Jets Week One Opponent Highlights Gang Green’s Recent Mistakes
The New York Jets seem to have found the right path as an organization finally. General Manager Joe Douglas hired new head coach Robert Saleh and appears to have orchestrated a solid 2021 NFL Draft. However the Jets' week one opponent will be a stark reminder of at least three missed opportunities.
On the opening Sunday of the 2021 NFL season the New York Jets will travel to Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte North Carolina to kick off the Zach Wilson era of quarterback against the man he replaced, Sam Darnold, and the Carolina Panthers. The 23-year-old Darnold was the 3rd overall pick of the Jets in the 2018 NFL Draft and now three years later he'll be facing the 2nd overall pick of the 2021 NFL Draft when he hosts his former team. Darnold's time with the Jets was a mixed bag of both poor and exciting play along with Mono and even a pandemic. So now he'll get a chance to reinvent himself as an NFL QB with the Panthers.
The ties to the Jets' past when they face the Panthers don't end with the QB. The head coach of the Panthers is Matt Rhule, who the Jets wanted as their head coach back in 2019. The problem is that the Jets front office allegedly insisted on naming Rhule's assistant coaches and that turned out to be a deal-breaker for the then University of Baylor coach. So the man credited with rebuilding both Temple and Baylor turned down the Jets and took the Panthers job a year later.
But wait...there's more! The one receiver that seemed to truly have a bond with Sam Darnold during his Jets days was Robby Anderson (who by the way played for Rhule at Temple). The Jets decided to let Anderson walk in Free Agency after the 2019 season and he signed with? You guessed it, The Carolina Panthers! So on Sunday, September 12th at 1 pm EST the Jets will face the QB they took as their franchise guy in 2018, his number one target wide receiver which, they got nothing for when he left, and the head coach that they ultimately hired Adam Gase instead of. Seems like Robert Saleh and Zach Wilson will get a chance to either exercise the demons of Gang Green's last three or so years or spend at least the first week of the season being told they're just another mistake in a long list of Jets blunders.