1st & 10: We Could See This Coming…

Stephen Russo reacts to the Jets’ loss to the Dolphins.

For some reason, this one hurts a little more. Objectively speaking, it’s not that bad. The Jets played a tough team, who came in winning 5 in a row, on the road, and played them close and kept the game within a score while they were without half their roster due to injury. The young quarterback played well, particularly in the first half, and they simply weren’t able to hang for the entire game.

A palatable loss.

When you unpack it, the Jets held a 10 point lead in the first half, scored no offensive points in the second half, allowed a putrid dolphins running game bully them for an hour, and lost yet another division game they could have – and should have – won.

My patience is running thin. I know this game, in reality, means nothing.  But it stung nonetheless.

& 10…

1. This Jets defense is the worst tackling team I have ever seen. They are historically bad.

2. Call me crazy, but I am still not panicked about Zach Wilson. I think his game against the Dolphins was strong. Could it have been better? Sure. But this was one of his better performances and I don’t believe the offensive struggles in the second half were his fault. I believe, from a top line view, Jets fans should be encouraged with what we have seen from him overall and excited about what can be done in the offseason to help him take that next step.

3. The Jets are simply not a good team. That being said, it’s frustrating that they can’t put a complete game together. We’ve soon good halves from the offense, good halves from the defense, and good games by one side of the ball, but never all at the same time. At some point, they have to put it together.

4. It is refreshing to be excited about an offensive staff. Mike LaFleur has been nothing short of phenomenal for the better part of this season.

5. It is mildly concerning, regardless of talent, that Robert Saleh and Jeff Ulbrich have seen their defense get progressively worse over time. They have given up almost 35 points per game over the last 9… that’s embarrassing.

6. I am disappointed in how Keelan Cole has looked since Corey Davis was lost for the season. I anticipated him having a large role in this offense in the absence of Moore and Davis, and his presence has been non-existent. 

7. I think that Jets fans have been provided with such a low bar for offensive line play that we were falsely encouraged by this group being not terrible – which is not far off from our feelings about the whole team.  I’m guilty of this as well.   However, this unit needs a vast improvement in 2022 for Zach Wilson to succeed.

8. Watching Isaiah Ford make one-handed catches to help out his young quarterback was just additional salt in the wound after seeing Keelan Cole and Jamison Crowder drop passes and show their inability to support Zach Wilson.

9. Seeing Javelin Guidry get matched up on Mike Gesicki on 3rd &9 may have been the most irrationally upset I’ve been at a Jets play in a long time.  Anyone with eyes could see that play coming from a mile away. 

10. It’s no secret that Joe Douglas will have his work cut out for him this off-season. I think that anyone can admit, in an honest moment, that they thought the Jets would be further along at this point in the rebuild than they are. While Joe Douglas will have a huge task ahead of him to fix the defense, I think it can be done primarily through free agency. However I would expect, and hope for, and aggressive approach in free agency and the draft to address tight end and wide receiver to help out Zach Wilson. Losing Elijah Moore and Corey Davis to injury has proven detrimental to this offense.  Considering what this Jets offense has looked like in prior years, and what it looks like now while it’s devoid of weapons, the Jets need to invest heavily in pass catchers that can both make plays and provide depth.