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Offensive Woes Continue
How do you write about the same thing week after week and make it interesting?
I’m struggling with an answer to that one this morning.
Yet again we bombed on offence, scoring 12 points and going backwards as soon as we sniffed the red zone. Unsurprisingly those 12 points ended in another loss, despite the defence holding the Raiders to 16 points.
We can add 8 more penalties, one of which cost a Breece Hall touchdown.
But…Saleh said we moved the ball well… so there is that.
We can’t take a victory, but we can take comfort in having more yards than the Raiders…despite their defence being dire and our defence being an elite unit, so for me, that’s the minimum expectation.
The Jets have now gone something like 36 drives without a touchdown, and Robert Saleh was asked about it after the game: “What’s frustrating is the different ways that we’re creating to not get in the end zone. Zach [Wilson] scored, but obviously, his toes were barely out. We scored on the next play, but we got a holding penalty. We’re driving the ball well and we knock ourselves into a non-advantageous situation where we’re second-and-20. It just happened over and over and over again. We’re generating offence, we’re moving the ball, but again, we’re not finishing our drives the way we need to.”
He was also asked why he has so much confidence in things turning around when he won’t change the play-caller or the QB: “No, for sure. The hard part for me is when I’m watching the game, obviously, as I’ve said, it’s very easy to look at the play caller, the head coach, the signal, or the quarterback. But we moved the ball and just penalties. They were line penalties, tight end penalties, and running back penalties. Just dumb, dumb stuff that we need to get cleaned up or it’s not going to change. If we can clean it up and at least give ourselves a chance to play clean football, to see what it looks like, I still believe we’ll look pretty good.”
Zach Wilson took full accountability for the interception he threw at the end of the game: “Yeah, I have to be better there. I knew 41 [Robert Spillane] was the guy who ought to get there. So, I tried to beat him with the ball. He made an unbelievable play, but I have to see that obviously. And it hurts because we made some harder plays to get there. To throw an interception to lose the game sucks and I hate that. So, I have to be better for the guys, for the team, everyone battling. So, I know how crucial the ball is, especially when you’re not scoring touchdowns. You have to take care of the football. So, I have to be better there.”
A clearly frustrated Sauce Gardner was asked about how surprising it was for the Jets to be 4-5 considering how well the defence has played, which was as big a trap question as I’ve seen, and he responded: “We’re not playing complementary football. So no it’s not surprising.”
Garrett Wilson looked utterly dejected in his post-game interview saying: “I don’t know what you want me to say. I’m tired of this, man.” - He also hinted that a players-only meeting could be on the cards as the offence tries to figure this out. I’m not sure if that will achieve anything, but when you’re this awful on one side of the ball…everything is on the table.
It’s so depressing to have to write the same things week after week. You’re hoping. for a change, but the head coach won’t set the wheels in motion for one.
I personally think there is an abundance of issues on this offence right now, but I’m willing to see any change. I don’t care what it is, just show us that you’re attempting to turn things around. Don’t tell us we’re close, that any day now it’s all going to magically click. Don’t tell us that you look good in practice, or you’re confident in your capabilities. Show us that you are willing to make a difficult choice.
Take the playcalling away from Hackett and give it to Downing.
Bench Zach Wilson for anyone in an effort to inject some life.
Bench Uzomah for yet another stupid penalty that cost the Jets big.
Insert Abanikanda to inject more life.
Do something, do all of it, or just do one thing, just do something.
Right now Robert Saleh is a passenger for a season that’s quickly spiralling out of control.
Maybe we’re at a point where it’s unfixable. That’s a very real possibility, but if you don’t try you may as well pack your bags and stay at home.
The Jets have scored 31 points over the last three games, so averaging around 10.3 points per game. We’re not improving, we’re actually sliding into an abyss. The Giants who are down to their 3rd QB and picking up offensive linemen wherever they can find them are averaging 11.8 points this season, the Jets are above that number but not recently. They’ve also faced the Raiders, Chargers and Giants over that three-week period, all three have poor defences.
There are four teams who scored more than 31 points yesterday alone, and that Giants defence we put 13 points on just gave up 49 to the Cowboys, the Chargers defence we put 6 points on just gave up 41 points to the Lions. Sometimes I don’t think I give the opponents enough credit, but this is added context to the absolute ineptness of this unit.
Once again the defence held up their end of the bargain. The Mayer TD came on a broken play. I give O’Connell credit for putting the ball in the perfect spot for the big man to go up and grab it. I’m not blaming Whitehead for that, it was a good heads-up play and a good grab by the former Notre Dame man who we highlighted as being underused in our preview on Friday.
But this isn’t about the defence, they came up with multiple sacks, and a turnover and held the Raiders to 16 points. If we had even a below-average offence, we’d have won that game. But instead, we have one of the worst offences in football.
In 2020 under Adam Gase, we averaged 15.2 points per game.
Last season under Mike LaFleur we averaged 17.4 points per game.
This year under Nathaniel Hackett we’re averaging 14.2 points per game.
Just think how woeful those Adam Gase years were, and then consider that this offence is worse. This offence who are “close” is worse than the Adam Gase-led 2020 unit.
This is what happens when you pair a poor offensive coordinator with a poor quarterback. Then when you have to put them behind a makeshift line, it deteriorates into the abyss.
11 quarters now without an offensive touchdown.
We almost had one when Zach stepped out at the 3. We almost had one when Breece strongarmed his way in. But almost doesn’t cut it in the NFL. Zach Wilson has one passing touchdown in the last 21 quarters. He is not being helped by Hackett, but he’s also not helping. Whether he’s being coached scared or he’s scared himself, that is unacceptable offensive production. If he wasn’t a #2 pick, he’d already be warming the bench. If Hackett didn’t have a strong baker in Aaron Rodgers, he’d be heading to the unemployment line.
And there lies the issue. These offensive pieces are being judged based on everything but their production on the field, and if I’m in that defensive meeting room I’m looking at Saleh and I’m looking at Hackett and the respect is draining away.
The Jets could hand the reigns to Todd Downing and start Trevor Siemian and it could fall flat on its face. But if 11 quarters without a touchdown and averaging 10.3 points per game over the last week isn’t flat on your face bad, I don’t know what is. The worst-case scenario is nothing changes and we’re still one of the worst offences in football, but at least it shows a desire and willingness to try something different.
We just passed out the “easy” part of the schedule. We now have the Bills and Dolphins coming up, then the poor Falcons followed by the promising Texans, who are being led superbly by rookie QB C.J. Stroud. It’s hard not to look at that #2 pick and feel a pang of jealousy. 61% completion, 2,626 yards, 15 touchdowns, 2 interceptions, how excited Houston must be. Whereas we look on, waiting to see competent QB play.
There is plenty of blame to go around. Allen Lazard was invisible again, Uzomah was terrible, and the offensive line got no push in the run game. Zach had some good plays, he had some awful ones. I’d also argue that Hackett had some good calls and he had plenty of awful ones. The issue is we have no consistency, and consistency = points.
It may not seem like it after this long ramble, but I’m just lost for words. I’m fully expecting that come next Monday we’ll have the same quotes from Saleh, the same result from the Bills game and the same output from the offence.
I apologise to all of you guys that you have to read the same thing every week…but unfortunately nobody can force change on Saleh other than Joe Douglas and Woody Johnson, and that’s not happening.
But at least the NY Rangers won again, at least I have that this morning.
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