What should the New York Jets and Sam Darnold’s goals be for the rest of the season?

Following the New York Jets 34-27 win over the New York Giants, quarterback Sam Darnold believes the Jets still have a shot at the playoffs.

The New York Jets are coming off a huge 34-27 win over their cross-town rival, New York Giants, this past Sunday, which puts them at 2-7 on the season. Sam Darnold and the Jets needed this win after an embarrassing Week 9 loss to the dreadful Miami Dolphins, who were 0-7 at the time.

The Jets played pretty well on Sunday, for the most part. The most impressive performance came from their defense. Their defensive front put on a clinic by allowing just ONE yard on 13 carries to the former Offensive Rookie of the Year, Saquon Barkley.

After the win, Darnold spoke with the media.

“We still have a chance,” Darnold said. “If we get on a roll here and win out, we got a chance at the playoffs.”

Darnold then joined The Michael Kay Show on Monday afternoon and clarified his comments.

“I was definitely caught up in the moment a little bit,” Darnold said. “Coming off high after a win.”

As much as I love Darnold’s optimism, I think the Jets’ focus should be on other things right now rather than trying to make the playoffs. Don’t get me wrong; I’d do anything to see the Jets in the playoffs, but at this point, they have other priorities.

What should the Jets’ (realistic) goals be for the remainder of the season?

STAY HEALTHY

The Jets must’ve hired the New York Yankees medical staff because they’ve been bit hard by the injury bug this season. Following their Week 10 win, the Jets lost two more key pieces to injury, TE Chris Herndon (ribs) and OL Brain Winters (shoulder). Herndon and Winters join a long list of players who are either currently injured or at some point, missed time this season due to injury.

If the Jets want to salvage this season in any capacity, they MUST stay healthy.

Development of Sam Darnold

The Jets need to finish the season on a strong note and not pack it in because they need to see Darnold play. So far, in his short career, Darnold’s played in just 19 games.

The Jets invested a lot in Darnold after trading up in the 2018 NFL Draft to acquire him, and if I’m honest, I’m not exactly 100% sold on him just yet.

Darnold has shown flashes that he can be a franchise quarterback, as the last couple of games in his rookie season after returning from injury and the 2019 game against the Cowboys. My only area of concern with Darnold is his decision making when he’s under pressure, so far he’s crumbled in those moments.

Darnold’s skill and ability are there; he needs to stop the bad decision making and the costly turnovers.

Adam Gase needs to show that he can improve this offense

The Jets hired Adam Gase because of his offensive background and the thought that he can help Darnold take the next step. So far, in nine games, Gase has underperformed both in innovating the offense and developing Darnold.

Wins and losses shouldn’t be the main focus anymore. All that matters is how the team looks from here on out in the remaining seven games. Darnold and the offense need to look better moving forward, and that will be all up to Gase in his game planning, schemes, play calling, etc.

Gase is more than likely not going anywhere anytime soon since he’s in year one of a four-year contract. It should be a priority for him to make sure this season isn’t a complete failure because you would think that if he fails tremendously in New York, his coaching career could be over.

The Jets have a lot of work to do to make this season somewhat successful. They came into the 2019 campaign with a ton of expectations, but obviously, things didn’t go as planned.

Next: New York Jets: Poor Leadership Or Cursed Franchise?

This season hasn’t been pretty, but if the Jets can end the year on a high note, nail the draft and get healthy, there should be a reason to believe that the 2020 season could be much better.