FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — A take a look at what’s taking place across the New York Jets:
1. Snakebitten? In what has turn out to be an all too acquainted place, the Jets will go into the offseason staring into the quarterback abyss — a darkish place for any franchise. So many questions: Can Zach Wilson be salvaged? Do they re-sign Mike White? Do they chase a veteran free agent comparable to Jimmy Garoppolo?
After two years on the job, coach Robert Saleh nonetheless does not have a concrete reply at quarterback. And that needs to be disconcerting.
“It is, because you know the quarterback is the head of the snake,” Saleh mentioned. “You want the head of the snake to be stable, and we just haven’t been able to. I’m responsible for it also. It starts with me.”
The Jets have developed a pleasant roster over the previous two years, however that has been mitigated by the struggles at quarterback. They’ve scored 17 or fewer factors in 16 of 32 video games underneath Saleh, as Wilson has failed to point out any progress. Saleh has used 5 quarterbacks in two years, as if making an attempt to strike it wealthy with scratch-off lottery tickets.
Wilson, drafted second general in 2021, was imagined to be the golden ticket. To say it hasn’t labored could be an understatement. Fact be informed, the group had critical questions on Wilson earlier than Thursday evening’s debacle, a 19-3 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars that performed out on nationwide tv. Wilson was 9-of-18 for 92 yards and a QBR of 5.2 earlier than being changed within the third quarter by former observe squad QB Chris Streveler. It is exhausting to think about Wilson, booed off the sector, getting back from that.
“We’re not going to quit on him,” Saleh insisted.
However this is the factor: Saleh and basic supervisor Joe Douglas, ending their second 12 months collectively, can be underneath stress to interrupt by and make the playoffs in 2023. The Jets are on the verge of their twelfth straight non-playoff season — a franchise document. Possession’s endurance is being examined. Saleh and Douglas know that, and they’re going to do every part they will to improve at quarterback.
They can not afford to roll one other snake eyes.
2. Zach vs. JaMarcus: Wilson’s gradual begin to his profession has resulted in unflattering comparisons to a different quarterback: former Raiders bust JaMarcus Russell, the No. 1 general choose in 2007. On Thursday evening’s Prime Video telecast, former player-turned-analyst Richard Sherman referred to Russell and Wilson as “some of the biggest busts in the history of the game.”
3. Sad alums: A few high-profile former Jets chimed in with their takes on Wilson and the quarterback scenario:
zach wilson has misplaced the belief of the Jet fanbase. im not saying it is inconceivable. will probably be very exhausting to regain their belief once more. i witnessed these identical boos when brett farve was underneath middle.
— Darrelle Revis (@Revis24) December 23, 2022
— Victor Inexperienced (@victorgreen2121) December 23, 2022
4. Outdated ghosts reappear: Wilson’s flameout has overshadowed the staff’s December collapse — 0-4. In Week 10, the Jets had a 73% likelihood to make the playoffs, in response to ESPN analytics. Now it is down to five% (earlier than Saturday’s video games).
“We were riding pretty high there for a while and feeling pretty good,” middle Connor McGovern mentioned. “I guess we didn’t manage it the way we needed to. We got knocked off that horse and really need to evaluate.”
This ranks as one of many worst collapses in current staff historical past. Contemplate among the others:
2011: The Jets have been 8-5, then dropped the final three, together with the notorious Victor Cruz recreation on Christmas Eve. It wound up costing offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer his job.
2008: Brett Favre, the outdated gunslinger, began firing blanks and the Jets dropped 4 of their final 5, ending 9-7. Coach Eric Mangini was fired.
2000: They have been 9-4 however ran out of gasoline and dropped the final three underneath the demanding Al Groh, who might need been fired if he hadn’t left to educate his alma mater, the College of Virginia.
1997: Even the nice Invoice Parcells could not cease this tailspin, because the Jets dropped three of the final 4 to complete 9-7. Does Leon Johnson ring a bell?
1994: Dan Marino’s Pretend Spike began a five-game dropping streak for the Jets, who went from 6-5 to 6-10. Pete Carroll was fired.
Subsequent Sunday, the Jets will meet up once more with Carroll, who’s battling for a playoff spot with the Seattle Seahawks. That is a bizarre sort of symmetry.
5. It is on the road: Precedence No. 1 within the offseason — effectively, apart from quarterback — is fixing the offensive line, which has been operating on “E” for just a few weeks. The accidents began in coaching camp (see: Mekhi Becton), and so they’ve hit exhausting, particularly at sort out with six totally different starters.
Of the present 5 starters alongside the road, the one lock to return is left guard Laken Tomlinson. McGovern, sort out George Fant and guard Nate Herbig can be free brokers. Sort out Duane Brown, 37, nearly actually will not be again for the ultimate 12 months of his contract. (Oh, by the way in which, the Jets will get hit with cap fees of $6.3 million in 2023 and $4.7 million in 2024, per Over the Cap information.)
The excellent news is that Alijah Vera-Tucker, who can play guard or sort out, can be again wholesome in 2023. The Jets nonetheless want two or three starters, relying on how they view sort out Max Mitchell (non-football harm listing). Becton, given his historical past with harm and weight points, is such a wild card. Can they actually matter on him?
They need to solidify the middle place; each good line requires a rock within the center. McGovern admitted his play has faltered.
“There are guys playing really good football and there are guys that have wavered a little bit, myself included,” he mentioned.
Due largely to inconsistent line play, the operating recreation has screeched to a halt. Prior to now three video games, the Jets have rushed for under 192 yards and three.0 yards per carry.
“Putrid,” Saleh mentioned.
It is a merciless irony that Douglas, who locations a premium on offensive line play, is confronted with one other rebuild on the road.
6. Nonfactor: One other transfer that hasn’t labored out is the commerce for operating again James Robinson, a wholesome scratch in 4 of eight video games since arriving from the Jaguars for a conditional sixth-round choose. Some Jaguars people have been shocked the Jets made that deal figuring out he was coping with a knee situation. Robinson’s lack of explosivess has been obvious.
7. Kryptonite: The key is out on methods to beat the Jets’ protection. Two phrases: Dink. Dunk.
Persevering with a current pattern towards the Jets, the Jaguars have been profitable with quick passes, particularly crossing routes. Prior to now 4 video games, the Jets have allowed a 78% completion fee and 91.2 QBR on passes underneath 10 air yards, in comparison with 71% and a 69.1 QBR within the first 11 video games, per ESPN Stats & Info analysis.
The defensive philosophy is constructed on limiting explosive go performs. The draw back to that’s they’re prepared to concede the quick stuff. Affected person offenses may be profitable, however defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich says he believes their method will prevail most of the time. He admitted, although, the staff can play tighter man protection to cease it.
“It’s the negative of the style we play at times,” he mentioned.
8. Do you know? Wilson went 8-for-8 towards the Jaguars when his receiver had a minimum of 3 yards of separation, per NFL Subsequent Gen Stats, however he was 1-for-10 when a defender was inside 3
yards of the goal. Wilson has been the worst within the NFL on these throws this season, finishing 44% of his makes an attempt.