New York Jets: Season-end awards for Gang Green

The New York Jets season was one to forget but there are 2020 season awards to hand out still.

Well, at least they didn’t go 0-16. The New York Jets concluded their dismal 2020 NFL season with a 28-14 setback to the New England Patriots and head coach Adam Gase is now former head coach Adam Gase. Finally. Thank goodness — it’s about time.

I know handing out some awards like team MVP and Most Improved Player for 2020 is like naming the best band member on the Titanic but, hey, I’m a glutton for punishment.

So in that light, let’s move onto the New York Jets season-end team awards for the 2-14 campaign.

New York Jets Most Improved Player: Quinnen Williams, DT

It certainly appeared that the gifted defensive tackle was a first-round bust in 2019 but the 6-3, 303-pounder really turned things around this past season. Despite missing the final two contests with a neck injury, Quinnen Williams increased his sack total from 2.5 in 2019 to seven this season in the same amount of games (13). He also was much more effective in run support and also set career-highs in tackles (55), tackles for loss (10) and quarterback hits (14).

The Alabama Crimson Tide product has a high ceiling and should be a formidable anchor of Gang Green’s defensive line for seasons to come. The Jets can build around him moving forward via the draft and free agency and he should prove to be one of general manager Joe Douglas’ finest draft picks.

New York Jets Most Valuable Player: Jamison Crowder, WR

It’s really hard to choose an MVP on a 2-14 squad but this turns out to be a razor’s edge selection between Williams and Jamsion Crowder but the nod goes to the veteran slot receiver due to the fact that he paced New York in receptions (59), yards (699) and touchdowns (6) in 12 games.

Crowder is the ultimate pro and one of the premier slot men in the NFL. The Duke Blue Devils product is still just 27 years old and is signed through 2021. He will probably be playing with a new starting signal-caller as well (Justin Fields, perhaps), so the needle is definitely pointing up for the six-year veteran.

New York Jets Biggest Disappointment: Sam Darnold, QB

Free-agent bust Breshad Perriman as New York’s supposed WR1 is a close second but everything starts with the quarterback and the USC product has really regressed since his rookie campaign in 2018. For whatever reason — terrible coaching, injuries, bad mechanics, accuracy issues — Darnold has probably played his last game for Gang Green. I’ve always defended him. I can’t anymore.

The 6-3, 225-pounder completed just 59.6 percent of his pass attempts in 2020 (very poor by today’s standards) with nine touchdown passes and 11 interceptions. He never passed for 300 yards in a game this season and averaged a scant 184 passing yards per outing. No one questions Darnold’s toughness, grit or desire. He needs a change of scenery. He needs to rebuild his career in another city. Darnold can be successful. Just not in the Big Apple.