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12 bye week changes the New York Jets should make (and week 4 picks!)
1 – Offensive Line: The Ryan Kalil experiment has been an ugly failure thus far. You can’t blame Joe Douglas for trying to find a band-aid for Mike Maccagnan’s incompetence but at this point the Jets would be better served going back to Jonotthan Harrison. He won’t be a savior but maybe he can be the 24-28th best center in the NFL, rather than the 30-32nd. They should give the unit a few weeks with Harrison before making any further changes but next up will be Alex Lewis taking over for Brian Winters. Chuma Edoga is further away than most fans think and I doubt we are going to see him until November or December, pending how the season goes.
2 – Defensive Line: The Jets have gradually been diminishing both Leonard Williams and Henry Anderson’s playing time since week 1 and they should continue this process. Kyle Phillips, Foley Fatukasi, Steve McLendon and Bronson Kaufusi are all playing good football and are all dirt cheap AND young (except for McLendon). Who would have thought 3-4 defensive linemen are so easy to find? When you throw in Quinnen Williams coming back, the Jets should be looking to potentially shop both Leonard and Anderson at the deadline for draft picks in 2020. If you took both players off the roster right now, you would not see a dramatic change in the defensive performance.
3 – Use The Versatility: Le’Veon Bell has lined up at receiver for all of 13 snaps through three games. Ty Montgomery has barely been used as a runner or receiver. Bilal Powell has been inactive in two of the Jets three games. With injuries/suspensions at tight end, the Jets should be going over the top with usage of these three. Bell has basically been reduced to an A gap dive runner, instead of a dynamic, hybrid runner and receiver, while Montgomery can function as a poor man’s version of that role. Get these guys in the slot. Get them on wheel routes. Motion them out of the backfield and create favorable matchups that makes life easier for your quarterback.
4 – Game Plan For The 21st Century: Tied to the above. The belief of some seems to be the Jets approach should be to curl up into a ball and a take a knee on all three downs because of their quarterback situation. They have game planned like this, no matter which quarterback they have had under center. The offense must move the pocket, throw past the first down marker and show more creativity, particularly on first down. Innovation is not running the Wildcat by having your running back run the same A gap dive you always do when you hand the ball off to him. Kyle Allen had 4 touchdowns this week for the Panthers…find a way to get over 98 yards passing. It isn’t *this* hard.
5 – Keep Pressing The Young Pups: The Jets made the right decision benching Trumaine Johnson. Stay with it and let’s see more Nate Hairston at corner. Blake Cashman has flashed early in the season. Don’t knock him out of playing time when CJ Mosley returns, despite a decent start to the year for Neville Hewitt. At edge, Tarell Basham has earned a longer look and more reps in passing situations.
6 – Shake Up Specials: Namely the returners. Both Trenton Cannon and Braxton Berrios have been thoroughly below average. Mix up the players receiving reps, even that means mixing in guys like Ty Montgomery and Jamison Crowder. The Jets cannot afford to keep getting killed in field position.
7 – Rediscover Robby: After a summer of sweet talking, it feels like Adam Gase has soured on Robby Anderson. He is the Jets most talented receiver and they need to increase his volume of targets, particularly down the field…regardless of who is playing quarterback. Anderson was meh in week 1 but that does not mean he is a lost cause. The Jets are going nowhere on offense with targets for Berrios and a banged up, likely washed up, Demaryius Thomas.
8 – Is Anybody Alive Out There? The Jets are going to be major underdogs the next three weeks. You cannot play the Eagles, Cowboys and Patriots straight up with the Jets current personnel. Outside of the offensive game planning above, they need show new packages and personnel groups on defense, try a few trick plays and play outside of the box aggressive. Go for two if you score. Fake a punt. Do something to bring some life into the game.
9 – Get Right To It: When Chris Herndon comes back, immediately get him heavily integrated into the offense and immediately marginalize whatever playing time we are currently seeing from Ryan Griffin and Daniel Brown. Use the remaining season to evaluate Trevon Wesco as a backup tight end, at a minimum he should be able to support the tackles with blocking. If he can’t do that, then there is no reason for him to be on the roster.
10 – Find The Tempo: When Darnold is back, the Jets should immediately be integrating the uptempo, no huddle looks we saw in the preseason. Increase the rate of play and put more of the offense in his hands. The Jets opening scripts have been a mess and we have no reason to believe that Gase or Dowell Loggains know what they are doing with their play calling. Give more to Sam and let’s see what happens.
11 – Stop Blaming: Gase is the Head Coach and needs to take accountability like it. If he wants to show progress from what didn’t work in Miami, it is time to stop blaming everything around him but himself. When losses compile like this, it is easy to lose the locker room. When people start throwing other people under the bus, the situation can turn into a complete disaster.
12 – Play To Win: If you are down two possessions with six minutes left in the game…try to win. For all the talk about “culture” when you quit like that, it impacts the attitude and morale of the team.
Week 4 picks
- Houston -3.5
- Baltimore -6.5
- Giants -2.5
- Miami +15.5
- Oakland +6.5
- Kansas City -6
- New England-7
- Atlanta -4
- Rams -9
- Seattle -5.5
- Minnesota +1.5
- Jacksonville +3
- Dallas -2.5
- Pittsburgh -3.5