Season ends with loss at Bills
Defense keeps it close, but quality wins out.
🗽 Good morning Jets fans and welcome to the final game recap of the 2021 season. It’s a feeling we’re used to, but with the regular season finished we now must turn our attention to the off-season, an off-season that is shaping up to be vital in terms of the future of this franchise.
This was the story of two sides of the ball. On one side you had the offense who were absolutely decimated through injuries playing one of the toughest defenses in the league, the results weren’t pretty.
The offensive line gave up 9 sacks for a loss of 82 yards, they looked overmatched throughout the contest and it started with Connor McDermott at LT. You can’t jump on McDermott because he was never supposed to be the left tackle, being asked to come in a start in Buffalo was never going to end well.
Outside of one outstanding throw to Keelan Cole, Zach Wilson was hurried, pressured, and hit all afternoon, there was little he could do to move the chains. By the time receivers were getting a little open, he had spent so much time on the floor, you can’t be surprised to see a rookie QB with a little shell shock.
You have to give consideration to the mental side of the game, Zach was being pressured on almost every drop back, which alters the way a QB sees a game, especially a rookie. Pointing out the one play where he may have missed a receiver is ignoring the context of that throw. In year 3 or year 4 he may be able to take a beating and still play his natural game into the 4th quarter, but that’s too much to ask of your standard rookie QB.
Saying that it was great experience for him. I saw some people say he should never have played the game, which to me is beyond ridiculous. You don’t coach scared and you don’t hide your QB from adversity, coddling him won’t help anyone and it certainly won’t make him a better QB. As the clock was winding down with the game out of hand, I could have understood it, but for those saying he shouldn’t have played full stop…that’s not for me.
In a game where there was very little to get excited about the offense, Zach still pulled out a very impressive tight window throw. Important reps, vital to see good defenses and vital to continue the education of breaking them down.
The offense ended on just 53 offensive yards, 5 passing yards due to all the sack yardage lost, and 48 rushing yards. The Jets were 1-14 on 3rd down and that in a nutshell is what happened in this game for the Jets on offense.
It’s also worth noting that Wilson didn’t throw an interception over the final 5 games of the season, this after leading the league through the first 5 games with 9 interceptions, that’s progress and that’s something to build on for next season.
On the other side the defense came out to play and they kept this one close well into the 4th quarter, which is pretty remarkable considering.
The young and inexperienced defense forced the Bills into 7 punts and I think Matt Haack shanked 5 of them.
CJ Mosley was all over the field, Michael Carter 2 came up with multiple 3rd down stops and there was plenty to be excited about.
The Bills ended up with 424 yards (254 passing, 170 rushing) and the Jets failed to get a single sack on Josh Allen, but they kept it close and that was all you could ask yesterday.
The Jets defense just ran out of steam. They were on the field for 37 minutes, which is a long time to be on the field trying to stop the likes of Stefon Diggs and Josh Allen. They held up for around 30 minutes of that, which usually is more than enough with a competent offense.
Improvements are obviously needed and those will come this off-season but if you have to take the positives from the season, and there were positives on the defensive side of the ball. Improvement through the season, CJ’s return, the Quincy find, Bryce Hall’s improvement, MC2 coming through. The Jets need to prioritize that side of the ball, but the room isn’t barren.
In the end the Jets lost 27-10, finished the season 4-13 and that’s what we have to build on.
It’s easy to look at the offensive side of the ball yesterday and talk yourself into that side of the ball being the priority, but personally, I think that would be a mistake.
The offensive side of the ball will be getting key returners in 2022 that just weren’t available yesterday:
Elijah Moore, Corey Davis, Braxton Berrios (Maybe), Geoge Fant, Connor McGovern, and Mekhi Becton…that’s a lot of talent.
Defensively the Jets will be getting Carl Lawson back and not a lot else after him. There are no guarantees that Maye will return, same with Joyner and Curry. Blake Cashman isn’t very good and he’s likely going to be a cut casualty too.
I’m not saying you don’t try and improve the offense because you absolutely do, the Tight End room absolutely has to be added to and improved and I still think the Jets need another receiver and guard. But the real assets, they need to go to the defensive side of the ball.
The draft order has been set for the Jets, and Gang Green will have two top-10 picks in the 2022 draft. Who would have thought that at the start of the season? Jamal Adams is the gift that just keeps on giving.
Carolina also finished their season with a loss which means the Jets have their own 2nd round pick (#35), Carolina’s 2nd round pick (#38), the Jets 3rd round pick (#69), Carolina’s 4th round pick (#108) and Minnesota’s 4th round pick (#114). That’s a lot of assets in the top 115 picks in the NFL draft. The Jets are in the perfect spot to infuse this team with more talent, especially with $60+ million in cap space.
Plans for TJW
With the season now coming to a close I will likely reduce the number of newsletters from 5 to 3. I don’t want to just be sending you content for the sake of sending content, instead, I want to focus on the content you want. So we will be having player reviews for the season, we’ll also be focusing on draft prospects and potential free agents. I’m going to be looking to get some interviews scheduled and bring some special guests on for some guest appearances. I hope you stay with me through a very important off-season.
Tomorrow we’re going to start the season review series with a look at Zach Wilson!
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