Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield drops back to pass against Ohio State during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete) (Jay LaPrete/AP)
Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield drops back to pass against Ohio State during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete) (Jay LaPrete/AP)

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It's not quite crunch time yet, but there are less than three weeks until the start of the first round of the NFL draft, which means draft boards are in their final stages all around the league. It also means that the truth about which players are being targeted by which teams is starting to leak out -- albeit slowly.

Still, there are a lot of variables, especially in the first two picks. But at the moment there aren't many changes to my latest Mini-Mock Draft. The Browns are still taking a quarterback at 1. The Jets are still definitely taking one at 3. And I still think the Giants will take one -- assuming the right one is available -- at 2.

Here's a full look at my new Top 10, with some updated inside information:

1. Cleveland Browns - QB Josh Allen, Wyoming

I am absolutely convinced the Browns are taking a quarterback here, and I am reasonably convinced that they are going to decide between Allen and USC's Sam Darnold. What I'm not at all sure about is which one they're going to settle on when they're on the clock (or before). Allen is the scout's dream, with a crazy arm and tantalizing size (6-5, 237), plus his intelligence and makeup are exactly what teams want. If he was a better college quarterback this would be a no-brainer, but his stats -- particularly his accuracy -- at Wyoming weren't great. Can the Browns get over that, or will they go for the one guy in the draft everyone seems to think will be a sure thing -- Darnold -- albeit with a slightly lower potential ceiling? A lot of people now think they're taking Allen, but stay tuned. Oh, and for now don't buy into the talk about them taking Penn State RB Saquon Barkley or N.C. State DE Bradley Chubb here. They'll almost certainly be able to pick up one of them at 4. But by then, three quarterbacks could be gone.

Mini-Mock 1.0 pick: Darnold. … Mini-Mock 2.0 pick: Allen

2. GIANTS - QB Sam Darnold, USC

The Giants have been among the most predictable teams on draft day for more than a decade, but this year they do seem to be going out of their way to confuse people about their intentions. Some of that might be intentional. Some is simply because they have a lot of needs and some really intriguing options available at No. 2. And some of it may be because they haven't completely settled on a choice yet. It does appear, though, that Darnold is the highest-rated quarterback on their board (for now), and with a 37-year-old quarterback in Eli Manning, it's going to be hard for them to pass up on his heir apparent.

Everything about their history suggests they understand the importance of getting caught in what GM Dave Gettleman has called "Quarterback Hell." That said, they know they have to be right about the quarterback, and if Darnold is gone, a lot of possibilities open up -- including Barkley, Chubb, or perhaps a trade down to No. 3 (Jets), 5 (Broncos) or 12 (Bills, although I think Gettleman won't want to trade down this far, which means Buffalo will have to try a double-jump up). I've heard mixed things on how much they like (or don't like) UCLA QB Josh Rosen, but I suspect he'd be part of the discussion at 2, too. Best guess at the moment would be that it's Darnold if he's there, Chubb if he's not. If they trade down, they're all in the mix, along with Notre Dame guard Quenton Nelson, too.

Mini-Mock 1.0 pick: UCLA QB Josh Rosen. … Mini-Mock 2.0 pick: Darnold

3. JETS (from Indianapolis Colts) - QB Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma

Get ready for Broadway Baker! There is a lot of noise coming out of their Florham Park headquarters that the Jets are starting to get sold on his ability, his energy, and his ability to handle the New York market. They absolutely were not convinced of that last part a month or so ago, but things apparently have changed. At least maybe. There's always a chance that this is a big, elaborate smokescreen. The only thing that is absolutely certain is that the Jets will take a quarterback here.

If somehow Darnold slips he'd have to be the guy. The scouts obviously love Allen, but he is considered a bit of a project, which could be problematic for a Jets team that really needs a starter for 2019. The Jets are convinced Darnold won't be there, and they think Allen will be gone too, which means their choice would come down to Mayfield or Rosen. Both of them could be the big, electric star quarterback the Jets so desperately need. It sounds like Mayfield would be their pick at the moment, but stay tuned because that could change.

Mini-Mock 1.0 pick: Allen. … Mini-Mock 2.0 pick: Mayfield



4. Cleveland Browns - RB Saquon Barkley, Penn State

Browns head coach Hue Jackson has made a pretty good case for considering Chubb here and pairing him with last year's No. 1 pick, Myles Garrett. That has to be tempting, and if Barkley is gone it's probably likely. But if Barkley is still sitting here at 4, that's the dream draft for the Browns. They get the best quarterback (in their eyes) and the best player (in the eyes of almost everyone else). Yeah, they have Duke Johnson and Carlos Hyde, but it takes a village at running back these days, and if Barkley is half the player that people think he will be, he'll end up the star of that backfield in no time.

Mini-Mock 1.0 pick: Barkley … Mini-Mock 2.0 pick: Barkley

5. Denver Broncos -QB Josh Rosen, UCLA

I have to admit, I am real tempted to go against my No. 1 rule of Mock Drafting -- never project a trade -- because from what I hear the Buffalo Bills are absolutely desperate to move up to get one of the Top 4 quarterbacks in the draft. They are dangling their two first-rounders (12 and 22) and maybe more. And while I think a quarterback is in play for the Broncos, I think they can drop down and load up on talent because they have a youngish quarterback in Case Keenum now, plus their 2016 first-rounder, Paxton Lynch. Alas, I'm holding off for now and saying that if Rosen is here, GM John Elway won't be able to resist his arm, his potential, and his star quality. There are questions about Rosen's makeup and commitment to football, but learning at the feet of Elway would surely take care of that.

Mini-Mock 1.0 pick: Mayfield … Mini-Mock 2.0 pick: Rosen


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6. Indianapolis Colts (from Jets) - G Quenton Nelson, Notre Dame

This is another prime spot for the Bills if one of the Top 4 quarterbacks drops this far. The Colts have signaled to some around the league they are willing to drop down and acquire more picks. Honestly, it might not take having a quarterback available here for that to happen. But again, since I'm not ready to mock a trade, if they stay here the choice will be Chubb or Notre Dame guard Quenton Nelson. And the Colts could use them both. Their offensive line gave up an NFL-worst 56 sacks last year, and their defense was second-worst in the NFL with just 25 sacks. What tips the scale back to Nelson? The fact that they need to keep QB Andrew Luck healthy, otherwise they'll be picking even higher in 2019.

Mini-Mock 1.0 pick: Nelson … Mini-Mock 2.0 pick: Chubb



7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - DE Bradley Chubb, N.C. State

If this actually happens, they won't need their allotted time to make the pick. They will run the card up to the podium in Dallas to take the 6-4, 275-pound pass rushing machine who is considered by everyone to be the best defensive player in the draft. It seems crazy he'd slip this far, but that's not impossible in a draft so top-heavy with quarterbacks. The Bucs, by the way, had just 22 sacks last season -- worst in the NFL. So this is a very easy choice.

Mini-Mock 1.0 pick: Chubb … Mini-Mock 2.0 pick: Alabama CB Minkah Fitzpatrick

8. Chicago Bears - Alabama CB Minkah Fitpatrick

Assuming the draft falls as expected, the Bears seem intent on adding a defensive back here. They certainly have been looking at safeties, such as Florida State's Derwin James, but they seem to have a bigger need at cornerback. So why not take a guy who projects at both? It's unclear whether the Bears see Fitzpatrick as a safety or corner, and the NFL seems split on his ideal position. But he might be the most talented player at either position, so it makes sense to grab him now and figure out the details later.

Mini-Mock 1.0 pick: Fitzpatrick … Mini-Mock 2.0 pick: Nelson

9. San Francisco 49ers - CB Denzel Ward, Ohio State

OK they signed Richard Sherman, but he's 30 and not a long-term answer at that position. Also, in case you haven't noticed, the NFC West is suddenly loaded with offensive talent and explosive teams, and if the 49ers want to get back to the playoffs they can't just keep up with them, they have to try to stop them. Their bigger need, really, is a pass rusher, but the next best one after Chubb might be Texas-San Antonio's Marcus Davenport, and that feels like a little bit of a reach here. So they'll go with a corner who is close to, if not ahead of Fitzpatrick on several NFL boards.

Mini-Mock 1.0 pick: LB Tremaine Edmunds, Virginia Tech … Mini-Mock 2.0 pick: Florida State S Derwin James

10. Oakland Raiders - LB Tremaine Edmunds, Virginia Tech

There are a lot of people intrigued with this versatile, 6-5, 253-pound athlete who could be an inside or outside linebacker even though he's built more like an undersized defensive end. He could be a wrecking ball wherever he plays, which makes him scary in a defense that already has Khalil Mack and Bruce Irvin. If he's available at 10, that might be too tempting for the Raiders to pass up.

Mini-Mock 1.0 pick: LB Roquan Smith, Georgia … Mini-Mock 2.0 pick: Wisconsin LB T.J. Edwards


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)

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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.

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

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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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New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez, right, talks to the team's latest addition, wide receiver Plaxico Burress, who recently signed with the team, as they conversed during NFL football training camp Monday, Aug. 1, 2011, at Atlantic Health Training Center in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez, right, talks to the team's latest addition, wide receiver Plaxico Burress, who recently signed with the team, as they conversed during NFL football training camp Monday, Aug. 1, 2011, at Atlantic Health Training Center in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Mark Sanchez seems to be taking his "Butt Fumble" saga in stride, but Plaxico Burress is still firing his shots.

The former Giants receiver caught Sanchez in his crosshairs Wednesday, two days after the quarterback added another butt-centric fumble play to his repertoire in his debut with the Redskins.

"I can't wait to see this QB play for the Washington Redskins for the rest of the season," Burress tweeted. "@mark_sanchez Let me grab my popcorn. #comedyfor3hours #checkdowning Yup I said it!!"

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New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez looks to pass during the first half of an NFL preseason football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
		
		 (John Minchillo/AP)
New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez looks to pass during the first half of an NFL preseason football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/John Minchillo) (John Minchillo/AP)

It has been six years since that infamous day at MetLife Stadium. The Jets and Patriots were pitted against each other in a division matchup on Thanksgiving, and New England was the obvious favorite. 

But it was one play in particular during this blowout loss for Gang Green that would be cemented in history -- and it wasn't good. Jets QB Mark Sanchez wanted to hand the ball off for a fullback dive, but miscommunication forced him to run himself.

Well, Jets fans know what happened next...

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