Could the New York Jets offense be explosive in 2020? Maybe, just maybe

Kristian Dyer

For Charley Casserly, the New York Jets are going to go up in terms of being a more explosive offense with bigger plays this year. That’s a pretty safe bet given that the Jets offense can really only go up after struggling to break open in 2019.

Some offenses aren’t predicated on big plays and the Jets simply don’t have the personnel to be a team that frequently takes shots down the field at this point in their rebuild. That doesn’t mean, however, that the numbers from last year are justified or where they want to be heading into this season.

The numbers last year show a team that simply couldn’t break a big play.

Last year, the Jets were last in the NFL with 4.6 yards per offensive play; for comparison, the Dallas Cowboys led the league with 6.5 yards per offensive play. And while that isn’t the sole arbiter when it comes to determining how effective an offense is (the New England Patriots, 12-4 a season ago, were No. 21 with 5.2 yards per offensive play), it surely points to a Jets offense that had a hard time moving the ball when other devastating numbers are considered.

The Jets had the second-fewest first downs in the NFL (253), were last in expected points contributed by the offense (-108.92) and also bottom in total offense.

They tied for the fifth-fewest plays of greater than 20 yards (44) and tied for the fourth fewest number of plays greater than 40 yards (six).

Despite these bad numbers, Casserly believes the Jets can become a more explosive team in 2020 and start busting open some big gains. Casserly, a former general manager of Washington’s NFL team and the Houston Texans, made these comments this week on the NFL Network.

“I think they’re going to be able to do it. Why? Breshad Perriman comes over from Tampa, excellent season last year especially on deep balls. Denzel Mims – they get him high in the draft. Speed guy. Run after the catch he excels at. Get him the ball to him short,” Casserly said.

“Chris Herndon is back at the tight end position. Two years ago [he was] fifth in the National Football League on average per catch.

“And they rebuilt their offensive line with [Mekhi] Becton and [George] Fant at the tackles. So guess what? They can protect, they can run. They are going to have more explosive plays.”

The rebuilt offensive line, a key of general manager Joe Douglas this offseason, could feature five new starters. If the line can protect quarterback Sam Darnold, the Jets do have an intriguing couple of players as Casserly points out.

And if the line can actually open some lanes for running back Le’Veon Bell, then this offense could be middle of the road in 2020. Which, when compared to last year, would be a huge leap forward in terms of development.