ravens and 49ers right behind them.

As far as the Jets -- who finished the season 7-9 with a late surge -- their odds are not great.

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Before they entered the league as top-10 picks in the 2017 NFL draft at sixth and 10th, respectively, Jets safety Jamal Adams and Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes first crossed paths while playing Texas high school football.

So when Kansas City won 31-20 over the San Francisco 49ers for Super Bowl LIV at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida, Adams took to Twitter and congratulated Mahomes with an angle on the past.

Separated by an approximate two-hour car drive roughly 130 miles or so apart with Adams at Carrollton (Texas) Hebron and Mahomes in Whitehouse High School, Adams and Mahomes came up along similar paths, which gave the Jets safety a glimpse into what the Chiefs quarterback was capable of.

Tags: Jamal Adams
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Jan 4, 2020; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) smiles during his press conference following their playoff loss to the Tennessee Titans at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports (Winslow Townson)
Jan 4, 2020; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) smiles during his press conference following their playoff loss to the Tennessee Titans at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports (Winslow Townson)

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady had fans sitting on the edge of their seat when he tweeted a cryptic photo on Thursday of Super Bowl week.

Some thought Brady could be announcing his retirement during the big game, but it looks like Brady was just teasing an ad he would be featured in for the Super Bowl.

"To my teammates, my family, and most of all, my fans, you deserve to hear this from me," Brady said. "Hulu doesn't just have live sports... so it's time to say goodbye to TV as you know it. But me? I'm not going anywhere."

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Jan 4, 2020; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) throws the ball against the Tennessee Titans during the second quarter at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports (David Butler II)
Jan 4, 2020; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) throws the ball against the Tennessee Titans during the second quarter at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports (David Butler II)

Tom Brady made fans wonder what his plans are for the future, after teasing a Super Bowl commercial on Twitter.

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport mentioned that it is a real possibility that Brady could return to New England.

Sources say that the Patriots are willing to pay Brady in excess of $30 million per year to keep him, according to Rapoport.

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Demarcus Robinson
Demarcus Robinson

Super Bowl LIV is finally here, as the Chiefs and 49ers square off at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami on Sunday night to see who will hoist the coveted Vince Lombardi trophy at the end of the night. 

Both squads have their stars. Patrick Mahomes leads a stacked offense that includes Tyreek Hill, Sammy Watkins and Travis Kelce as his weapons. But they're going to have to face off against Richard ShermanNick Bosa and the rest of the NFL's No. 2 defense. And, of course, you can't sleep on Jimmy Garoppolo, George Kittle, and the rest of that Niners offense that ran all over the Packers two weeks ago. 

But, for Jets fans, it's a chance to keep your eye on a few players that are set to enter free agency once this game is over. 

Tags: Jamison Crowder, Robby Anderson, Sam Darnold, Trumaine Johnson, Scott Thompson
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