Adversity was a common theme for the New York Jets in the 2020 season. With injuries, personnel changes, and a losing streak that lasted 13 games, staying together could have been a challenging task. The Green & White bent, but didn't break.
"At the end of the day, we have to go to work," said CB Lamar Jackson, a rookie in the 2020 season. "We're in the deep end together — coaches and players included. When you go on a long losing streak like we did, it gets tough and it gets dark. The team can fracture, and people can start getting negative or be a cancer. For us, we kind of used the adversity as an opportunity to get closer."
The Jets struggled early and often this season, specifically on offense, finishing No. 32 in the league in averaging 279.9 yards per game and 4.7 yards per play. Defensively, the Jets ranked No. 24 overall, with the run defense leading the way as a top-15 unit in rushing yards allowed per game (No. 12) and rushing yards allowed per play (No. 7).
"Everyone on the outside of the building had something to say about who the Jets were, but we knew we were a good team," Jackson said. "Every time we watched that film, we were proud of what we were putting on tape. In football it can be two to three plays that can lose you a game. We weren't going out there and getting dominated each week, it was the little things."
Jackson — an undrafted rookie out of Nebraska — played in 13 games for the Jets this season and started 6. He totaled 26 tackles. With the Jets' season over, and will soon start preparing for the 2021 season.
"We used each other to get through all of the hard times and dark moments because at the end of the day, we knew what we were capable of."