College football teams to bet on with confidence in Week 3
College football teams to bet on with confidence in Week 3
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Offseason Review Series: The 2020 Indianapolis Colts
Division: AFC South
Colts lost defensive line coach Mike Phair to the Panthers and replaced him with Brian Baker who is most recently out of Alabama. Mike Groh reunites with Frank Reich as he was hired as wide receivers coach, while Patullo moved to the role of pass game specialist to accommodate. Tyler Boyles was signed on as the assistant to the head coach to replace Parks Frazier who is moving to offensive quality control coach.
New York Jets
New York Jets
Adam hasn’t officially announced his retirement, but I doubt he comes back to the NFL. He struggled throughout the year before going on IR. Geathers is a great character guy who began the season as the starting strong safety, but slowly lost reps to the impressive rookie Khari Willis. Haeg is the only guy the Colts probably wanted back as he’s a capable backup at all five slots on the line. Sheard is getting up there in age, Ebron seems to have made a business decision, and Funchess was the worst affected in the week one Claviclysm when injured his clavicle alongside Hill and Foles while being the only one to miss the rest of the season. Pierre Desir was an unexpected cut this offseason after playing well enough through the year despite playing through an injury. Quincy Wilson was traded to the Jets after a few disappointing seasons. Players signed
Let’s start with Philip Rivers. It’s clear that Jacoby Brissett is not the guy and the Colts had to make a choice. They went with a player that both head coach Frank Reich and offensive coordinator Nick Sirianni have worked with previously, which may be quite valuable as we implement the offense during a shortened offseason. Regardless, Philip underwent a dramatic statistical drop last year. I think he’s still got juice left in him and can make a great deal of good throws if he has a decent amount of room in the pocket. If you have some time, I recommend this video by The Scouting Academy featuring former offensive coordinator turned quarterback guru Steve Fairchild. While DeForest Buckner was not technically a free agent, he was a massive departure from the Chris Ballard modus operandi of building through the draft. The team desperately needed a 3T and they traded their first round pick for one of the best in the league. Joining him will be recent teammate Sheldon Day who will likely take over quite a few snaps at the 1T. Xavier Rhodes was signed on almost immediately after cutting Pierre Desir. He certainly seemed physically incapable of doing what was asked of him last year. Some players have called out the scheme change as a reason that Rhodes might return to form. Personally, I don’t quite see it and think his primary value on the team might be on using his intelligence as a veteran presence in a young CB room. Of the remaining three, Trey Burton seems like a lock at TE2 after an injury filled stint with the Bears. Roosevelt Nix is an interesting choice as I expect him to continue his heavily blocking role he played with the Steelers as well as pick up a few more rushing snaps than he did with the Steelers as we lack a true fullback. Carrie is a guy that has a chance at being the backup slot behind Kenny Moore, but I don’t think he’s secured a spot yet.
Michael Pittman Jr, WR, USC 2.34 Grade: A This man just feels like a Colt. He’s a physical player and will immediately slot in as Philip River’s YOLO target. He’s got great size and uses it well both in positioning himself against a receiver to win the ball as well as using his frame and forcing his way down field. Even on truly contested catches, he has great hands with only 5 drops against 176 catchable targets in college. Lastly, his frame and hand usage make him a valuable blocker, which is particularly valued by Frank Reich as he plans to run the damn ball. Jonathan Taylor, RB, Wisconsin 2.41 Grade: A- This man is going to run the damn ball. Let’s start by mentioning his toughness, with nearly 1000 rushes through three years. The man’s body doesn’t show any sign that it will ever give up. He has enough cutting ability to dodge the occasional tackle, but excels at using his physique and contact balance to force his way through a tackle. If the defense fails to collapse on Taylor quickly, they’re at risk of him taking off. Taylor was the fastest running back at the combine running a 4.39 at 225 pounds. Going 1-on-1 with him nearing full speed is almost a futile prospect. As he finds lanes behind probably the best run blocking line in the league, he’ll be plenty of trouble. Not without flaws, he’s had a somewhat questionable history with fumbles that will likely lead to plenty of time with Tom Rathman. He also has limited experience in the passing game. Julian Blackmon, S, Utah 3.85 Grade: C+ Perhaps I’m being a bit too harsh on Blackmon because I’m slightly addicted to watching Pittman embarrass the Utah defense in the Utah vs USC game. Perhaps it’s just because I’ve watched limited tape and safeties struggle with getting on tape for failing in coverage more often than being particularly good in coverage. Either way, as the heir apparent to Malik Hooker’s starting free safety position, Blackmon feels in a way like the opposite player. While both players had an eye for the ball coming out of college, Blackmon feels overall much more inconsistent in coverage, but he also feels like a much more solid tackler. Blackmon is also a recent convert to safety from corner, so perhaps what I’m seeing is simply growing pains especially because my reviewed games are from early in the season. Jacob Eason, QB, Washington 4.122 Grade: C+ Jacob Eason was a surprise drop for many who considered him a second round prospect. His arm is an absolute cannon belonging right in that Josh Allen tier of pure arm strength. Of course, he’s a fourth round pick for a reason. He struggles to work through his progressions, he can’t consistently throw with touch, and there are some huge question marks regarding his work ethic. There’s a whole lot of potential, but I’m not going to call the future franchise QB spot secured for the Colts yet. For the time being, I’ll call him a fine backup for a team that didn’t otherwise have a QB rostered for 2021. Danny Pinter, G, Ball State 5.149 Grade: B- Danny Pinter is an undersized prospect that is moving in to play guard after most recently playing as a tackle. As a tight end convert from a small school, he still lacks a lot of the technique and strength and conditioning that you would hope for in an NFL O-line prospect. I’ve seen him be pretty weak with his hand placement and he’s let the defender get into his chest a couple times. The upside here is Pinter’s mobility. He ran the second fastest 40 of all offensive linemen at the combine at 4.91 seconds at 306 pounds and put up respectable numbers for the remaining footwork related drills. Altogether a fine pick for a team with a solid offensive line that will hopefully have time to develop their rookie. Robert Windsor, DT, Penn State 6.193 Grade: C Robert Windsor has a good first step and a motor that doesn’t stop. That’s all the good I can say about him. Windsor doesn’t have the strength, length, or technique to make an impression. With the potential of Denico Autry moving to the edge, it seems like they might be looking at Windsor as a backup for Buckner. If Tyquan Lewis continues to be a disappointment in the limited camp, Windsor might just sneak onto the roster by need alone, which is the only reason I can bump my grade to a C, though perhaps I’m a little too critical as I felt there were a couple of other players that are more roster worthy. Isaiah Rodgers, CB, UMass 6.211 Grade: A Isaiah Rodgers is an absolute burner. His pro-day speed was 4.28. Admittedly hand timed is always faster, but he’s clearly quick on tape. A bit undersized at 5’10”, he’ll likely be relegated to the back end of the cornerback depth chart until he can develop into an NFL level corner, but his immediate value seems very obvious on special teams. His speed makes him a threat at kick returns and he’ll likely get tried out as a backup punt returner. As a gunner, he will gladly hit you with everything he’s got. Check this hit. Dezmon Patmon, WR, Washington State 6.212 Grade: B+ Patman is an intriguing prospect. He’s got a great combination of size and speed. While easily compared to second round pick Pittman because of his physical traits, Patmon lacks a lot of the polish. Worse hands, worse route running, and doesn’t quite play to his size like Pittman does. Regardless, I expect him to find production in his rookie year as Frank Reich was playing with the most injured wide receiver core in the league last year and has proven an ability to scheme depth players open consistently. Lastly, I think his size and River’s tendencies towards giant players is going to come into play fairly often near the redzone. Jordan Glasgow, LB, Michigan 6.213 Grade: B+ Glasgow isn’t a guy I want to see playing a lot of defensive snaps in a game. He’s technically refined enough, but physically doesn’t seem to have a very high ceiling. During the Middle Tennessee State game that I reviewed for him, Michigan used him plenty to blitz the quarterback where he was plenty effective, but I won’t pretend that he was up against top tier opponents. Ultimately Glasgow is going to be a special teams specialist after a college career where he excelled at special teams, which at the end of the 6th round is all you can ask for.
QB: 3 Rivers, Brissett, Eason Things are pretty straightforward for the Colts this year. There aren’t any preseason games, so nobody can retire after one. Rivers is the starter, hoping to prove that his career isn’t over after a down year last year. Brissett is a capable enough backup. Eason is the team’s insurance for 2021 when no other quarterbacks are on the roster and will hopefully not have to start during what is sure to be an odd season. First man out is $wag Kelly, who seems mainly to hold a roster spot as a favor between Frank Reich and his old friend Jim Kelly. RB: 4 Mack, Taylor, Hines, Nix For a while at least, Mack gets to hold the starting job. It’s certainly a competition with Taylor’s level of talent and I expect a pretty even split over the course of the year. Despite some competition at the position, Hines may have his best year considering River’s appreciation for receiving backs. Rosie Nix is the new fullback from the Steelers who might get a few touches here and there, but exists primarily for his blocking ability. First man out is Jordan Wilkins. This is a contentious cut for Colts fans. Wilkins has an unusual level of highlight type plays that lend to his 6.0 yards per attempt over 51 carries last year. Alas, roster spots are at a premium and running backs are not. WR: 6 Hilton, Pittman, Pascal, Campbell, Marcus Johnson, Dezmon Patmon Hilton’s the obvious choice. After two years struggling with health issues, Colts fans are hoping their WR1 remains healthy for the whole year. Pittman comes in as a fairly polished candidate from the top of the second round in a stacked receiver class. He’ll hold down the X receiver immediately. Zach Pascal was a pleasant surprise for Colts fans last year. With a list of injuries above him, Pascal did his best as WR1 for several games last year and led the Colts in receiving yards. As a WR3, he’ll get less focus and still be fairly valuable. Campbell has shown plenty of big play ability, what he needs to show is durability. He suffered four separate injuries last year including training camp. Hopefully, it was just a fluke and he can show off more of what he can do with a ball in his hands. Marcus Johnson is a fan favorite after his Tampa Bay showing last year. After starting the season on injured reserve, he returned to the practice squad and eventually made the roster last year. Colts fans are hoping his 16.3 yards per reception last year and 17 yards per reception in 2018 weren’t flukes and can be duplicated on more snaps Rivers. Dezmon Patman comes in as a somewhat unrefined option. I’ve already mentioned his physical traits. With a little bit of help from Reich’s scheming, I think he’ll find a handful of receptions this year, particularly towards the red zone. The first man out here is Daurice Fountain. After moving to the active roster in mid-2018, Reece was a training camp hit in 2019 until suffering an ankle injury in camp. While he might compete for the position, I haven’t seen enough from him in the first two years to give him right of way over Johnson and the rookie Patmon. TE: 3 Jack Doyle, Trey Burton, Mo Alie-Cox Jack Doyle has been a reliable pass catcher and mauling run blocker for years. He’s solid in his position as a starter. Trey Burton reunites with Frank Reich and is only two years removed from having a 569 yard season with the Bears. After struggling with injuries last season, Burton is hoping for a return to form this season. Mo Alie-Cox was a bit disappointing as many were expecting more receiving stats, but he’s still a talented run blocker with plenty of potential for next year. With Rivers having an appreciation for big bodied receivers, perhaps the 6’5.5” receiver with a 7’1” wingspan will find a few jump balls his way. OL: 9 Castonzo, Nelson, Kelly, Glowinski, Smith, Clark, Patterson, Pinter, O’Donnell The Colts are lucky enough to return all 5 starting offensive linemen this year. Castonzo played some of the best football of his career last year and signed on for two more years after considering retirement for a while. Quenton Nelson is coming off his second First Team All-Pro year. Kelly is a great Center coming off a fairly healthy season and going into a contract year. Glowinski is the weak point of the line, but that’s not so much an insult to Glowinski as it is a credit to the rest of the team. He’s still a very serviceable guard. Braden Smith is surpassing my wildest expectations from the day he was drafted as a guard. With early 2018 injuries to the tackle position, Smith made the shift and has been great at the position. Beyond the starting five, things get a bit more questionable with a significant loss of depth this past year. Clark returns on a one year contract and will be taking over the swing tackle position now that Joe Haeg has left. Patterson suffered a torn ACL in his rookie year, but is the only center on the roster behind Kelly and not including Nelson who only holds the position so he can keep 56. Pinter seems like the obvious option as a backup guard. O’Donnell is a Canadian football prospect that I assume the Colts found at the East-West Shrine bowl where he played fairly well. The Colts need depth at tackle and I can see O’Donnell doing that. First man out is Eldrenkamp as a backup guard. DL: 9 Autry, Buckner, Day, Houston, Turay, Stewart, Muhammad, Lewis, Banogu Autry has largely played DT the past couple years and done a fine job of it. With Sheard leaving in free agency, I currently have Autry slotted as the guy to move outside and take over the job. Buckner is our 3T we’ve been looking for. I hopefully don’t need to say anything else. Sheldon Day is competing with Grover Stewart for the 1T spot. I’ve got Day listed as my starter, but for a position that will see plenty of rotation I don’t think it matters either way. Turay is the “if only” story of 2019. Houston had a surprisingly healthy year and racked up 11 sacks, tied for second most in his career. Turay showed a ton of talent in his few snaps prior to injury in 2019. Over the five weeks he played, he ranked second in PFF’s pass-rushing grade and pass-rush rate with a 22.9% pressure rate. If he can build on these past two years, Turay may be a monster. Tyquan Lewis is the disappointment of Chris Ballard’s 2018 draft. He’s struggled with a couple of injuries and he’s had a few healthy scratches that I haven’t heard anything verifiable to explain away. Alas, I’m leaving him in the lineup as a guy who is flexible enough to back up Buckner, but also play outside as need be. Banogu is another guy that has shown flashes here and there. First one out is Robert Windsor, who might take that 3T spot if Lewis doesn’t shape up in camp. LB: 6 Leonard, Walker, Okereke, Speed, Adams, Glasgow 13 games, 5 Int, 2 FF, 7 PD, 5 Sacks, 121 Tackles. Darius Leonard put up some impressive stats last year and he’s aiming for the top. If he can pull off a 16 game season with similar stats, he’ll have an argument for DPOY. Walker is a smart player, if a little limited athletically and in coverage skills. I’ll keep him as the starter, but many fans are arguing for Okereke to take over the role. Okereke was PFF’s top ranked rookie linebacker last year, particularly for his athleticism and strength in coverage. EJ Speed had some limited play last year while Leonard was dealing with a concussion. He played fine, but has yet to show anything to get excited about. Glasgow takes the final spot primarily for special teams value. Adams has played a handful of snaps here and there, but is primarily going to be a special teams player. First man out is Zaire Franklin was only getting special teams snaps anyways. CB: 5 Rhodes, Moore, Ya-Sin, Tell, Rodgers Rhodes is hoping for a resurgence in a different scheme. I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt and give the former first team all-pro the nod as CB1. Kenny Moore II has been a great slot corner for the Colts these past couple years. He struggled with injuries for a long while to end out the year last year, but I fully expect him to continue his efforts to make himself a household name this year. Rock Ya-Sin was our rookie pick last year near the top of the 2nd round. He had some common rookie CB mistakes, but showed enough talent and growth to believe he has a high chance of taking over the CB1 role. Marvell Tell is an incredible physical specimen that the Colts took last year with the expectations of moving him to CB from Safety. With injuries to the cornerback position, he got a few more snaps than we were hoping, but he flashed a great deal. If Xavier Rhodes’s physical decline last season continues, I wouldn’t be completely surprised to see Tell starting over a healthy Rhodes. Rodgers is still very developmental as a corner, but holds plenty of value for special teams. First man out is TJ Carrie who would have been a fine slot backup in case Kenny Moore went down. S: 5 Hooker, Willis, Odum, Blackmon, Milligan Malik Hooker is entering the last year of his contract with the Colts after having his fifth year option declined. Hooker lit up the stat sheet his rookie year, but ever since the scheme change, has struggled to prove he was worth the draft position. With an improved pass rush this year, perhaps his sixth sense in finding the ball will come into play more often. Khari Willis was a pleasant surprise last year. It was clear the Colts liked him when Ballard traded draft capital to move up, but I wouldn’t have expected him to so clearly take over the starting strong safety position. On top of that, Willis played reasonably at free safety during Hooker’s injury last year. Odum is a solid backup who can play at both strong and free safety. Julian Blackmon is the new rookie who I assume is intended to be Hooker’s successor next year. For the time being he’s coming back from an ACL injury and may not be available until midyear, but as the successor to the starting position, I think it’s important to at least give him a spot for now. Milligan is a versatile player. He’s really a free safety, but played a bit of slot corner last year when Kenny Moore went down. ST: 3 Blankenship, Sanchez, Rhodes Hot Rod is my guess to be kicker. While McLaughlin played well enough for the Colts. Even with a 100% hit rate on extra points, there’s plenty of room for more consistency as he ranked 22nd overall in field goal percentage last year. It’ll be a tough contest in camp, but if I’m calling my shot with Hot Rod. Sanchez hasn’t played his best football these past couple years. I’m hoping someone else takes over kickoffs and Sanchez can focus entirely on punting in hopes of returning to form.
Position Group Strengths and Weaknesses
QB The Colts QB room seems solid. I’m expecting Rivers to return to his typical self that still throws a decent amount of interceptions. Regardless, a quarterback that doesn’t constantly hold onto the ball for 3+ seconds playing behind this line is going to have plenty of opportunities to make great plays. For this year of all years, it seems like the value in having backup quarterbacks is going to be at an all time high and I don’t feel so bad about what the Colts have. I’ll call it a fairly average group until Rivers can prove his career isn’t over. Backfield The Colts have a group of good backs, but lack an elite option particularly when considering that none have proved themselves a threat in both the rushing and passing game at the moment. As a group, I’ll call it borderline top 10 in large part because any one of these players could get injured without it feeling season ruining as may be true with a few of the teams with top running backs. OL I have no complaints about the starting offensive line, the huge question mark is about the depth. The Colts were lucky enough to start the same five men all season last year, but one injury to Anthony Castonzo and Colts fans will have flashbacks to the five game stretch he missed in 2018 where Luck suffered 10 of the 18 total sacks on the season. Alas, many teams struggle with depth and I hope I don’t have to argue too much about this being one of the best groups in the NFL. Pass catchers By Adjusted Games Lost, the Colts had the single most injured wide receiver room last year. The single biggest thing that needs to be proven is that we can stay healthy across the board. If they stay healthy, the Colts are a mid tier group, but under the assumption that TY’s health issues these past two years continue, I’m forced to assume they’re a bottom third group until we can trust someone to be a true WR1 in most games. DL The Colts starting lineup seems pretty strong, but for a position group that we want to rotate with depth players on, I’ve gotta question what kind of play we’re going to see out of guys like Tyquan Lewis and Ben Banogu. As such, I’ll call this group middling overall. LB It’s just a solid group all around. The fact that we can’t decide between Okereke and Walker as starters is primarily a question of which is better, not which is worse. Behind them is plenty of serviceable depth that holds an important role in special teams. Secondary This is the one group with question marks at basically every spot. Can Rhodes return to All-Pro form? Was the apparent growth for Ya-Sin real and can it continue? Can Moore stay healthy? Can Tell develop into a starting safety? Can Hooker stay healthy after missing significant time these past two years and can he prove he’s worth his draft position? Special Teams What just one year ago felt like a solid group for kicking and punting, now feels a bit questionable. I don’t want to get so down about Rigo’s down year as it was still overall decent. With the new search for a kicker, I can’t complain about either of the current options and I don’t believe either will get nearly the leash that Adam Vinatieri got last year, so I’d say the floor there is much higher. The returning seems like it’s best in years after Hines has impressed and our return team overall just seems to be getting stronger. With the addition of Isaiah Rodgers, this may be a group to beat.
Week 1: @ Jaguars (W) Ah yes, the Jaguars. An eternal question mark for the Colts. Generally believed to be one of the worst rosters in the league, I’d have to agree. There are plenty of question marks on their defense that they’re hoping will be filled in by rookies. I would expect them to have growing pains even without a shortened offseason. Week one, this seems to weigh heavily with the Colts who’ve added strong veteran talent in Rivers and Buckner. Week 2: vs Vikings (W) Despite having one of my favorite drafts of the year, the Vikings have many of the same struggles as the Jaguars. First, we must accept that moving from Diggs to Jefferson isn’t likely to be a smooth transition in Jefferson’s first year. Just as notably they’re losing their two corners that put up the most snaps for them in 2019. While neither of their 2018 corners were playing at their best, it currently looks like they’ll have two rookie starting corners with Gladney and Dantzler and I think all of reddit knows to expect cornerbacks to have rookie year struggles. Week 3: vs Jets (W) Can TY play corner? The Jets draft is another one of my favorites, but they’re still not quite there as a whole. Despite my love for Becton, I don’t think their list of offensive line changes have turned into a complete group. On top of that, I’m still not quite happy with their weapons. Bell looks like he’s still got mileage left in him if only he had a better line. Their tight end group is highly dubious, and their wide receiver group has really better hope Mims can actually play like a WR1. I think it’ll be a better game than some might assume based on a lot of opinions I hear on the Jets, but I’ve got the Colts with the edge. Week 4: @ Bears (W) As a fan of watching line play, this will be a game to remember. The Bears d-line is arguably the best run defense in the league and they’re not bad against the pass either particularly when backed by a good secondary. Unfortunately for the Bears, I’m expecting their weaker offensive line to struggle vs the Colts defensive line more than the opposite. Week 5: @ Browns (L) Ah, yes. I get to another one of my favorite offseasons. Just about everything the Browns did seemed like a good move. On paper, the Browns offense is scary as hell and I just don’t have any arguments for why they would be worse. Jack Conklin and Jedrick Wills are going to be great additions to fix that line, then you go and add Hooper as if you didn’t have enough weapons. With even half-decent coaching this team can be dangerous and I can’t trust the Colts secondary to handle every weapon. Week 6: vs Bengals (W) After five straight years of the Bengals losing their first round pick for a significant amount of time due to injury, maybe this year will be an exception. With the return of Jonah Williams, perhaps that line can actually have a half decent year, but I’m not going to bet the house on it. For the time being, the Bengals are still working on their rebuild. Week 7: Bye Week 8: @ Lions (W) What little I watched of the Lions last year seemed like a decent quality team. As rarely as I like to bet on rookie corners, Okudah is as complete as any college corner I’ve seen. I’m not ready to call them a strong team, but they don’t seem weak by any means. A return from Stafford could make the NFC North one of the most internally competitive divisions to watch. Regardless, I feel like the Colts have a somewhat stronger roster. Week 9: Ravens (L) If only I could go to this game in person. I’d love to see how the Colts defense matches up against that Ravens offense in person. Top to bottom the Ravens have one of the strongest rosters in the league, so they get the strong edge. Week 10: @ Titans (L) I hate Thursday night games. The home team has a huge statistical advantage. Going into Tennessee tired after a tough Ravens game certainly isn’t going to do the Colts any favors when they’ve gotta try to tackle Derrick Henry. Week 11: vs Packers (L) This is just a long stretch of teams asking a lot of the Colts physically. Stopping the run week after week with the Ravens then Derrick Henry then Jones/Dillon is just going to be physically brutal. Luckily, the Colts are coming off a ten day bye at home, but the Packers are just an overall solid team all around and I think they’ll still be very competitive at every phase of the game. Week 12: vs Titans (W) I don’t think the Colts will be happy with their string of losses. I think they’re coming back hungry and trying to prove themselves against a divisional opponent at home. Week 13: @Texans (W) After the Texans split games in 2018 and 2019, the Colts are going to get the first win of 2020. For two closely matched teams in 2019, the Colts have lost nobody of any particular importance and purely added more talent, while the Texans sold off Hopkins in hopes that Cooks and Cobb will somehow elevate their offense. It’s a risky bet. Week 14: @ Raiders (W) Last year’s Raiders led the Colts by 7 points with just over 2 minutes to go in the half prior to Brissett’s pick 6. Looking at things from a clean slate, I’d fully expect the return of previously inactive Hilton, Leonard, and Hooker to cover the gap between the two teams and I have the Colts winning next year’s game. Week 15: vs Texans (L) Let’s not underrate Deshaun Watson. Having watched Luck carry a questionable offense for years, I think Deshaun’s got enough talent to pull some wins out of his ass. I’m certainly not so low on the Texans roster to believe Deshaun can’t push it to a win. Week 16: @ Steelers (W) Last year’s game was a 2 point Steelers victory after an Adam Vinatieri kick went awry with about a minute left in the game. So, they question is, were the Colts offseason improvements worth 2 points on the Steelers? Both of these teams are expected to improve greatly with the return and hiring of 2004 quarterback legends, but I’d have to give a slight nod to Big Ben as the greater improvement from Mason Rudolph vs Rivers replacing Brissett/Hoyer. For remaining Inactives, I’d have to credit the loss of TY Hilton as a more significant factor than that of James Connor. What I think finally takes the Colts over the top is the combination of their first round pick for DeForest Buckner as well as a stronger pair of second round additions with Pittman and Taylor vs Claypool. Week 17: vs Jaguars (L) If you don’t like the look of that L next to the Jaguars game, you don’t like AFC South football. The Jags always seem like a much better team about once a year. I’m looking at you 2018 Jags. At 10-5, I think the Colts have a good chance at being guaranteed a playoff berth and the Jags probably just want to prove themselves more.
Offense If you’re looking at last year’s team as a model for this year’s offense, you’re probably missing something. To quote Ozzurip from last year’s review, “The point is that there isn’t a specific scheme.” Frank Reich isn’t beholden to doing one thing every week. He wants to find every mismatch and exploit it to the best of his ability by using a diverse set of tools. Jacoby’s limitations as a player saw the passing offense get unnecessarily flat last year. Philip Rivers is the bet to run Frank Reich’s offense properly. This starts by looking at your traditional West Coast offense utilizing a lot of nickel and dime throws in order to set up a rush. Of course with the Colt’s power running and more modern RPO usage, the run game is setting up this short passing game just as well. When teams are playing too close to the box, Frank will call up a play to push the ball deep where his new quarterback is more than willing to follow through. Ultimately, Reich will push whatever works. If the Colts are running over the opposing team, he won’t be afraid to lean into the run, but I personally believe the Colts will want to be a pass first offense once again. This is admittedly not a commonly agreed upon point among Colts fans. Feel free to take my opinion with a grain of salt. The Colts have a diverse set of weapons that allow them to play just about any game they want to and will gladly lean on certain weapons to target specific weaknesses in the opponent’s defense. You want big guys? Let’s throw Doyle, Alie-Cox, Pittman, and Patmon out there. This not only puts out a selection of big bodies to have to defend against, but also a good list of run blockers for whichever running back they’re throwing out. Want speed? Hilton, Campbell, and Hines are each capable of stretching the field vertically. The last note I want to add would be a likely increase in 22 personnel. Just toss out Patmon and mix and match some running backs. Reich has mentioned seeing Mack and Taylor on the field at the same time, but I would fully expect plenty of plays with Nix holding a lead blocker role or even a more Tom Rathman-esque fullback that pulls in passes in the short game. Defense The Colts defense is a pretty simple scheme based on a 4-3 Tampa 2 defense. Despite some excitement after the Chiefs game where the Colts played man on 73.3% of snaps, expect for the Colts to play a vast majority of their snaps in zone coverage. Playing man for that one game was likely just taking advantage of a weakened receiving core than it was a proof of the Colts sudden willingness to move to a different scheme. The Colts are heavily reliant on the front four to generate pressure and do so by rotating through 8-9 defensive linemen with the goal of keeping players fresh. The Colts defensive lineman with the highest snap count last year was Justin Houston who only played in 65.18% of snaps. Perhaps bringing in Buckner will cause the team to add a bit more consistency after Buckner’s 78.72% snaps on the 49ers last season. This focus on the front 4 is accentuated by the 6th lowest blitz rate in the league in 2019. Part of what helps the defensive line be effective is their ability to focus on the passer while the linebackers work heavily to stop the run. The Colts run a lot of a concept called patterns where the play side linebacker’s goal is to control the offensive line and push the run outside where the other linebacker is meant to be athletic enough to cross the line and stop the run. For a more detailed look at the Colts implementation of this concept, read Zach Hicks’s writeup on this Behind the linebacker group is typically a Cover-2 whose primary goal is to cover the deep zones and prevent any big plays. The idea is that forcing a team to dink and dunk down the field forces the offense to be successful on more plays to reach the end zone. More plays means more opportunities on each drive for interceptions, sacks, forced fumbles, and simply missed passes in order to set the offense back. The Colts were ultimately tied for 10th in the league at 13.1 percent of drives ending in a turnover. Shoutouts to those who helped: Ozzurip Link to hub
Season Review The final season of the Oakland Raiders and the second in Jon Gruden’s second tenure had a small dose of optimism. After a paltry 4 win season in 2018 the Raiders brought in NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock to be the new General Manager. While few of the free agents that the Raiders brought in were able to make a major impact, save Richie Incognito at Left Guard and Trent Brown at Right Tackle, many of the rookies brought in did. Josh Jacobs, Trayvon Mullen, Maxx Crosby, Hunter Renfrow, Foster Moreau, and Clelin Ferrell all saw significant snaps. Johnathan Abram was on his way to having a starter role but was lost for the season on week 1 due to a torn rotator cuff and labrum. There was also this whole Antonio Brown thing going on. I think it's safe to say that I don’t need to get into the details on that. However, Carr losing the best wide receiver he would have ever had to play with and whom a big chunk of the playbook was geared towards was a mighty bow to the Raiders offense. When the schedule was released there was no question that the front half was brutal with 5 weeks straight of non-home games (4 away and 1 London). The optimism of a playoff berth in the Raiders final season in Oakland only grew when they made it through that stretch going into week 12 at 6-4. Sadly, that’s when the lack of depth and quality weapons started to rear its ugly head and the Raiders went on to win only 1 of their final 6 games including a dismal 4 game losing streak which had the Raiders getting blown out by the Jets, Chiefs, and Titans. In that stretch the Raiders managed to lose in the final game at the Oakland Coliseum to the Jacksonville Jaguars. Not Great. However, they managed to split the last two games of the year, ending the season at 7-9 and in 3rd place in the AFC West. Notable Pre-Draft Acquisitions Corey Littleton, LB, LAR (3 years, $35.25m, $22m G)
PFF Grade - 78.9 (8th of 89) To say that the Raiders have had a dearth of talent at linebacker over the past decade is an understatement. Such names like Perry Riley, Nick Roach and Will Compton have seemed like upgrades for our team. Not very inspiring. Mayock and Gruden clearly wanted to focus on improving this position and attacked the best linebacker on the market in Littleton. The Raiders have been victimized by tight ends and pass catching running backs and having an athletic coverage specialist like Littleton will only help the Raiders defense.
Carl Nassib, DE, TB (3 years, $25.25m,$16.75m G)
PFF Grade - 69.3 (43rd of 106) Even with the additions of Clelin Ferrell and Maxx Crosby in the 2019 draft the Raiders had a need at defensive end. Nassib gives the Raiders another long and high motor rusher who can hold the edge. Nassib may not be a high end player, but he’s going to be a valuable piece on the defensive line.
Nick Kwiatkoski, LB, CHI (3 years, $21m, $13.75m G)
PFF Grade - 72.6 (15th of 89) The Raiders doubled down with linebackers by adding Kwiatkoski to pair with Littleton. The Raiders have since said that they are going to have Kwiatkoski wear the green dot on defense and playing MIKE. Kwiat may be lacking in starting experience but the Raiders are betting on his upside after showing out for Chicago this past season. The former Bear LB showed good coverage drops in conjunction with intelligence and physicality and should be a nice partner to Littleton.
Marcus Mariota, QB, TEN (2 years, $17.6m, $7.5m G)
PFF Grade - 64.3 (27th of 37) It's no mystery that Raider Nation has a love/hate relationship with Derek Carr. While Carr is the unquestioned starter, Mariota will be there in case Carr is unable to play up to the standards of Gruden. Mariota still has good mobility for the position but the Raiders have been vocal about wanting to get him healthy first and foremost.
Maliek Collins, DL, DAL (1 year, $6m, $5.75m G)
PFF Grade - 65.1 (65th of 115) One interesting move made by the Raiders this offseason was the hiring of Rod Marinelli (and letting go of Bretson Buckner). Marinelli made his influence and presence known with two signings, the first of which was for Maliek Collins (the other being Jeff Heath but I’m not gonna devote a ton of time to a backup safety/ST player). Collins is a solid interior pass rusher who still has his best years ahead of him. Jon Hankins is locked into our starting 1T role but the 3T is up for grabs between Collins and Mo Hurst, who ended 2019 very strongly.
Jason Witten, TE, DAL (1 year, $4m, $3.5m G)
PFF Grade - 59.4 (43rd of 67) Yes yes. Of course a Jon Gruden-led team spent $4m on a possible TE2. Overpay aside, Witten gives Carr another red zone threat and the Raiders TE room a role model professional again. It’s only a 1 year deal so this deal won’t be too impactful but anytime you can sign a former Monday Night Football broadcaster you gotta do it right?
PFF Grade - 69.3 (40th of 88) The Raiders secondary was not good in 2019. They attempted to fix this by signing Byron Jones but Miami got him for more guaranteed money. They tried for Chris Harris Jr but he liked the fit of the Chargers deal. They even agreed to terms with Eli Apple but that fell apart due to medical issues. Once that happened they used some of that money to bring in Randall, who will compete with Erik Harris to play FS.
Major Needs Entering Draft The Raiders entered draft day with 2 major needs, wide receiver and cornerback. They also needed depth all over the defense, especially at running back and linebacker. There was continuing talk of quarterback but despite the signing of Mariota there were still rumblings of a Jalen Hurts or Jordan Love selection. Las Vegas Raiders 2020 Draft Round 1 (12th Overall) - Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama
5-11, 185lbs ---- Junior ---- PFF Grade: 75.0 Team Fit: Wide receiver was the clear need for the Las Vegas Raiders coming into draft night. With their pick of the top 3 wide outs in the class they went for the one with the best athletic profile and that was Henry Rugs III. Ruggs should be able to start very quickly for the Raiders and gives Derek Carr an explosive weapon who can win in numerous ways. Mayock also brought up how Ruggs could possibly return kicks and use that 4.27 speed to flip the field in special teams. There were some rumors about the Raiders moving back with Tampa here but were pretty locked in on Ruggs. I’d assume they didn’t want to risk San Francisco getting yet another target in consecutive drafts (2018 was McGlinchey and 2019 was Bosa). Vic Analysis: Ruggs came into draft day as my 15th overall player and WR4. I had a firm round 1 grade on him as well. It is no secret to say that Ruggs has an elite trump card in his speed and is able to use that speed both deep down the field and in his after the catch ability. Ruggs isn’t the typical speed target with bad hands either. His 10 1/8th” mitts show up on tape and he uses them to make catches outside his body despite his smaller size. The Raiders should make it a habit to get the ball in Ruggs’ hands as often as possible because his speed will stretch defenses both vertically and horizontally. The Raiders have a true #1 target in Darren Waller and a good slot in Hunter Renfrow, meaning Ruggs doesn’t need to put up gawdy stats in order to be influential or valuable. Just by being on the field he will open up things underneath for our other targets. Mayock and Gruden have both raved about Ruggs' work ethic and football intelligence. Ruggs does need to try and improve on his physicality while in his routes and at the catch point but at his size that’s not an easy task. However, with Ruggs combination of athleticism, ball skills, route running, football IQ, and fearlessness he should be a staple in the offense of the Las Vegas Raiders.
Round 1 (19th Overall) - Damon Arnette, CB, Ohio State
6-0, 195lbs ---- Redshirt Senior ----PFF Grade: 75.0 Team Fit: If wide receiver was the biggest need for the Raiders, second place would be cornerback. It was heavily rumored that the Raiders were interested in taking Clemson’s A.J. Terrell at 19 but when Atlanta scooped him up the Raiders went to the next guy on their board in Ohio State’s Damon Arnette. It didn't sound like there was much interest from other teams to move up to 19 so the Raiders stuck with their guns and picked up Arnette. Just like Clelin Ferrell in 2019, the higher than anticipated draft slot will shadow these guys throughout their rookie contracts. If they perform as the Raiders expect it won’t matter but that remains to be seen. Vic Analysis: Arnette was my CB8 with a round 2 grade. Arnette may lack ideal length but he is an adept press corner and that makes him an ideal fit for Guenther’s defense. The former Buckeye is able to disrupt routes at the line of scrimmage by being physical and aggressive. He is highly experienced and technically sound as one would expect from a senior in an Ohio State secondary. Arnette has buttery hips that flip with ease and his feet are super quick as well, leaving him able to turn and run with receivers throughout their route. Arnette hasn’t had great ball production but he flashes the ability to make plays on the ball by anticipating the receiver and attacking the catch point even with his back to the ball. Arnette may have tested poorly in his 40 time (4.56)at the Combine, but he plays much faster on film and in my opinion his athletic profile is a plus, not a minus.
5-11, 204lbs ---- Junior ---- PFF Grade: 73.0 Team Fit: Raiders’ leadership has made it clear that they wanted to increase the number of weapons at Derek Carr’s disposal. Lynn Bowden Jr gives the Raiders QB a versatile weapon who projects best as an offensive chess piece, called a Joker in Gruden’s offense. Bowden can back up Jacobs at RB, jump into the slot at WR, and return punts as well. Bowen has overcome a tough upbringing, is gritty as hell, and still has a chip on his shoulder, making him an ideal Raider. Mayock has said that the Raiders are going to train Bowden, “..to be a running back. If he’s able to handle that job, then we’ll be able to do some other things with him. We’ll move him around, let him catch the football and return punts.” Vic Analysis: Bowden was definitely a fun study. Despite spending much of the season playing wildcat QB after multiple QB injuries, Bowden ended up as my WR17 (RB8 if I put him with the RBs) with a round 3 grade. Bowden is a tough as nails player who thrives with the ball in his hands. As a runner he mixes his solid field vision with a willingness to run with both power and elusiveness. As a receiver he showcases good hands and the traits needed to improve as a route runner. He still requires some work releasing against press coverage and breaking free downfield against tight coverage. While Bowden has had some experience rushing from the backfield, that’s still going to need some development being a running back and not the QB. I expect that year 1 will be more schemed touches and that added development will give him a more defined role in the Raiders offense.
Round 3 (81st Overall) - Bryan Edwards, WR, South Carolina
6-3, 215lbs ---- Senior ----PFF Grade: 77.9 Team Fit: Did you know that the Raiders really, really wanted to improve their weapons? If you didn’t before it should be obvious now. So far, the Raiders have added a speedster in Ruggs, a do-it-all weapon in Bowden and now the big body possession receiver in Bryan Edwards. Edwards will probably start the year as the Raiders WR4, behind Ruggs, Tyrell Williams, and Hunter Renfrow. I suspect in year 2 he’ll end up being our X receiver taking over for Tyrell. Vic Analysis: Bryan Edwards graded out as my WR15 and a 3rd Round Grade. Edwards is a big bodied receiver who thrives over the middle of the field. He needs to improve the consistency in his hands catching, but he flashes the ability to do so. Edwards is physical and sneakily elusive with the ball in his hands. He has the explosiveness and long speed to win deep and the route running to win closer to the line of scrimmage as well. He’ll need to shore up his releases against press coverage but he certainly has the requisite tools in his toolbox to do so. He had to battle some awful quarterback play while at South Carolina and going from the likes of Jake Bentley to Derek Carr should help him continue to improve and be a contributor to the Las Vegas offense.
6-2, 227lbs ---- Redshirt Senior ---- PFF Grade: 83.0 Team Fit: Even with the signings of Corey Littleton and Nick Kwiatkoski the Raiders wanted to improve their linebacker room. After trading back from 91 they targeted a hybrid player from their favorite school, Clemson. Muse will start out playing special teams for Rich Bisaccia while growing and learning both MIKE and WILL linebacker. Muse fits the Raiders blueprint of a tough, fast athlete with high football and non-football character. Already good friends with Clelin Ferrell, Muse could end up being the third Clemson starter on defense come 2022. Vic Analysis: I had Tanner Muse graded as a safety and it wasn’t great. He was S17 with a Late Day 3 Grade. Muse was at his best attacking downhill, shedding and avoiding blocks, and not having to do too much diagnosing. I’m not sure Muse will have the ability to keep up with shiftier backs or tight ends, but the potential is there for him to be a solid man coverage player. Worst case he can still blitz and be an early down contributor along with his special teams work. Are there players I would have preferred at 100? Sure are, but Muse fits the Raiders blueprint and with two locked in starters at linebacker getting a developmental player isn’t a bad move. It just might have been early and like with Arnette, if Muse performs his draft slot won’t matter too much.
Round 4 (109th Overall) - John Simpson, OG, Clemson
6-4, 321lbs ---- Senior ---- PFF Grade: 70.2 Team Fit: Remember how I said Mayock and Gruden love Clemson players? Well here’s another one to add into the mix. The Raiders were surprised to see Simpson on the board come Day 3 and made a trade up to come and get their guy. With Richie Incognito getting up there in age and Gabe Jackson dealing with both injuries and underperformance (while having a cap hit close to $10m) the Raiders made it a priority to find someone to take over if they wanted to move on from either. There have been rumors the Raiders had Jackson on the trade block but couldn’t get any takers so he’s graduated to becoming a potential cap casualty. If that’s the case Simpson would compete with Denzelle Good at RG. Worst case I think he backs up Incognito before ultimately taking over at LG for the 37 year old veteran. Vic Analysis: Simpson was my iOL10 (OG5) and had a 3rd round grade. Simpson is a big, thicc boi. The former Clemson Tiger thrives using his strength while in a phone booth. Simpson has elite length and hand strength, meaning once he gets hands on defenders he is generally taking them wherever he wants them to go. He lacks ideal foot quickness but masks it with decent vision and awareness. Simpson has an elite anchor but needs to make sure he doesn’t jeopardize it with getting too upright and risking his leverage. Simpson is a great fit for the Raiders west coast offense with a mix of gap/zone rushing concepts.
Round 4 (139th Overall) - Amik Robertson, CB, Louisiana Tech
5-9, 180lbs ---- Junior ---- PFF Grade: 90.3 Team Fit: It was borderline assumed at this point that the Raiders would trade back from 139, what with them not having any picks in the 5th, 6th, or 7th rounds. Instead, they stood pat here and selected the meanest, most fearless nickel corner they could find in Amik Robertson. Currently, LaMarcus Joyner is set to man the slot for the Raiders and if last year is any indication that isn’t the best plan. So, for insurance they went and got potentially the best slot corner in the draft in Amik Robertson. I think it's entirely possible that Amik ends up taking Joyners snaps bit by bit before starting in 2021. Vic Analysis: Amik Robertson finished up as my CB9 with a round 2 grade. It might be safe to say that If Amik was a few inches taller that he would have gone earlier than that. Robertson plays cornerback like opposing players wanted to take his lunch money. Despite his size Robertson is able to win with physicality, instincts, and ball skills. His ability in short areas is sublime and while he can get over aggressive at times he is usually balanced covering double moves. Obviously he is going to get outmatched sometimes against bigger slot receivers but Amik will make them earn their wins.
Note: Mayock has said one of the reasons he was comfortable not having late day 3 picks was due to the shutdown related to COVID-19. With a shortened camp season he wanted to target players who would no question make the team over taking players who would be long shots. Post Draft Acquisitions (as of 5.21) Prince Amukamara (1 year, $1.05m, 50k G)
PFF Grade - 67.4 (43rd of 112) Even with the Arnette and Amik draft picks, the Raiders had wanted to bring in a veteran corner who could compete with the young defensive backs on the roster for a starting role. Amukamara is a steady type who hasn’t had a ton of ball production but can get the job done in coverage. As of now he would probably be a starter with Trayvon Mullen but if Arnette shows why the Raiders picked him at 19 that could change quickly.
PFF Grade - 65.8 (Not enough snaps to qualify) Booker gives the Raiders another veteran back to compete in camp. He’s sturdy and good in pass protection so he might make the roster as RB4 behind Jacobs, Richard, and Bowden.
Notable Undrafted Free Agents Dominik Eberle, K, Utah State
Camp competition for incumbent Daniel Carlson. Eberle didn't miss an extra point in college, finished with a career percentage of 79.0, and handled kick off duties for the Aggies.
Javin White, LB, UNLV
White is a hybrid defender who profiles best as a nickel linebacker and special teams player. If he's able to get ST reps he could make the back end of the roster while developing a true defensive home. Could see a path to playing time similarly to Corey Littleton.
Kamaal Seymour, OT, Rutgers
4 year starter at a mighty Rutgers (for you Looch) program who profiles better on the inside then at right tackle. The Raiders brought in a ton of options at the interior so it will be a battle for Seymour to make the roster. Practice squad candidate.
Nick Bowers, TE, Penn State
Bowers has good size and athleticism for the position. He was behind a possible 2021 1st round pick Pat Freirmuth's backup but dealt with health the majority of his time in Happy Valley. The Raiders have a deep tight end room so it will be tough for him to make the roster but he could be a practice squad candidate.
Madre Harper, CB, Southern Illinois
Strong athlete with press man traits. Needs to improve his transitions and tweak some technical details but could make the roster and see some time as a special teams player while growing at corner.
Siaosi Mariner, WR, Utah State
Jordan Love's go-to receiver in 2019, Mariner shows some decent traits at the receiver position to go with his 6-2, 205lbs frame. The top of the Raiders wide receiver depth chart is mostly set so Mariner is likely to compete for a practice squad spot. Mariner would be competing against Ateman, Doss, Gafford, Zay Jones, XFL Great De'Mornay Pierson-El and Anthony Ratliff-Williams for the final roster spot.
Mike Panasiuk, DL, Michigan State
Strong as an ox with a body made for taking blocks as a two gap defender, Panasiuk has a chance to make the roster backing up Jon Hankins at 1T. Needs to improve his pass rush but I think the traits are there for him to do so.
Liam McCullough, LS, Ohio State
He's a long snapper. He snaps the ball a long way. He will compete with current long snapper Trent Sieg.
Conclusion The Raiders entered the off-season with major needs at wide receiver, linebacker, and cornerback. I believe they addressed two of those, wide receiver and linebacker, strongly while still needing some development for our corner room. Mayock also made sure to improve our depth all around the roster. If Derek Carr is able to continue his upwards trend in year 3 with Jon Gruden, and the pass defense improves literally at all, then the Raiders could compete for a wild card spot. Like last year they will need to survive a tough opening slate, but this time they will need to keep their momentum and not falter down the stretch. The AFC West will be a battle however as each team has made significant improvements. You could make an argument for each of Denver, LA, or Vegas to come in 2nd, 3rd, or 4th. 53 Man Roster Projection QB - Derek Carr, Marcus Mariota RB - Josh Jacobs, Jalen Richard, Lynn Bowden FB - Alec Ingold WR - Henry Ruggs, Tyrell Williams, Hunter Renfrow WR - Bryan Edwards, Nelson Agahlor, Zay Jones TE - Darrren Waller, Jason Witten, Foster Moreau OT - Kolton Miller, Trent Brown, David Sharpe, Brandon Parker iOL - Rodney Hudson, Richie Incognito, Gabe Jackson, John Simpson, Denzelle Good, Andre James iDL - Johnathan Hankins, Maliek Collins, Maurice Hurst, P.J. Hall, Daniel Ross DE - Clelin Ferrell, Maxx Crosby, Carl Nassib, Arden Key LB - Corey Littleton, Nick Kwiatkoski, Nicholas Morrow, Marquel Lee, Tanner Muse OCB - Trayvon Mullen, Prince Amukamara, Damon Arnette, Isaiah Johnson SCB - Lamarus Joyner, Amik Robertson FS - Damarious Randall, Erik Harris SS - Johnathan Abram, Jeff Heath K - Daniel Carlson P - A.J. Cole LS - Trent Sieg 2020 Draft Grade: B - While the Raiders had some slight reaches, and not so slight (*cough*Tanner Muse*cough*), they also found some good values especially on day 2 with Bryan Edwards, John Simpson, and Amik Robertson. I think an aggressive projection has the Raiders with 4 players getting starter reps by the end of the season. More likely, I think Ruggs and Arentte start in 2020 and we see Edwards, Simpson and Amik each get more and more involved in 2021. Bowden will likely be a change of pace weapon throughout his rookie contract and Muse a special teams ace with some improved defensive playing time by 2022. 2020 Prediction: 8-8 (3rd in AFC West)
1 New England Patriots (12-4) 2 Buffalo Bills (10-6) 3 New York Jets (7-9) 4 Miami Dolphins (5-11)
The Jets did not make any major coaching changes this offseason, retaining HC Adam Gase, OC Dowell Loggains, and DC Gregg Williams.
The Jets reshaped their weapons for Sam Darnold this offseason, losing three veterans and bringing in a number of free agents and draft picks. GM Joe Douglas opted not to re-sign RB Bilal Powell who the Jets drafted in 2011, and he remains a free agent. Most significantly, Douglas allowed his top offensive weapon in WR Robby Anderson to walk to Carolina on a 2 year, $20.0 MM deal, creating a void at outside receiver. The team has also not re-signed WR Demaryius Thomas, who filled in for Quincy Enunwa last season, and he remains a free agent.
The biggest change that the Jets made to their personnel this offseason was along the offensive line, and as such there were a number of veteran casualties. LT Kelvin Beachum started for the Jets from 2017 to 2019, but he seems to have regressed, and he remains a free agent. The Jets also let C Ryan Kalil go, who unretired to snap for Sam Darnold last offseason but disappointed and got injured, and he remains a free agent. RG Tom Compton was forced into action last season with the injury to Brian Winters, and he, as is characteristic of his NFL career thus far, struggled massively in run blocking and pass pro, but he projects to compete anyway next year for San Francisco on a 1 year deal. Joe Douglas and Adam Gase never expressed interest in RT Brandon Shell for the long term, benching him for the raw Chuma Edoga early in 2019, so it was not a surprise to see the Jets let Shell go to start for Seattle on a 2 year contract.
The Jets mostly kept their defense in tact this offseason, only losing two key pieces. EDGE Brandon Copeland left for New England on a 1 year contract, which is not a surprising location, as Copeland is a great utility player, functioning as a rush linebacker, an off-ball linebacker, and a core special teamer for the Jets in 2019. Similarly, Joe Douglas has not re-signed the versatile FS Rontez Miles, who has played single-high safety, box safety, and a key special teams role during his seven-year Jets tenure, and he remains a free agent.
The Jets cut CB Trumaine Johnson, which was virtually a no-brainer after two injury-plagued seasons in which his lack of speed was frequently exposed. The only real decision was whether to cut Johnson immediately, which would have resulted in a $12.0 MM dead cap hit in 2020, or to designate Johnson as a post-June 1 cut, which would have resulted in a $4.0 MM dead cap hit in 2020 and a $8.0 MM dead cap hit in 2021. Joe Douglas opted for the latter, meaning that the Jets saved a total of $11.0 MM by cutting Johnson in 2020. Grade: A
The Jets cut FS Darryl Roberts in mid-March. The Jets had high hopes for Roberts following the 2018 season, prompting them to sign him to a three-year contract with an out after one year. Roberts had a rocky first eight games of the season at cornerback before injuring his calf and being benched in favor of Maulet, Austin, and Canady. Roberts remained a special-teams asset and good safety depth in December, but ultimately GM Joe Douglas decided he could cut Roberts, save $6.0 MM, and look elsewhere for a replacement. Grade: B
Greg Van Roten
Jets GM Joe Douglas used to work in Baltimore, where he was supposedly very influential in the decision to draft QB Joe Flacco, so this signing is far from surprising. While Joe Flacco may be trending down in his play, $1.5 MM feels like a bargain for the chance at solid veteran insurance for Sam Darnold. However, his neck surgery will supposedly keep him out for the opening of the season. Grade: B
After the draft, the Jets signed RB Frank Gore to a 1 year, $1.1 MM deal to ensure that he will play his 16th season in green and white. Gore is a physical back who played under Jets HC Adam Gase in San Francisco in 2008 and in Miami in 2018. Gore can take some of the pressure off of starting RB Le'Veon Bell in 2020 as the Jets move towards a "runningback by committee" system. Grade: B
The Jets-Ravens connection proved strong again with the signing of WR Breshad Perriman. Perriman was a first-round pick for the Ravens in 2015 while current Jets' Director of Player Personnel Chad Alexander was with Baltimore, and though he never really produced at a high level there, he had a resurgence in 2019 for the Buccaneers. Especially in November and December, where he performed at a 1000-yard rate projected over a whole season, Perriman proved to be a legitimate outside option across from Mike Evans with Chris Godwin in the slot. Perriman is a big, athletic receiver who projects to be well-worth the $6.5 MM deal to start on the outside. Grade: B
Yet again, the Jets signed a former Ravens player, re-signing LG Alex Lewis, who played 2016 through 2018 with Baltimore before GM Joe Douglas traded for him in the 2019 offseason. Lewis stepped in for Kelechi Osemele last season and was a serviceable starter. Lewis is good in pass pro, versatile, and a good zone fit as a guard. However, Lewis could touch up on his penalties and overall run blocking for 2020. GM Joe Douglas only gave Lewis a 3 year, $18.6 MM deal which actually has an out after 1 year, which seems like a solid price to get another look at a 28-year-old guard who might be part of the team's future. Grade: B
The Jets' biggest free-agent singing in 2020 in terms of guaranteed money was former Broncos' C Connor McGovern at $18.0 MM. McGovern is an athletic lineman with experience at guard and center. He is a powerful center, and that serves him well in the run game. However, McGovern has a weak anchor and inconsistent pad level and leverage in the pass game. For this reason, despite the need at center, Joe Douglas' decision to commit two years to a center who is, perhaps, below average in pass pro is worthy of scrutiny. Grade: C
The biggest heavily-scrutinized acquisition that the Jets made in 2020 was probably signing former Seahawks RT George Fant to a 3 year, $27.3 MM contract. Fant functioned primarily as a swing tackle and as a sixth offensive lineman in Seattle, as he could not see the field as a starter over Germain Ifedi. Fant remains a very raw pass protector in terms of his anchor and the fluidity of his kickslide, and his ability in the run is only theoretically a strength in zone blocking. While Fant's contract has an out in 2021, it is a bit strange to see him making a similar salary to Bryan Bulaga and Halapoulvaati Vaitai. Grade: D
The Jets were patient in re-signing their own free agents, which probably helped get good value retaining EDGE Jordan Jenkins. Despite notching 15 combined sacks over the past two seasons, Jenkins only got $3.9 MM from the Jets. The sack number is a bit misleading, though, due to a high quantity of "coverage sacks" and a relatively modest pressure rate. However, Jenkins is a fine run defender, and he'll slot in as EDGE #1 again for the bets in 2020. Grade: B
The Jets also acquired a former Raven on defense with LB Patrick Onwuasor, and they only paid $2.0 MM to bring him in. Onwuasor is an undersized linebacker but a good linear athlete, and while he struggles reading offensive cues and getting off of blocks to stop the run, he is a really good coverage player with the ability to get home as a pass rusher. Onwuasor has played next to CJ Mosley before, and he could potentially contribute in subpackage and base 4-3 looks, in addition to in a depth capacity and on special teams. Grade: B
With the cuts of Trumaine Johnson and Darryl Roberts, GM Joe Douglas decided to fill a starting cornerback spot with former Colts CB Pierre Desir on a 1 year, prove-it deal. Desir lacks longspeed, but he is a long, physical corner with decent short-area quickness. However, Desir lacks refinement in press and zone. With that said, $4.0 MM is a reasonable price to get a fill-in outside cornerback in 2020. Grade: B
This signing probably didnt get much national coverage, but re-signing CB Arthur Maulet could pay huge dividends for the Jets in 2020. In 2019, Trumaine Johnson and Darryl Roberts failed to hit expectations, forcing Maulet, Nate Hairston, and rookie Blessuan Austin into the outside cornerback rotation. Maulet is the only one of that group who was not benched for performance reasons. For a mere $0.9 MM, retaining a guy in Maulet who is familiar with the defense who will compete to start in 2020 is seemingly a no-brainer. Grade: A
Instead of making another draft choice, the Jets decided to trade pick 211 for former Colts CB Quincy Wilson. Wilson, a former second-round pick, was a raw prospect coming out of Florida, and his penalties and lack of zone instincts followed him to the pros and led to his benching. However, Wilson is a big, long, and athletic corner, and at only 23 years of age, it makes sense that GM Joe Douglas wants to bring him on board to compete in an iffy cornerback room. Grade: C
This signing went somewhat under-the-radar, but Jets fans were thrilled when the team retained DB Brian Poole to man the slot on a 1 year, $5.0 MM contract. Poole is a good run defender with an ability to rush the passer, and he had a career year in coverage in 2019. Brian Poole is a good fit for Gregg Williams' defense, so retaining him to start in 2020 for a mere $5.0 MM seems to be a good value. Grade: B
The eleventh pick, Louisville T Mekhi Becton, was my favorite acquisition that the Jets made during the 2020 offseason. While there were other options on the board, namely Tristan Wirfs, Henry Ruggs, and Ceedee Lamb, that the Jets presumably could have considered, Becton was the exact player I thought the Jets should take when he fell to 11. The first thing that stands out about Becton is his massive size, as he's 6'7", 364 lbs, with a monstrous 83-inch wingspan. Becton, however, is much more than a heavy lineman, as he defies the norm with his exceptional 5.1-flat movement skills. Becton is a hulking run blocker who is inexperienced but a fluid mover in pass pro. Becton projects to replace Kelvin Beachum and slide in at left tackle immediately in his rookie season. Grade: A
Wanting to add more picks to build the Jets in his image in his first year as GM, Joe Douglas opted to move down from 48 to 59 in the second round. This was a costly move, as it caused the Jets to miss out on AJ Epenesa and Darrell Taylor, but the Jets managed to grab a falling Senior Bowl standout in Baylor WR Denzel Mims. Mims is a height-weight-speed freak with good length, hands, and run-blocking toughness. Mims should slot in as a starting outside receiver across from Breshad Perriman in year one. Grade: B
The Jets' first third-round pick of 2020 was a real surprise to many fans, as although the team already had arguably the best safety tandem in football with Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye, the Jets drafted California FS Ashytn Davis with the 68th-overall draft selection. Davis is a freak athlete who played single-high safety, box safety, and even slot cornerback at Cal and would almost definitely have been drafted significantly higher but for teams' inability to medically check his groin post-surgery. It's possible that Gregg Williams will utilize Davis as a big nickel defender this year, but this selection could also give the Jets flexibility if Marcus Maye, who is a free agent in 2021, or Jamal Adams, with whom the Jets are supposedly far apart on a long-term contract, depart. Grade: B
Despite having a starting EDGE tandem consisting of Jordan Jenkins and Tarell Basham and losing Brandon Copeland to New England, the Jets did not add outside talent to the position group before the draft, forcing GM Joe Douglas to pick Florida EDGE Jabari Zuniga at 79 overall. Zuniga is a good linear athlete with a decent ability to set the edge and with some interior versatility, and he could maybe project to replace Jordan Jenkins as a starter in 2021. However, Zuniga struggles with stiff hips and slow reaction time at the snap, and plus he missed most of the 2019 season with ankle injuries. The Jets probably hit the right position with Zuniga, who should factor into the pass-rush rotation with Jenkins, Basham, and 2019 UDFA Kyle Phillips, but it's really hard to justify drafting Zuniga with guys like Jonathan Greenard, Terrell Lewis, and DJ Wonnum still on the board. Grade: C
With his first day-3 selection as GM, Joe Douglas chose Florida RB La'Mical Perine. Perine is a physical runner with some receiving versatility out of the backfield. However, Perine doesn't really offer very much in terms of speed or vision, and drafting a RB instead of going offensive line, pass rush, receiver, or cornerback when Le'Veon Bell was already in the fold was a curious move. Grade: D
The second of the Jets' fourth-round picks probably stirred up the most intrigue, as most casual fans probably didn't expect the Jets to draft a quarterback. With that said, the Jets have gone a combined 0-6 over the past two seasons in games that Darnold did not start, and at this time David Fales was slated to be the backup quarterback, so drafting FIU QB James Morgan in the fourth round, which I thought was a value anyway, was a good choice. Morgan is a thick quarterback with a live arm with developmental quarterback potential. Grade: B
With their third pick in the fourth round, the Jets chose a player with the potential to start soon on the offensive line in Charlotte T Cameron Clark. Clark is a powerful lineman who started at left tackle in his rSo, rJr, and rSr seasons and has good short-area quickness despite his 5.29 forty. Some have floated Cameron Clark as a potential convert to guard for the Jets due to his sloppy pass-pro footwork. Grade: B
The Jets went corner in round 5, taking Virginia CB Bryce Hall at 158 overall. Hall is a long, tall corner who moves well, has zone instincts, and contributes in the run game. However, Hall's struggles in press and off-man coverage schemes probably project him better as a safety in the NFL rather than as a corner, which doesn't seem to be a need with Adams, Maye, and Davis already on the roster, and Hall's ankle injury prevented him from working out at the Combine, leaving teams in a state of uncertainty about his health and his testing numbers. Grade: C
With their sixth-round pick, the Jets went special teams with Texas A&M P Braden Mann. Mann has a big leg and can handle kickoff duties. Mann projects to replace Lachlan Edwards, but this may have been a tad high for a punter. Grade: C
The Jets had an intriguing undrafted free agent class with a number of guys who warranted day-3 draft consideration, but two guys that I liked pre-draft stood out as being worth mentioning. Georgia WR Lawrence Cager is a physical receiver at the line of scrimmage who will attempt to make the team as a redzone threat. Alabama DB Shyheim Carter played the STAR role in Nick Saban's defense, and he proved his versatility as a college approximation of a subpackage linebacker, a nickel corner, a box safety, and even a high safety, so he'll vie to make the team as a versatile depth defensive back and as a special-teams ace.
Other Offseason News
After tensions flared at the trade deadline last season, SS Jamal Adams expressed his frustrations with a lack of a contract extension on social media before supposedly requesting a trade in June. However, according to Connor Hughes at The Athletic, the Jets still hope to sign Adams to a long-term contract. Reportedly, over half of the teams in the NFL have expressed interest in adding the defensive star, but the Dallas Cowboys have gotten the most traction as a potential trade partner, with RT La'El Collins and WR Michael Gallup coming up as potential trade pieces. Jamal Adams is still on his rookie contract for 2020, and the Jets accepted his fifth-year option for 2021.
Also, this isn't really news, but former Jets' All-Pro CB Darrelle Revis continued his spat with 49ers' All-Pro CB Richard Sherman, culminating in this unusual Tweet:
3 facts here. @RSherman_25 •I’m more handsome than him according to women. •I’m better at corner than him according to everyone. •Shutdown corners are paid more than Zone 3 corners which I’m currently still am today.
Projected Starting Lineup
QB: Sam Darnold RB: Le’Veon Bell (and Frank Gore) WR: Breshad Perriman, Denzel Mims SWR: Jamison Crowder TE: Chris Herndon (and Ryan Griffin) LT: Mekhi Becton LG: Alex Lewis C: Connor McGovern RG: Brian Winters RT: George Fant EDGE: Jordan Jenkins, Tarell Basham DT: Henry Anderson, Quinnen Williams (and Steve McLendon) ILB: CJ Mosley, Avery Williamson (and Patrick Onwuasor) CB: Pierre Desir, Arthur Maulet NCB: Brian Poole SS: Jamal Adams FS: Marcus Maye K: Sam Ficken P: Braden Mann LS: Thomas Hennessy
Position Group Strengths and Weaknesses
QB - Neutral/Weakness Jets fans aren't going to love this one, but Sam Darnold is arguably still a bottom-third passer going into 2020. Darnold has been surrounded by a poor supporting cast over the past two years, including a turnstile of receivers across Robby Anderson with drop issues and linemen with pass-pro issues, but he certainly has not dominated like other young quarterbacks such as Lamar Jackson, Patrick Mahomes, Deshaun Watson, and Carson Wentz. The Jets have a good group behind Darnold, though, including Joe Flacco, who said he won't be ready for week 1, and James Morgan, a fourth-round rookie out of FIU.
Backfield - Strength Le'Veon Bell, who is making $15.5 MM this season, is an all-around back in terms of running between the tackles, receiving, and pass protecting. The Jets also signed the ageless wonder Frank Gore to take some of the pressure off of Bell. Joe Douglas also drafted La'Mical Perine to contribute in the backfield.
Pass Catchers - Neutral/Weakness In 2020, the Jets are banking on production from unproved pass catchers who have performed well in limited sample sizes. Joe Douglas signed Breshad Perriman, who had a very productive end to his 2019 season, to man one of the outside receiver spots. He also drafted Denzel Mims out of Baylor to presumably also start as a rookie. Jamison Crowder broke out last year as an above-average slot receiver, and Chris Herndon missed virtually all of last season but played well in his rookie season as a tight end. The receiver depth lacks standout names, but the tight end depth is strong, with Ryan Griffin returning on a multi-year extension.
Offensive Line - Weakness The Jets entirely remade their offensive line, and while each position is arguably improved on paper, it is still young and unproven. Most significantly, at LT, Joe Douglas drafted Mekhi Becton at 11, who is already a really good run blocker with the tools to grow in pass pro. Douglas also re-signed Alex Lewis, who is probably serviceable but below average, to start at left guard, but he could force competition from fourth-round rookie Cameron Clark. The Jets signed Connor McGovern to start at C, and while he should solidify the position for at least the last two years, he is not extraordinary. Right guard shapes up to be an open competition between incumbent Brian Winters, who is serviceable when healthy, and new acquisition Greg Van Roten. At RT, the Jets signed George Fant, who played mostly as a swing tackle or sixth offensive lineman for Seattle but certainly has the athletic ability to outperform Chuma Edoga from last year.
Defensive Line - Weakness This might be surprising to the non-Jets fans, but the days of Muhammad Wilkerson, and Leonard Williams are over, and pressure from the defensive line probably won't come easily for Gang Green. At EDGE, the Jets have arguably the worst duo in the NFL with Jordan Jenkins and Tarell Basham presumably playing as starters, with rookie 3rd-round pick Jabari Zuniga and 2019 UDFA Kyle Phillips playing rotationally. Starting on the interior, the Jets have Quinnen Williams, the former third-overall selection who notched 2.5 sacks and 4 TFLs in his rookie season and was arrested in March on a weapons charge, and Henry Anderson, a nimble interior penetrator who had a breakout year in 2018 before coming back down to Earth in 2019. Nathan Shepherd, Steve McLendon, and Foley Fatukasi should all see plenty of tread on the DL, as well.
Linebackers - Strength The Jets had a nearly-comical number of injuries at off-ball linebacker last season, but on paper, the unit appears very strong. CJ Mosley, 2019 FA acquisition, missed almost the entire 2019 season with a groin injury, but when healthy, he is one of the best linebackers in football. Avery Williamson, who projects to start across Mosley in 2020, is a good run defender but missed the entire 2019 year with a torn ACL. Returning starter Neville Hewitt, cheap FA acquisition Patrick Onwuasor, and promising second-year player Blake Cashman could each play in various base or subpackage roles, in addition to on special teams.
Secondary - Neutral Similar to the defensive line, the Jets secondary is a tale of two halves, in this case safeties and cornerbacks. At safety, the Jets have reigning All Pro Jamal Adams and solid free safety Marcus Maye returning, in addition to the versatile 3rd-round pick Ashtyn Davis out of Cal. Outside cornerback is in flux, as new acquisition Pierre Desir should lock up one spot, while Arthur Maulet, Quincy Wilson, and Blessuan Austin could compete for the other starting spot, with last year's breakout player Brian Poole locking up the slot. Nate Hairston, Javelin Guidry, Shyheim Carter, and 5th-round rookie Bryce Hall could compete for other key depth roles in the secondary.
Special Teams - Strength/Neutral At kicker, the Jets had a rocky performance last year, so they brought in Brett Maher, who hit 67% of his field goals last season, to compete with Sam Ficken, who hit 70% of his field goals last season. At punter, the Jets have rookie P Braden Mann, who handles kickoffs and whose 47.1 yards per punt would have ranked 4th in the NFL last year. At longsnapper, Thomas Hennessy is an asset in coverage and will return in 2020. Additionally, WR Vyncint Smith and FS Matthias Farley project to play major roles in kick coverage next season, with other jobs presumably up for grabs.
Week 1 at Buffalo: L - Other than the loss of Shaq Lawson and the additions of Stephon Diggs and AJ Epenesa, the Bills mostly had a quiet offseason, though with encouraging performances from young players in Josh Allen, Ed Oliver, Tremaine Edmunds, and Tre'Davious White and coming off of a 10-6 campaign, there’s a lot about which to be enthusiastic in Buffalo. The Bills, who went 10-6 last year and made the playoffs, beat the Jets here in their home opener. Record: 0-1
Week 2 vs San Francisco: L - The 49ers took a huge leap in 2019, marching through the NFC and into the Super Bowl, and the additions of Brandon Aiyuk, Javon Kinlaw, and Trent Williams should keep them competitive in 2020. If Jamal Adams is on the team, he might be able to get in George Kittle's way, but nevertheless the 49ers should be one of the NFL's most well-rounded football teams, and it would be difficult to envision the Jets defeating them. Record: 0-2
Week 3 at Indianapolis: L - The Colts had a big free agency period, signing Philip Rivers and adding DeForest Buckner in a trade while retaining their entire offensive line. While the Jets went 7-9 last season, just like the Colts did, the Colts probably are the favorites to win at home, especially with the advantage the Indianapolis offensive line should have over the New York pass rush. Record: 0-3
Week 4 vs Denver: L - While the Broncos went 7-9 last season, they have championship aspirations in 2020, as they went 4-1 in Drew Lock's starts last year and added Melvin Gordon, Jerry Jeudy, KJ Hamler, and Albert Okwuegbunam to a group of weapons already containing Philip Lindsay, Courtland Sutton, Noah Fant, and Jeff Heuerman while retaining defensive stars in Von Miller, AJ Johnson, and Justin Simmons. Though it is a home game, it's hard to imagine the Jets defeating the Broncos in 2020. Record: 0-4
Week 5 vs Arizona: W - The Cardinals look poised to improve in 2020, with the additions of DeAndre Hopkins, Jordan Phillips, and Isaiah Simmons, but questions remain with the offensive line and defensive line, in addition to with the poor playcalling from Kingsbury and Joseph at times during last season. This could be a key game for Quinnen Williams, Henry Anderson, Steve McLendon, and the interior defensive line to feast on a poor Cardinals' interior offensive line, and for Gregg Williams to outmatch Kingsbury and Murray at home. Record: 1-4
Week 6 at LA Chargers: L - The Chargers revamped their team this offseason, adding Justin Herbert in the draft and surrounding him with Bryan Bulaga, Trai Turner, and Joe Reed on offense, and Kenneth Murray and Chris Harris on defense. Though the quarterback situation is in flux in LA, it’s a bit hard to envision the Jets going on the road to the West Coast and beating an otherwise well-rounded team. Record: 1-5
Week 7 vs Buffalo: W - The Jets have beat the Bills at least once in 8 of the last 10 seasons, and so the Jets should have a good chance to win one at home. Record: 2-5
Week 8 at Kansas City: L - The Chiefs has a pretty quiet offseason aside from locking up Patrick Mahomes and Chris Jones on long-term deals, as they added Mike Remmers, Taco Charlton, Willie Gay, and Lucas Niang while losing Stefen Wisniewski, Emmanuel Ogbah, Reggie Ragland, and Kendall Fuller. Despite the offseason losses, Reid and Mahomes should easily be able to storm past the Jets at home. Record: 2-6
Week 9 vs New England: W - The Patriots took a hit this offseason, obviously headlined by the loss of Tom Brady but also supplemented by key defensive losses in Kyle Van Noy, Jamie Collins, and Duron Harmon in addition to a general lack of attention towards improving a lackluster wide receiver corps. The Jets haven't beat the Patriots since their week 16 overtime thriller in 2015, but a November home game could be a good chance to do it, as the Patriots don't really possess the weapons to exploit issues with the Jets' cornerbacks nor the pass rushers to exploit issues with the Jets' offensive line. Record: 3-6
Week 10 at Miami: W - The Dolphins had a very poor 2019, finishing 5-11 with the 27th-ranked total offense and the 30th-ranked total defense, and as such they had an incredibly busy offseason, adding Matt Breida, Ereck Flowers, Ted Karras, Kyle Van Noy, Shaq Lawson, Emmanuel Ogbah, Elandon Roberts, and Byron Jones in free agency and Tua Tagovailoa, Austin Jackson, Noah Igbinoghene, Robert Hunt, Raekwon Davis, and Solomon Kindley in the draft. However, in Miami before the bye would be a good chance for Adam Gase to get a revenge game win, seeing as the Dolphins still have weaknesses all over their roster including quarterback, offensive tackle, and edge rusher. Record: 4-6
WEEK 11 BYE
Week 12 vs Miami: L - With all their offseason additions, the Dolphins figure to match up fairly evenly with the Jets in 2020, and so it's likely that the two teams will split the season series. Record: 4-7
Week 13 vs Las Vegas: W - The Raiders had a very busy offseason, adding Jason Witten, Maliek Collins, Nick Kwiatkoski, Prince Amukamara, and Damarious Randall in free agency and Henry Ruggs, Damon Arnette, Lynn Bowden, Bryan Edwards, and Amik Robertson in the draft with their only major losses being Darryl Worley and Karl Joseph. At home against a West Coast opponent, the Jets would be wise to take advantage of some of the Raiders’ weaknesses in this game, including inexperience at wide receiver, edge rusher, linebacker, and cornerback. Record: 5-7
Week 14 at Seattle: L - The Seahawks went 11-5 last season and were one play away from securing the top seed in the NFC, so their offseason was pretty quiet, mostly focusing on the offensive line with the losses of Germain Ifedi, DJ Fluker, and George Fant and the additions of free agents Brandon Shell, BJ Finney, and Cedric Ogbuehi, and draft pick Damien Lewis. Pete Carroll is one of the best coaches in football today, and in this late-season matchup at Seattle he’ll have the personnel advantage against the Jets offense, which lacks talented weapons and blockers. Record: 5-8
Week 15 at LA Rams: L - The Rams regressed to 9-7 last year and then had a difficult offseason, losing Todd Gurley, Brandin Cooks, Dante Fowler, and Nickell Robey-Coleman, with their only major addition being A’Shawn Robinson. The 2020 Rams are not the Super Bowl Rams of the past, but with both McVay and Goff still on board, the Rams have to be favorites to take this late-season home game against the Jets. Record: 5-9
Week 16 vs Cleveland: W - The Browns had a busy offseason, hiring head coach Kevin Stefanski, losing Greg Robinson, Joe Schobert, and Damarious Randall, signing Austin Hooper, Jack Conklin, Andrew Billings, Karl Joseph, and Damarious Randall, and drafting Jedrick Wills, Grant Delpit, and Jacob Phillips. Despite these additions, however, Cleveland still has a new, inexperienced offensive playcaller at head coach and a question mark at quarterback, and Gregg Williams generally handles quarterbacks who struggle with post-snap reads well with disguised coverages and aggressive blitz packages. Record: 6-9
Week 17 at New England: L - With the expanded playoffs, the Patriots have an even greater chance to make the postseason this year than they otherwise would, so this late-season match in Foxborough could be a consequential, divisional-revenge game. Record: 6-10
Final Record: 6-10 While I firmly believe that the Jets improved significantly this offseason, especially in terms of the offensive line and getting players back from injury, this year’s schedule is substantially more difficult that last year’s, which could result in less games in the wins column for 2020. Last year, the Jets closed out the back-half of their season going 6-2 playing against rookie Daniel Jones, rookie Dwayne Haskins, Derek Carr, Andy Dalton, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Lamar Jackson, rookie Devlin Hodges, and Matt Barkley, and this year the Jets have to play both the AFC West and the NFC West, which is a huge jump in their level of competition.
Training Camp Battles to Watch
WR #2: Denzel Mims vs Vyncint Smith Jets fans would hope that starting receiver isn’t much of a battle, but since rookie wideouts traditionally have been known to take longer learning the playbook, the other receiver spot next to Perriman and Crowder is in flux. Denzel Mims, the rookie receiver from Baylor, is the odds-on favorite to get a starting role and to play as a deep threat and red-zone threat in year one. However, if Mims proves too raw off the bat, the Jets could fall back on Vyncint Smith, who had 17 receptions last year and showed his value as a deep threat.
Left Guard: Alex Lewis vs Cameron Clark Following a 2019 season where Alex Lewis spot-started in place of Kelechi Osemele, the Jets rewarded him with a 3 year, $18.6 MM contract, and he goes into 2020 as the favorite to start at left guard once again. With that being said, the possibility exists that rookie tackle Cameron Clark out of Charlotte will kick inside and compete at left guard.
Right Guard: Brian Winters vs Greg Van Roten After a 2019 season in which Brian Winters went down with a shoulder injury in week 10, many expected the Jets to cut him, but he instead will return as the incumbent starter at right guard. However, new free agent acquisition Greg Van Roten could switch to the right side and compete against Winters to start.
Right Tackle: George Fant vs Chuma Edoga After the Jets had a poor performance form their offensive line in 2019, GM Joe Douglas brought in competition at all position, including at right tackle. George Fant, former Seattle swing tackle, is the presumptive favorite to land the starting job, despite his lack of starting experience and struggles with pass-pro footwork. Chuma Edoga could compete as well, but his performance in both run blocking and pass pro was so shaky last year as a rookie that he needed extensive help from tight ends to prevent the right side from entirely becoming a liability.
EDGE #2: Tarell Basham vs Kyle Phillips vs Jabari Zuniga vs John Franklin-Myers The Jets started Jordan Jenkins and Tarell Basham at edge rusher last season, so it was somewhat of a shock to see them add absolutely no outside talent until the middle of the third round, and so now Gregg Williams and his defensive staff are forced to make the pitiful decision between starting Basham, Kyle Phillips, Jabari Zuniga, or John Franklin-Myers across from Jenkins. Basham, who the Jets claimed off of waivers in 2018, is probably the odds-on favorite to start once again after notching 2 sacks and 4 quarterback hits in 54% of the Jets' defensive snaps. Kyle Phillips, the second-year player from Tennessee who was a five-star high-school recruit, is a thicker lineman best suited to play on run downs who could push for starting snaps as well. Jabari Zuniga, 3rd-round rookie out of Florida, is a third contender for the starting job, but his interior versatility and similarity to Jenkins in terms of his stiffness and poor pad level could suggest the Jets envision him in more of a rotational role. The wildcard in this battle is John Franklin-Myers, who was claimed by the Jets off of waivers from the Rams at the start of 2019 but who also notched a pair of sacks in his rookie year and is really explosive for his size.
DT #2: Henry Anderson vs Nathan Shepherd This battle won't get much media coverage, as both Anderson and Shepherd project to get plenty of tread on the New York defensive line, but nevertheless the two will compete in training camp for the upper hand in the snap count. Henry Anderson, the penetrating defensive lineman, saw his production fall off a bit in 2019, in part due to a nagging shoulder injury and utilization in different fronts and roles. Nathan Shepherd saw his role increase in the back half of the season after a suspension saw his role increase in the back half of the season after a suspension sidelined him from weeks two through eight, and with a good camp, he could establish himself as the primary nimble-footed complement to the heftier, run-stopping trio of Quinnen Williams, Steve McLendon, and Foley Fatukasi.
CB #2: Arthur Maulet vs Quincy Wilson vs Bryce Hall vs Blessuan Austin The outside cornerback spot across from Pierre Desir is probably the most open starting battle on the team. Arthur Maulet, the undersized but physical cornerback out of Memphis, is probably the favorite to start after outplaying Johnson and Roberts last season to win the left cornerback job. Quincy Wilson, the former second-round pick, should be Maulet's primary competition after the Jets traded a draft pick to acquire him from the Colts. Bryce Hall, the rookie fifth-round corner from Virginia, is a darkhorse to start as well if he is healthy to start the season. Blessuan Austin, the former sixth-round pick, might factor into the competition, but he'll have Williams' doghouse after reacting poorly to his week-16 benching.
Kicker: Sam Ficken vs Brett Maher Sam Ficken, who hit 70% of his kicks last season, will compete with Brett Maher, who hit 67% of his kicks last season, for the starting kicker job, but neither candidate should have to handle kickoffs with rookie punter Braden Mann in the fold.
Offensive and Defensive Schemes
Adam Gase, head coach and offensive playcaller for the Jets, runs a zone blocking, short passing offense mostly out of 11 personnel while also mixing in some 2-TE sets. In the run game, Gase is willing to run gap concepts based on his offensive line personnel, but he certainly favors his inside zone running playcalls. In the pass game, Gase likes to stack his receivers, throw checkdowns, split his backs out wide, and utilize the sidelines.
Gregg Williams, defensive coordinator for the Jets, runs a 3-4 hybrid, blitz-heavy defense with an emphasis on zone coverage. In the front seven, Williams has used both 3-4 and 4-3 base packages, though he mostly uses nickel fronts and one-gapping penetration schemes. In the secondary, Williams stresses MOFC shells, press-zone concepts, and disguised coverages and blitzes.
Cheating Boyfriend Betrayed by His Good Christian Sister in the Best Possible Way
This story is now somewhat famous in my circle of friends, and one finally roped me into spilling it on here (here you go Evan). This is the tale of myself and this perfect girl named "Charlie". Part 1: Exposition This took place roughly 2 years ago, at the twilight of my senior year of high school. It was early May and our graduation was set for early June, so with most of our brains switched to summer mode and our teachers fresh out of fucks, my friends and I finally fell in line with the majority of our class and started ditching. Our friend group consisted of a handful of minor characters in addition to my boyfriend of 3 years: "Kyle", my best friend since middle school: "Sarah", myself, and a recent inclusion: "Brad", who, not gonna lie, was and is a bit of a White Knight. Kyle belonged to a Christian family. No, not the nice, charity giving, actually Christian Christians, but rather the homophobic, slur slinging, will kick a homeless guy in the face and then sit in church like a saint Christians. They always went to church every Wednesday and Friday, and while they invited me, I never went due to being a) an Agnostic, b) a closeted bisexual, and c) almost physically sick from their hypocrisy. They never really liked me because of this. They also were entitled. It wasn't evident until they got into trouble. You see, they helped organize the Church's funding (grants, donations, charity, maintenance, etc), which put them pretty high on the pecking order. The Church, while not the centerpiece of our part of town, still claimed A LOT of the district's authority figures as patrons. It was the sort of unofficial institution that sneaks its way into politics without ever being directly involved. So whenever they got pulled over or issued a parking ticket, they'd drop a couple names and dodge the whole thing. Kyle himself was decent. I'd known him since elementary school, he was usually nice, and he was hot (shallow, I know, but it was high school), so I tolerated his idiotic and oftentimes narcissistic behavior (they treated him like God's gift to Earth). But it was his sister, "Charlie", who redeemed the whole family. She was a year younger than Kyle and I, and was the only genuine Christian in the group. However, she also had an impish streak in her that led to some fun hi-jinx. You could always tell she'd had a devilish epiphany with this little half smile she'd make. We'd often hang out and she was a blast to be around. We were very close, and she often confided in me about stuff she couldn't tell her family. To me, a great friend. To them, the perfect little Christian daughter. Sarah was a really good friend who had helped me through the death of my mom. I wasn't diagnosed with depression or anything major, but I loved my mama to pieces and it shattered me. Her and Kyle were always there for me and she was the one who pushed me to ask him out. I trusted her about as much as any teenager could. Anyways, back to the story. One fateful Tuesday, Kyle, Sarah, myself, and our mutual friends headed downtown to get food, skate, and generally do stereotypical annoying teenage stuff. Getting bored of our current activities, I asked Kyle if he wanted to race on our boards to the end of the street (it was just past the lunch rush so most people were either back in their offices or stuck in traffic). He accepted and about 30 seconds and a loose flagstone later I ended up planting my face into the sidewalk and fracturing my arm. I tried to shake it off but no one else was having it, considering I was walking like a newborn deer and my arm was beginning to swell. We ended up making a visit to the ER where they confirmed that yes, I did have a fractured arm, and a concussion to boot. The concussion was my dumbass tax. It wasn't too big a deal as far as accidents go, but considering my sorry state, they wanted me to stick around so they could do a few more tests, brace my arm, and generally just ensure that I was healthy enough to return to my dumbassery. Thankfully, Kyle and Sarah had offered to stay with me, because apparently their parents didn't care, and we were already ditching so school the following day wasn't a big issue. I ended up spending the night in the hospital (the hospital had been understaffed for years, so once your condition was deemed stable they tended to shove you into limbo) and went home the following day with the usual concussion orders. Effectively I was to become as a vegetable for 10 days. Wanting to get back to my recently attained freedom I complied, meaning I spent about 7 days sleeping and eating. I only picked up my phone after the doctor cleared me, to which I found an unexpected message. Part 2: The Act Brad had gotten my number from Kyle, and sent me a link to a private data storing account (one of those services where you can upload videos, pictures, etc and lock it behind a pass-code for personal use only) and a password. I, being intrigued by this sudden plot hook in my boring life, followed it to find literal GIGABYTES of pictures, all showing Kyle and Sarah in compromising positions and captions hollering things that were definitely not beneficial to their relationship with the Lord. I'm talking everything from individual nudes taken from the Chat of Snaps to full on money shots and everything in between. It looked like an amateur porn album. The most recent of which was dated to, as you probably guessed, that Tuesday evening. Brad explained that Kyle had this whole thing where he'd upload videos of him and Sarah doing it for his close circle to whack off at. I personally would've simply used Pornhub like a normal human, but Kyle had always been a little self-infatuated so I wasn't too surprised at this Narcissus level move. Brad had apparently just been included and was sickened by the whole thing. For context, in our 3 years of dating, the furthest Kyle and I had gone was a BJ after a football game that January. He spewed BS about "saving it for marriage" while dicking down my BFF. I. Was. Shattered. The two people I had placed my unconditional trust in had, without my knowing, been taking turns pounding that trust away, all the while being fully aware of their importance in my life. I confronted Kyle about this when we next hung out at his place, and he denied everything at first. Said I was being a paranoid bitch. When I showed him the evidence, he involved his parents, who started claiming I PHOTOSHOPPED the photos and videos, and threatened that they would report me for making child porn (Sarah and Kyle had only just turned 18 the past September). Knowing the police would prove me right, but not wanting to tank Brad for possession (our city had been throwing the book at people for this for years) I dropped it and left. I thought we'd broken up, but apparently his parents insisted we stay together until after graduation to save face with his extended family. Apparently they knew deep down he was guilty, but the usual EP tendencies flared up. Not wanting to make waves (yet) I reluctantly complied, and began regressing into my earlier negative mental spaces. Part 3: The Revenge The funny thing about religious families is that they are just as prone to producing LGBT children as non-religious ones. Kyle had avoided the "sickness". Charlie hadn't. Not one week after our argument, I was at Kyle's house, helping him keep up the act. We hardly interacted, so I turned to Charlie for companionship. This typically happened when Kyle and I would get into fights, as Charlie's chill demeanor and deep concern often led me to confide in her, sometimes with things I didn't even share with Sarah. This, being the biggest "argument" of our relationship, was no different. While we were chilling in her room, she started to get really antsy. Her normal bubbly demeanor was gone. Contrary to your typical homosexual, I didn't have a strong gaydar, so I assumed she'd learned of Kyle's infidelity. Well yes, but actually no. I asked her what was wrong and she said she had a secret to spill. I wasn't really in the mood for drama or comforting, but it being Charlie I let her go. In what has yet to be the second biggest surprise of my life, she told me about how she'd been in the closet for years (14 or 15 was when she first started figuring it out), and apparently for a long time she'd been trying to get closer to me because I was the only person she truly felt comfortable around. Her family was almost stereotypically homophobic and really only approved of her church friends. She was jealous of Kyle and our relationship, but thinking I was straight and not wanting to rock the boat she resigned herself to her angsty teenage heartache. That was until the HMS Relationship struck an infidelity iceberg and she figured she could finally shoot her shot. Now, given any other circumstance, I would've said hell no. We'd known each other for over a decade, and I'd been dating her brother for 3 years. It would've been scummy and Charlie was practically a sister to me at this point. But then the blood started rushing and the lizard brain started screaming for payback. I'll spare the details for her privacy, but one woo-hoo later her and I were enjoying the afterglow when the gears really started turning. I felt like shit. I knew what I'd done was wrong, but given my current situation I frankly didn't care about that. I more so felt bad for Charlie. At the time, my feelings were twisted and painful, and I thought I didn't really like her that way, so I thought I'd just one-and-doned the only non-family member who I still trusted. She caught on to the vibe I was giving off and ended up talking me out of some bad thoughts while we got dressed and said our goodbyes. We ended up continuing the relationship after that. For her she finally got to be with her longtime crush, and I got an escape. When the day of graduation came and went, we maintained the charade until both our families, as well as their church group, went over to their place for a massive dinner celebration and commemorative slideshow. Now I'd known about this event since the fall, and hadn't thought too much of it until the incident. During our fling, Charlie had been pushing me out of my slump and towards thoughts of vengeance. Apparently, her parents had been spreading rumors to their church group that I had been cheating on Kyle, and they were saying that after the dinner he was going to dump me. In front of an entire crowd that included MY FAMILY. I didn't really care about myself, but my dad had gotten a lot of flak for remarrying after mom died. Some of it even came from me, but having the perspective of age and distance I got over it. I was not about to have him publicly embarrassed by some shitheads who thought they blessed the ground they walked on. Before it was just petty high school drama. But this was no joke. My dad worked for the District Rep's office. The District Rep grew up at that church. It was part of his "one of the people" persona. A few choice words my dad's job would be history. Guess Kyle's parents in their malignancy never thought that part through. Or maybe they did and I'm giving them too much credit. Either way, this was now personal. So Charlie, being her impish self, began scheming. She was loved by the Church group, so it was easy for her to get the role of prepping the slideshow. She even gave a whole speech about how she couldn't wait to "finally give her brother and his friends the recognition they deserved". She then began compiling the videos and photos from the circle jerk account Kyle had made (dumbass hadn't changed the password), alongside screenshots of their conversations in a group chat they had (she got those by "borrowing" his phone, making a "call" and sending the screenshots to her phone before deleting them from the message history) , and integrated them into a slideshow. It was structured so that a slide would pop up with a bunch of pictures of the boy in question alongside their favorite bible quote. Then the next few slides would include the screenshots of their respective conversations and whatever pictures they had listed as their favorites (censored and from after they had turned 18 for obvious reasons). Altogether this slideshow took Charlie days to compile, but not once did she complain or ask for a break. She was on a mission, and alongside being hot in its weird way, it was also shifting my perspective on our relationship. So the night comes and we're all sitting around the table, making small talk and putting on our best fake smiles. Several church families are giving me smug "you're gonna get what's coming to you" looks, but I shrugged them off and stuck with my family for most of night. Charlie and I avoided each other to ensure no one got suspicious. Finally, the moment of truth came. Everyone was called into the backyard where they had rows of chairs set up in front of a massive projector. Charlie portrayed her best innocent little sister act before starting the soundtrack. The slides began to roll, and people began to gasp and yell in tune to Good Old Days by Macklemore. Seeing the looks on Kyle and his family's faces as they realized what was happening was priceless. In turn, each boy was brought onscreen and put on blast, and each time everyone was too busy recovering from the whiplash to stop it. The few that did tried to grab Charlie's laptop, but she quickly scooped it up and ran into the house, locking herself in a bathroom (the projector was wireless). No one thought to turn off the projector. Idiots. Finally, after almost five minutes of bible quotes and nudes, the boy of the hour was put on screen. His quote: Hebrews 13:4 "Give honor to marriage, and remain faithful to one another in marriage. God will surely judge people who are immoral and those who commit adultery." It was intended to create the setup for my humiliation. Oh how the turntables. A handful videos played showing his 18+ exploits, alongside screenshots of the rows of content he had made, with texts dating back to the summer of 2017 implying the length of his fling. It hurt to watch, but I found my solace in the sweet nectar of vengeance laid before my eyes. Finally came the last slide, a blank white page with a single audio file link. Even I was confused at this part, seeing as audio wasn't included in our plans. Charlie crept back outside and clicked play, and Kyle's parents' voices came screaming through the speakers. Apparently, Charlie had recorded their entire humiliation plan in detail, and had added it to the slideshow as evidence of my impending setup. The girl had covered all bases, and when the show ended, she stood next to the projector beaming that devilish half grin. It took a few seconds for anything to happen. Kyle and his family beat a hasty retreat to the house, but the party being at their place they had nowhere to go. Several church members conveyed their disgust at Charlie, Kyle, and the boys in equal measure for the event. She ignored them, called out to her parents, and waited for them to peep their heads out. When they did, she quickly planted a massive kiss on my cheek and pronounced herself as gay. Needless to say, that didn't go down well. My parents and I left in a hurry, and Charlie, now in deep shit, came with us. Part 4: The Aftermath Charlie and I have been dating since. As you probably guessed, her family cut ties with her, so she ended up crashing at my place. My stepmom wasn't too pleased with how she'd gone about my revenge, but my dad thought it was hilarious. He collected his $20 from my stepmom (they'd had a bet over when I'd come out, apparently) and argued on our behalf for Charlie to stay. After all, they had an interesting first impression, and there was no risk of pregnancy. To top it off, it was the perfect way for them to spite Kyle's family after they'd trashed my reputation and tried to make me an outcast. He caught some jokes and snide remarks at work for the next few weeks, but given the circumstances and the fact I was a teenage daughter (apparently we're prone to bouts of roguishness), he got off. No harm. As for Kyle? Well his family got barred from their church after his collection came to light, which caused them to fall from local grace. They lost the ear of local officials, and the various name drops they'd been using to avoid various fines and penalties caught up to them. Last I heard from Sarah they had moved to the next state over and Kyle was living sexless in his parents basement, squeaking by at a community college. Sarah and I made up eventually. It took a lot of apologizing and no small amount of grovelling on her part, but not wanting to resent her for the rest of my life I got over myself and allowed her back in. We're not as close as we used to be, but that trust is slowly growing back. Let's just hope she she keeps her stuff in her pants this time. Charlie and I lived together until I went off to college, where we've been long-distance since. She managed to get into a school two hours away, so we often spend weekends at each others' dorms or somewhere in between, doing our typical hedonistic thing. It's taken me some time to fully recover. As cathartic as our revenge felt, it did little to truly bring me solace. Despite the implications of this story, I had a really deep connection with Kyle, and while it's easy to write off as teenage drama, it still scarred me. My family and Charlie have helped me rebuild. Our relationship may have begun unconventionally, and could certainly be classifiable as "trashy", but we don't care. We're happy, and I have a girl who's gone above and beyond for me. Not everyone can say that. TL;DR: Boyfriend of 3 years cheats with my BFF, and his religious family tries to cover it up. I sleep with his sister, who exposes him during a church dinner, and drags me out of the closet with her.
[M4F] Longterm partner needed. Multiple prompts inside. Bring your own ideas aswell. Free all night.
I am 18+ and all participants and characters must be 18+ I am looking for a rp partner. I'm open to many different styles whether it be fantasy, or realistic. I have a few ideas in mind but would love to discuss potential ideas. As always come with some ideas and we can get something going. Chicago pd x Law and order SVU: I'd love to do a crossover with Jay halstead and Olivia benson. College football: I'd love to play out the ups and downs of college football eventually making it to the NFL Business as usual: You're the CEO of a very successful company but you still have rivals and enemies. That being said you need some allies to so you meet me the president of the local motorcycle club. I'll handle the dirty work in exchange for money or anything i need. Rich girl and a country boy: You're dad has always had this idea of you marrying the son of a fellow ceo and merging the companies. That's starting to come true until while on a trip for your bachelorette party you meet a small town boy and he shows you the joy of living a simple life. Military: For a college assignment you're required to connect with a penpal. You get paired with me and through various letters you learn I'm overseas in the military. We talk for weeks until soon i stop writing back. That's until I'm home and decide to surprise you. Meeting the family: We've been dating for about 6 months and you've never met my family. We come from different backgrounds as you're more of the upper middle class the grew up in the city and i was lower middle class that grew up in the country. We were sometimes polar opposites but somehow we were happy together. I get an invitation to my sister's wedding and we decide to take a trip to my hometown for the wedding and to introduce you to the crazyness that's my family. Youtuber: You're a pretty big Youtubestreamer with over 9 million subscribers between the two platforms. I'm a rather small Youtuber with only about 600k subscribers on YouTube. People are constantly linking you my videos to react to on stream due to the humor being a little on the darker side. To everyone's surprise you really enjoy my content and it goes from there. Your suggestion or ideas: If you have any changes to a particular scenario please share I'm open to suggestions. If you have a totally different idea or ideas please share aswell I'd love to hear. Youtuber house: You're the owner and CEO of an esports team. You've had a team house for a abour a year and are ready to expand. You decide to have a content house you do your research and invite me to join and be the first streamecontent creator to live in the house with you. Eventually you'll invite others to join. Where you come from: We grew up in the same small town in Georgia and were best friends. You moved to California when your dad got an amazing job and you've been living the wealthy life ever since. One day when you come home from shopping with your other rich friends your mom and dad tell you're all going back to Georgia for an extended visit and you couldn't be more upset. The new guy: I wasn't the most popular guy at my old school and everyone picked on me. I embarrassed myself one day to the point of needing to get out. After meeting a guy that went through the same situation i reinvented myself as a cool jock type and transferred to your school. Criminal enterprise: Your mom and my mom were bestfriends. She helped pay for you mom's medicine when she was sick. When your mom finally passed you came to live with us. When you get here you realize we're one of the country's most successful crime families. Single parent: This is one is pretty straight forward. We can discuss different options in PM. Unexpected pregnancy: We met at a party and got drunk and hooked up. We didn't talk afterwards until you called me telling me your pregnant. Small town living: you were always a good respectable person. You always saw the good in people but sometimes that wasn't necessarily a good thing. You dated a guy that seemed fine to everyone except behind closed doors he was extremely abusive. When you came home one day with a broken nose and a black eye your parents knew they needed to do something. They decided to send you to live with your aunt to hopefully hide you from him. You were relieved to be away from hom finally. When you get to your aunt's farm you see me working out in the fields. Superpower: Ever since i was 5 i knew i was different but no one ever told me why. I came from a long line of shapeshifters unfortunately that's usually what got them killed. Both my dad and uncle were shifters but they mysteriously died when i was 5. My mother started to see the signs of me becoming one the animal print started to show on my body and she knew she couldn't go through with it. When i was 6 she turned me over to foster care and disappeared. Now I'm 22 and using my gift for more personal gain. Rather it be changing into a horse betting on myself at the local track or a championship caliber race dog. You've been passed a file on me to try and bring me in to try and stop a criminal mastermind from trying the world into chaos. Zombie apocalypse: I'm open to a lot of different scenarios. Rather it's the walking dead where the zombies move kind of slow. Or world war Z where they sprint and climb over each other. I'm also open to many different pairings. Reconnect: I've been bestfriends with your older brother since we were in kindergarten. We're both sophomores in college and play football for the school. You and me always had a connection but never acted on it. Now it's your brother's wedding and we meet up when you see my smoking out by my truck.
Here are the results of the survey I conducted a few days ago. Keep in mind that there may be some bias since I only posted the survey on Reddit (especially in the demographics section). There were 317 responses. Below the survey results, I listed all the responses to "My favorite memory..." Here are graphs and pie charts for each question (the percentages on the bar graphs are incorrect. Please see below for correct percentages on all the questions): https://photos.app.goo.gl/ts63k2mZ8QoSJ4K39 Survey from 2 years ago for comparison: https://www.reddit.com/ClashOfClans/comments/7pt3my/misc_results_of_the_survey
On a scale of 1-5 with "1" being Dead (almost no activity) and "5" being very active (almost non-stop activity). • 1: 3 responses (1%) • 2: 24 responses (7.7%) • 3: 68 responses (21.7%) • 4: 131 responses (41.9%) • 5: 87 responses (27.8%)
Is your clan part of a family of clans? Is so, what is it called?
• My clan is not part of a family of clans: 233 responses (75%) • FWA (Farm War Alliance): 11 responses (3.5%) • RCS (Reddit Clan System): 6 responses (1.9%) • My clan is part of a family of clans that is not listed here: 61 responses (19.6%)
One of the questions in the survey was to share a favorite memory you have of playing Clash of Clans. Some people wrote a lot, others a little, and some did not share at all. I found a lot of the responses really heartwarming and I decided I want to share all of the stories. I broke them into categories to make it easier to read. I suggest to read them all if you have the time
Best Overall Story
One day I was chillin in global chat just vibing. There was like 10 players that were actively chatting in global with me. We had all been chattin for nearly an hour when I said,” Yo bois we should make ourselves a clan” we all were like,”Honestly I’m down” I made the clan, and we joined forces. We were anywhere from th 6-10, me being a th 10 at the time. We had an amazing run and lead a great clan to many war victories. Slowly our clan began dying but in 1 last dying effort to revive the clan I sent out a mail begging for the clan to reactivate itself, I wasn’t ready to give up our incredible clan we built from a small group of homies from global. 1 of the OG global chat players said,” you know what? Your right. Ima be active. I ain’t ready for this to end” or something to that effect. Slowly everyone began to come back and we were at our peak level of activity. This was back in the day when you could change clan settings without it saying so in chat. One day I logged in to find that our clan description had been changed. It said and I quote,” F*ck you *my username”. I was the leader. The only people in the clan that were Co-Leader and could change the clan description was the OG people that had started it. There was basically a war amongst our clan leaders. People accusing others of being the one ruining the clan, and the saddest part was it was one of the OG people so none of us really wanted to accuse anyone because we all thought we were homies. The clan discription continued to change to more vulgar and racial sayings. After many many members left, including many of the OG creators, the person finally confessed. His name was PuffyApple. He had been such a homie and a great person for so long but he had been the one doing all. He apologized and said sorry i dont know why I did it. It was too late. Everyone that was once loyal left the clan but a few. I didn’t know what to do so I went to raid while I decided. I decided i would kick him. When I got back he had kicked the remaining players and left a message to me saying,”Sorry dude” and left. My amazing clan was gone. But it’s ok I still remember the glory days of that clan. It will live on forever.
Probably my th7 push to t2 2 years ago. It took a lot of time and I spent something like 6 months up in titans but I really enjoyed it. I would typically spend 4+ hours a day online searching for bases. Most of the bases I found that I would attack were th9s and 10s with either a lot of snipable buildings to get a 50% 1 star or an anti 3 star which I usually got 2 stars off of. The occasional th8 that I found was typically a three star. Something else interesting is the fact it took me three hours of boosting to get through all of the masters. When I first joined the game (4+ years ago) I joined a small clan. It grew and we all had fun together. Everyone was nice and it was amazing. Unfortunately an a-hole convinced the leader so he can have leader for a bit and kicked everyone.Left the game for 4 years... I started playing again and I get the thought to recover my old account. It works and the memories flood back. Coc was a major part of my childhood and to find the account back meant a lot. I still remember my first few good clans I've joined and the fun banter I'd get in. I found some screenshots recently of some weird conversations we've had and I still am friends with some of the guys on facebook and snapchat. My most favorite memory is when I mentioned liking some boy (im a girl) and some guys was like "oh... girl or gay?" I also liked having arguments about who was going to kick next It’s not that amazing but back in the day i used to play with my friends in primary school just before the clan war update, and we talked for hours and hours how clan war could be a thing. Ideas came up such as all clan members donate troops to the clan leader and he/she does one massive attack with a thousand or so troop space. This memory will stick with me for a long time I love recruiting, so every time I bring new members to my clan that’s a good memory. I also just really enjoy chatting with all the friends I’ve made over the years on this game, talking to my clan mates, winning wars. Memorably, my clan recently went on a 31 war win streak we put our heart and soul in. That was great. This game has brought me a lot of joy over the years. I remember when I was a rushed TH6, had to be in 2014 or something like that. The old days with crack head Goblin and pervert Giant. The stars to indicate troop levels. You had to train in each individual barracks. Global chat was filled with BD clans, and "Any Girl?". When the max Town Hall was TH10 with blue walls. The simpler times were the truly the best times. Back in the 5th grades years ago, me and my friends would bring our tablets to school and would play clash together. We would schedule the wars so that we could attack together at school so we can be as coordinated as possible. It also resulted in me ruining my iPad by dropping it while my friends were attacking for me while I was holding it. Good times lmao My friends from school would start playing clash of clans for about 2 weeks but then stop playing. This happened every year and every few months and since I enjoyed the game I would grind and have the best base out of all my friends. Now I feel a sense of pride and accomplishment when I show them my strong base. Either getting excited at school knowing that I had more trophies than everyone in the country or at 10pm sitting there reaching legend league on my th8 account. If not those, it was certainly a great moment when the squad gathered round to watch me upgrade to th13 at school when it just came out Staying up the night to loot dark elixir at TH7 to upgrade barb king and hogs. Also to generally making new friends, learning new tactics, and getting better at the game. Also to admire the valks from TH8 coz they are the most aesthetically pleasing troop to look at🤭 There was a super rushed th11 that was in the same clan as me. A year and a half later that player was #1 in Canada I now realize that it probably wasn’t the same person and it was probably someone with the same same Honestly, after a long time of leaving and coming back to the game and finally reaching th9. I feel like the game truely starts at th9 and i'm really into the game now. Town hall 9 was the best town hall because there were so many unique strategies and I'd consider it the first time I actually became a successful competitive attacker. In 2016, me and cousin thought someone was backing but it turns out that they weren't hacking and we took it so seriously lol. That one cold winter night in my bed while I had a training boost on and grinded while on my tv watched YouTube It gives me the option if I want to play, I can. I can also put it down for a few days and jump back into it. When you got attacked and your army camps was destroyed you lost your army too and had to retrain Discussing our wat strategies back when me and my high school class mates had a clan together Global chat and an active clan chat where i know all the people. Also 2014 req & leave clans Staying up until 1 am pushing to titan league with my best friend. Helping a legend league clasher in global find a top level clan. town hall sniping to get to masters as a th7 on my main account Just farming or pushing and talking to random people in global My favorite memory is absolutely annihilating my friend’s base That feeling when you went back to the game after years. I'm not sure, every moment playing it was fun:D The tutorial in my new account. My friend introducing it to me North 44 and Jorge Yao When i first got it Global chat ofc The funny bases Global chat Global Chat Being lit
When I maxed my TH9 in my main account. I took a 6 month break and downloaded clash again when I went to visit my cousins in Bakersfield. My base was rushed asf, level 6 walls, level 4 defenses and no king or queen. That’s summer when I visited them was the hottest it’s been in years so I stayed inside for the majority of the time so I had a lot of time to farm. Long story short I maxed out by the time I came back home and was really happy My first time unlocking the barb king and a couple of teslas on th8. This was back in around 2013-2014, I remembered I was hyped on getting my own hero. I was also glad upon unlocking the teslas because back then it dealt twice dps damage or so to pekkas (back then, 14 year old me thought pekkas were the ultimate badass troops), so I thought; oh here it is, the ultimate defense buildings at that level back then. When I finally maxed out TH9 (excluding heroes). I was very rushed (gold walls and level 5 heroes) when I upgraded to TH9. I returned to the game about a year later and began to play consistently. After about 4~5 months I fully maxed TH9 excluding heroes. One of my favorite times in the game was finally getting to th9 since i was eager to get all the new stuff (Xbow, Queen) so i smacked a hammer of building on my town hall and i was at th9, the town hall that was the max one when i heard about the game I’m not too involved with the game, I picked it up with the intention of just relaxing and playing it, so probably when I got my heroes to 50/50/20 When I came back a few months ago after not playing since 2016 and everything was so cheap, and so many collector raids were available When I got the barbarian king, I was incredibly excited. One of my best memories. Getting my queen to 30. Or generally maxing out any th is pretty satisfying to me Getting dark elixer for the first time maxing out my th9 when th9 was the max When I unlocked my dragon in th 7 Donating max troops with th10
I was in a mediocre clan that had a couple really active members (2-3 hours playtime a day on average), but most just logged in like twice a day. I added one of the active members on kik and we chatted for quite while every evening for like a month, their birthday was coming up and they reminded me like every day of it and made kind of a big deal about that I shouldn't forget about it. I told them I wouldn't (and didn't) and told them my birthday too (which was like 8 months later) then after a while they quit the game and we lost contact, but after I hadn't spoken to them in like 5 months they still congratulated me on my birthday, which was a big surprise and very much appreciated. I was in band class when this game first came out around December of 2012. I would’ve been 12 or 13 years old in 7th grade. My friend had just told me this new game had came out and he was trying to get me to play it. It was booming with popularity and I thought it looked fun enough, so I downloaded it during my class and played in between practicing my trumpet and listening to my teacher talk. I quickly became addicted to it and eventually I was the best player at my school. I kept playing all throughout high school, and even into college where I am now almost graduated. That game was clash of clans and I haven’t stopped playing for more than a week or so since. My most favorite memory of the game. Ya know there’s so many to choose from. But one that most likely stands out to me is when I built a clan from lvl 1 to lvl 10 with a friend. It brought us closer in real life. And with discord it brought the clan from just clan mates to friends who share memes and such. I have gotten to know so many people that used to be “just clan mates” but are now game friends that I talk to daily on discord. That just has to be my favorite memory from the game because it means so much to me. There’s just a lot of satisfaction from growing a clan like that. Dedication and trusting people. one of the main reasons I still play this game is because of the friends I have made with the players in my clan. I've been in the same clan for 4 years and not only do we all take the game seriously we truly treat one another like family. many of us have met up in person and we've gone hiking and played football together, just to name a few. the social aspect of this game is really big and I'm not too sure if I'd still be playing today if it weren't for my clan. My favorite memory of the game was the friends I made. I was young and stupid and rushed my base to th9. It was when I joined my “ex-clan” that I finally realized how much this game would impact me. There were many friendships made that I feel will last a long time. My favorite memory was not necessarily about the game, but rather the connections I made with it. Being in middle school about 6-7 years ago and joining clans with my friends, then having someone kick everyone out and making a new clan. It was annoying at the time but now I look back on it very fondly. Getting back home from school and having a good time with my friends ( this was like 5 years ago and they all quit a long time ago) We would play for hours, sometimes to 2am on school nights Leading my first clan at release with a bunch of high-school friends. We all played during school or athletic events and I remember rushing to townhall 7 to donate dragons for everyone. not really a good memory but definetely one of my favourites. Long story short, i talked someone out of suicide, i joined their clan and talked with them and got them help. Being in my second clan in general. Made some really good friends who were in their high teens when I was barely 12. Felt part of a family really. It sucked to leave them:( Made some friends in USA and when I visited USA met with them. They hosted a dinner for me. It was amazing experience. Moreover got a nice tour of Detroit with them. I had a clanmate who was terminally ill the clan had around 13 total members and we where all friend but hadn't met in real life. So most of us all went to visit him Just being able to play with my friends and family and having fun and chatting outside the game too. Fun way to keep together online Chilling with friends during my teens just to plan out a war attack and together watching it succeed or fail horrendously My co-leader came to visit from another country and we had an absolute blast visiting wineries and playing clash. I just enjoy having conversations with my clan mates Playing with my school friends as a kid Playing it with my friends every summer
Starting my own clan has been one of my best experiences in the game. It has actually helped me develop some life skills like leadership, marketing and persuasion (to try to get people to join). I remember when I was a new th8 trying to build my clan with a guy I met from Reddit. We messaged back and forth trying to come up with a name, rules, how often we should declare wars etc. Once we made the clan, we slowly managed to get like 10 people to join. A BD from global joined and asked for coleader. I assumed he wanted to kick everyone in the clan once he had Co. Acting like an idiot, I promoted EVERYONE to Co so that way he wouldnt be able to kick them. However, I was also a Co at the time and was unable to demote them back to where they had been. I regretfully had to ask the Leader to come on and take care of everything. Luckily, he didnt kick ME too lol. After a few months the leader grew inactive and he gave me Leader. I have built the clan to level 15 and it has been a great learning experience My favorite memory was creating my first successful clan. I was TH8 at the time and my brother and I were in Wisconsin Dells. I must’ve been no older than 11. (I’m 16 now) I would play on my moms iPad and when creating this clan we focus on getting as many people as possible. We got 50 people within an hour. Then we kicked some of the bad people and then bam TH10’s we’re joining (max th). Then by the end of the week we gave one guy co and he kicked the entire clan. Pretty sure this is where my trust issues started lol. Back when I was a th7, I joined a new clan, I was fairly rushed back then, so I had difficulty finding a clan competent clan in the first place, let alone long term. I joined this clan, expecting to be kicked at some point, but no. The leader was kind, and told me that I could stay, if I fixed my rush. This guy was like a teacher to me, and still is. I wouldn’t be as good at the game as I am now without any of this guys help. Back when we were all TH 5 or 6, this person joined our clan who was top town hall, maybe th10 at the time. He donated all these fantastic troops and made us feel pretty lucky. He stayed with us for a couple months then moved on, maybe to do the same for another clan. I think his or her name was joj*o. Many of us are TH12 or 13 now, but those were fun times. Right now, I'm in a great clan that's always active. We just created a new clan for our mini accounts so that we have more room for people in the main clan. This has made it way easier to play my mini accounts and I think every clan should do this. When I saw a th11 join our clan back when th11 was max. We were a clan with the highest member being th9, so it was a pretty big deal Making a clan with some buddies and just messing around together Being promoted to elder and then to co-leader a year later Building up a clan from only random people met on global Joining a clan from reddit, was fun while it lasted Getting promoted to Co-Leader in my beloved clan Creating my own clan for the very first time first few months of joining my clan Starting a clan with all your friends Getting promoted in my clan. Finding a good clan finally Being the leader of a clan When the clan turned lvl10
Back before friendly wars, or SC really supporting competitive play, the competitive scene was home grown and self organised. New players wouldn't know a time where you had no option to challenge a certain clan. To make that happen it would take two clans coming together, contacting each other out of game and communicating a plan. Every player would have to calculate their war weight, spreadsheets were creating mapping out each clans war weight. You would have to make sure your clan mates didn't upgrade or drop a new defense at the wrong time to create an unfair match up... and then all the cats are herded, and both clans are ready... the clan leaders would press 'search' at the same time and hope for the best. The first time we pulled off a match with the clan we wanted to compete with, 30 v 30, it was glorious. It was something we all wanted to do from the beginning - challenge the clan you wanted in a contest that was totally balanced. From here, community organised leagues were born - something that gave Supercell the push to start the CWL. I'll always remember when we matched that first time. The chat blew up and we were so psyched. It was beautiful. I joined a clan called GOBS LIMITED, where we only upgraded barracks to level 4, and only upgraded goblins in the lab. It was the most fun I’d had in years. Then SC introduced three anti engineering patches that completely killed us for about two years. I always looked back on that time as the funnest and most memorable thing to happen to me in a game. Then, level 8 goblins happened. All the dead players saw it, and dusted off their gob accounts. Some of us had kept going over the years, in our own clans or hopping around looking for a new home that wanted a goblin. But we all got back together and started finding war matches. Our years of effort had not been in vain, and we continue to win our wars. We’re currently undefeated with a 16-0 score since GOBS LIMITED has been raised from the dead. We are still growing, so if you’d like to join us search up our new feeder clan GOBS INC™️ (Use the emoji or the search algo can’t find us). We’d love to have another goblin in our horde. You won’t regret it. -Frozen Goblins Joining a clan called Darker Knight for the first time 5 yrs ago. I was in a really bad clan my with my friends who were all rushed or th3. I noticed the clan sucked ass so I left and went to global. I talked to this th10 (which was the highest th at the time) and ig he saw something in me because he recruited my th4 lookin ass to his clan. The clan was amazing. I got max troops for the first time and it was truly amazing. I'm still in the same clan (but its like a feeder clan) and the clan has gone passed its glory but its still solid. One of my favorite memories from the clan was when I first unlocked dragons and needed to get a star on a th9 to win the game. The clan helped me strategise for 50%. I went in and nervously placed down my dragons. In 2 minutes of tension filled placements I got 50% and won the war! Good memories About 4-5 years ago now my current clan used to be our school clan. we were in a war, probably one of our first, and i was the only person in the clan with a dark barracks. like 4 people had attacked their number 2 and no one could get a star. the leader at the time said, “can someone please take out number 2.” i responded “i got this” and then proceeded to 3-star him with a minion swarm in less than a minute I was TH6 (in 2015) and the two stock attacks at the time were Giant/HealeWiz or Loons. We ran into a difficult base where the loons circled around the AD and got picked off. The giants pathing was in a way where they missed a cannon and time failed. I made a small change (everyone was taking healer and wiz in CC, I took minions to take out the cannon). My first 3 star which I made a plan myself. I used to have a th 9 account before it got banned. My favorite story was when my entire army died against a th8 cause of a valkyrie in the cc that brutalized my giants. My queen walk took down half the base and the town hall, and got me a 2 star instead of a loss. It was also first time queen walking. Usually war wins or getting 2 x 3. I guess my favourite was doing the last attack with less than a minute left knowing I needed a 2 with >78%. I had to attack a town hall higher and clinched it with 79%. Loads of spectators and I know they would not have expected me to get it done. The first time I 3 starred in war back in 2016 as a town hall 9. It was much harder back then and I'll never forget how happy I was that I was able to 3 star another base. I remember the first time I three starred a Th9 with GoHo on my Th9. I felt like I was a legend then, but I can do it pretty consistently now. The first time was the best. going over a 3 star plan, skitching it, talking live on discord, then watching the new guy clutch a 3 star in the last minute of war to win it for us. when my th8 account gave me a th4 account matchup and i beat him with a barb king and 3 balloons Hitting late in a war, and getting back to back 3 stars to win it for my clan. Not specific but I like the nail biting finishes to wars or comebacks in wars When I 3 starred a TH12 as a TH11 which helped secure the win in a CWL war! Attacking in the war while in school during breaks with my friends I have had the most fun during very close and competitive wars. When I won an attack with only archers against a max th9 base Betting with friends on clan wars not money but snacks Winning a clan war by the skin of our collective teeth Getting the last second triple is always up there Close war wins. Clutch 3 stars When wars first game out Clan wars being added
On my then mid-th9, I would leave my clan and go into global asking for a clan. I'd wait until a really low clan invited me, and then I'd join that clan. Clans with younger players and no players at or above my level works best. I'd then do the whole "Thanks for the invite" and "Is this an active clan?" routine. Then I'd request wall breakers, and 9 times out of 10 would get lvl 2 wizards or giants. I'd then say something along the lines of "This clan is horrible! I asked for wall breakers and got (whatever I got)!" And then I'd leave. Probably not the nicest thing ever but whenever a clan actually donates wall breakers I stick around for a bit longer and make small talk. I'll miss global. definitely when I tricked my clan that my 2 accounts were 2 people for a few months. I even had a couple of conversations with my self, and had everyone convinced that I am me and my friend. I exposed myself and they were so close to kicking me, great times back when global was a thing i named myself defnotahopper and would hop bases like a mf 😂😂 and i remember how hype i was when the lava hound was released Not a fond memory but when I was younger some guy in global chat told me Santa wasn’t real. That ruined my life back then. When I was in war and some one donated me all wall breakers. I literally left Teaching my clanmate in how to change the sheets of his bed! Getting head while attacking in a war You ;) Penis
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