New York, NY (CBS New York)- The 2019 season hasn’t exactly gone to plan for the New York Jets. Pegged as a potential playoff team prior to the year, the Jets have been the exact opposite through eight games.
Following a loss to the moribund and previously win-less Miami Dolphins on Sunday, the Jets’ record sits at 1-7, and once again it looks time to begin dreaming of next year. The problem areas are numerous, but the key one that stands out to NFL Today and Inside The NFL analyst Phil Simms is the group up front: the offensive line.
“Anytime that you have an offensive line that’s not playing well, I’m going to show you a football team that’s going to struggle, and that’s the Jets,” said Simms on Tuesday. The Jets line, a problem area entering the offseason, was thought to be improved by the addition of free agent Kelechi Osemele and coaxing center Ryan Kalil out of retirement. Instead, it has been one of the worst units in the league, ranking 31st in sacks allowed (37), 30th in quarterback hits (65). The team is 30th in yards per carry (3.3), despite having a dynamic running back in Le’Veon Bell.
Those struggles along the line showed up again Sunday against the Dolphins, with Sam Darnold being sacked three times and the team mustering just 83 yards rushing. That was against a Miami defense that ranks near the bottom of the league in most categories. In theory, the Dolphins game was supposed to be the start of the easy part of the schedule for the team.
With half the season in the books, it is unlikely that the Jets are going to magically fix all of their issues and find the playoff form some thought they were capable of in the preseason. So, what is left to do with the remaining eight games? For Simms, the answer is simple.
“Just win some games, just try to get it in order. And just get everything moving in the right direction,” said Simms. “And make the changes with personnel, coaches, whatever you have to do during the off-season to make it better. Sometimes, when you’re in a situation like that — when it starts going south — it’s hard to stop it. So they’ve got to find a week when they really stop it. They might not win, but they play a little better.”
An opportunity to stop the slide presents itself again Sunday when the Jets face their cross-stadium rivals, the New York Giants at 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time.
You can get more NFL insights from Phil Simms along with Ray Lewis, Steve Smith Sr., Brandon Marshall, and host James Brown tonight when Inside The NFL airs on Showtime at 9 p.m. Eastern Time.