After Sunday's 13-6 win over the Buffalo Bills, the New York Jets ended a roller-coaster ride of a 2019 season at 7-9 overall.
Winners in six of their last eight games, following a 1-7 start, can the Jets now keep the momentum pushing into 2020?
"Yeah, you'd always hope to think that's a possibility," said first-year head coach Adam Gase. "We'll kind of have to see how everything goes with the offseason, training camp -- you just never know who much the team changes, through injuries and things like that. But I do think it's a good kind of first year with guys going through some adversity and finding a way to dig themselves out."
Quarterback Sam Darnold, who overcame struggles from health to performance before ending his sophomore campaign strong, echoed Gase's sentiments.
"It's always half full," said Darnold, who completed 23 of 36 passes (63.9 percent) for 199 yards and one touchdown to one interception against the AFC Wild Card-bound Bills (10-6). "I think, for us, it's -- to end on such a high note, to end the season 6-2 and, obviously, the beginning of the season didn't go as we planned or would have liked, to be able to finish strong and show a bunch of resiliency throughout the last half of the season, it was awesome, super proud of the guys in the locker room and the whole coaching staff, the entire organization this back half was awesome to be a part of."
"Adam's a great dude...[he's] the right guy for the job, there was never any doubt in our minds"- Jets Videos (@snyjets) December 29, 2019
- Sam Darnold on Adam Gase pic.twitter.com/KYAIg4L1LC
The Jets suffered a head-scratching loss to the NFL-worst Cincinnati Bengals (2-14) and then understandably fell to the league's best team in the Baltimore Ravens (14-2), knocking New York out of the playoffs, but the 6-2 finish still had an impact for players like wide receiver Robby Anderson.
"I think it shows our growth," said Anderson, who caught three passes for 18 yards (6.0 average) against the Bills. "We didn't start the way we finished. We know it made a difference with us (not) going to the playoffs. But I think it's a good momentum into next year, hopefully."
Gase did not get too deep into his reflection on the 2019 season Sunday, but he commended the Jets' answer in the second half, when the team had every reason to roll over and start tanking.
"Where we started and being able to kind of get things going a little bit, finding some ways to win close games and getting six out of the last eight -- it's a, really, testament to those guys in the locker room," Gase said. "And those guys did phenomenal jobs staying with it, coming to work every day, working hard. It was impressive to watch these guys just keep their heads down and not worry about what anybody was saying."
"What's the point? Nobody cares if you get injured or not, you just gotta figure out a way to win the game"- Jets Videos (@snyjets) December 29, 2019
Adam Gase says he won't be using injuries as an excuse for the Jets' season pic.twitter.com/QfsM6nuHwC