The New York Jets head to Philadelphia in week 5 in hopes of getting their first win of the season…without the help of Sam Darnold and CJ Mosley. Did the Jets make any adjustments over their bye week or will they continue their early season process of making chicken crap into chicken crap, instead of at least trying to spin it into some type of mildly edible chicken salad. (YUM).
1 – Try: We wrote about this prior to the New England game but the Jets cannot try to play Philadelphia straight up. There are at a notable talent disadvantage and need to game plan accordingly. This means doing outside of the box things like trick plays on offense, faking punts or field goals on special teams and throwing out new personnel groupings on defense. The Jets have to keep the Eagles on their toes and reacting to things they do not expect to see. You have to attempt things that bring life to your sideline and show that you are doing whatever is necessary to compete. If you go out there with the same game plan and approach you had against Cleveland and New England, you might as well take a knee on all three downs and just punt.Upsets happen in the NFL. Overmatched teams hang around for a few quarters and keep things interesting (see Miami the past few weeks). Nobody expects the Jets to win this game with Luke Falk under center but it is fair to expect them to show a pulse and compete. There are too many other teams in the NFL right now scoring points and playing competitive football with backup and/or journeymen quarterbacks. Go down swinging, at least.
2 – Change: One of the smartest things the Jets have done so far this season, if not the smartest, has been benching Trumaine Johnson for Nate Hairston. Create a culture of accountability and play younger, hungrier players over players zombie walking to their next pay check. The Jets should be following a similar playbook throughout the rest of their defense by increasing the reps for Kyle Phillips, Bronson Kaufusi, Tarell Basham and Foley Fatukasi.
On offense, they need to pivot to Jonotthan Harrison at center and give more opportunities to players like Ty Montgomery while getting creative with their usage. The offense can be more than Le’Veon Ball A gap dives and Jamison Crowder option routes. Throw the ball down the field to Bell, line him up at receiver. Play Montgomery at receiver. Don’t waste targets or reps on Ryan Griffin and Daniel Brown. Take one swing per quarter on four verticals with Robby Anderson, Vyncint Smith and one of your running backs. Use the Wildcat but do more out of it than running back dives. Throw past the first down marker. Play aggressive, even if it means more turnovers. Nobody is impressed by gaining 95 total yards of offense with only one turnover but zero points.
3 – Climb: The Jets need an upset one of their four upcoming games (yes, I am counting week 8 at Jacksonville as another game they will be underdogs in). There is nothing redeemable happening after 0-7. There is nothing encouraging or revealing about beating Miami when they are trying to go 0-16 or Washington as they inadvertently careen towards the same record. One upset can go a long way towards salvaging this season in some way and bringing life to the upcoming October/November stretch of games. The team has had two weeks off. They should be showing *something* different or at least some signs of life. Go compete and build in the right direction of a hopefully soon return of Darnold and Mosley.