TOJ’s Know Your Opponent: Buffalo Bills

The Jets season finale is in Buffalo, as the Bills need a win against the Jets to clinch the AFC East. The Jets are undermanned but have shown week after week they will not go gently into that good night.

Coaching: Sean McDermott is one of the best head coaches in the NFL, but his Bills team has not fired on all cylinders this season. Leslie Frazier’s defense has been bullied at times this season, especially against the run. Brian Daboll’s offense is not the fire breathing dragon it was last year as it’s struggled to find the correct balance between its run and pass game and has been clunky at times.

Personnel: QB Josh Allen has regressed from the QB he was last season. That being said he still has 40 TDs on the year, which just shows he’s a Superstar and is going to be a problem for the Jets for a decade. Stefon Diggs is still as elite as a WR can be in this league. The Bills OL has struggled with injuries this year and been inconsistent with all the moving parts but that unit is as healthy as it can be coming into week 18.

The Bills defense lost its best player for the season in CB Tre White. They still have the best safety duo in the league in S Jordan Poyer and Micah Hyde. Matt Milano is one of the more underrated LBs in the game, and the Bills DL is very deep and it’s great at keeping bodies fresh.

Potential Weaknesses- The Bills are a tough team to figure out. When their offense is cooking, they can put a 50 burger on the Jets. They also lost to the Jags this season and have been pushed around by tough teams like the Colts and Pats. The Jets run game could give this Bills defense some fits and keep this Bills offense off the field.

Matchup: The Jets are playing for pride and the Bills are playing for the division crown. The Jets are down to their third string LT and missing their top 3 WRs. It’s a tall task for Zach Wilson to put up the 30 points that is going to be required to win this game.

Prediction: Bills 27 Jets 17. I think the Jets cover the spread of 16.5 in this game and Zach Wilson gives us multiple TDs to cheer but the Bills don’t mess around and end up with a comfortable win by the end.

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TOJ’s In The Trenches: New York Jets Defensive Line Review, Week 17

In our weekly In The Trenches series, we’ll focus on the performances of the Jets’ offensive and defensive lines throughout the season. In this edition, Dan discusses the performance of the defensive line in the Jets’ week 17 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. and preview their week 18 matchup with the Buffalo Bills.

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TOJ’s 1st & 10: Jets QB Zach Wilson Goes Toe to Toe with The Goat!

1st…

I don’t know what narrative the readers follow regarding Zach Wilson, or what their ideal scenario was for this Jets team prior to draft night, but if you can’t see the steps forward from this young quarterback then I think you simply don’t like him.

22-year-old Zach Wilson just went punch for punch with Tom Brady and should have beaten him – barring a bizarre miscommunication on a 4th down call. The kid played lights out, turnover-free football for four quarters against the defending Super Bowl Champions, while missing his starting receivers, tight ends, and 2/5 of his offensive line! That, my friends, is progress.

The mere fact that since returning from injury, Wilson has had numerous games (Philadelphia, Jacksonville, Tampa Bay) that are being debated as his best games of the season, is a great sign! Since his return from injury in week 12, he has thrown for 1079 yards, 56% completion, 4 passing touchdowns and 4 rushing touchdowns and has only 2 interceptions! Oh and the Jets have been competitive in every game but one…

This is tangible progress from the rookie and from this team as we close out the season.

& 10…

1. Mike LaFleur called another brilliant game. Kudos to him for getting Wilson in a groove early and continuing to build off of that as the game went on. You can make an argument that MLF has been the most improved Jet this season.

2. The Jets young cornerback group has easily been the most impressive unit on the team this season. I think Bryce Hall is an answer at one spot, and Echols may be another. But at least you know that you have depth pieces for the future, at a minimum.

3. Braxton Berrios should be extended… immediately. What a player.

4. I’m glad we got some clarification on the 4th down play call late in the game… It was a bad decision by Wilson to not go to Berrios on the reverse, but I love the aggressiveness to go for it there. Good by Saleh.

5. A close 2nd place to point #2 above would be the offensive line. This coaching staff has done a great job with this unit, and they continue to get better. There is no bigger proof than having the running game they did today against Tampa Bay with Dan Feeney and Chuma Edoga playing big roles. However, this unit is in no way a finished product.

6. Good for Kenny Yeboah for making plays down the middle of the field. It was nice to see a TE make a catch in the seam. Tight end is the biggest need for this offense to address in the offseason. Joe Douglas should make moves in both free agency and the draft.

7. Is it too much to ask for one game to go by where a Jets receiver doesn’t have a crucial, boneheaded drop?

8. Seeing Robert Saleh need his get back coach to pull him off the field after a Tom Brady sack may have been the highlight of the season for me.

9. The Jets defense actually played well today and held up vs. a good Buccaneers offense. You fault them for giving up a 3rd and 20 and for the final drive, but they held their own for most of the day and deserve credit. Per the usual with this team, it’s an insanely low bar to clear but they did it today.

10. The biggest needs the Jets have this offseason are: TE, IOL, WR, Edge, LB, CB and both safeties. My early feeling is to address offense heavy with 3 of the top 4 picks in the draft and try to solve your defensive problems during free agency.
March and May are going to be so unbelievably fun. I believe that there is a clear vision here from Douglas and Saleh and they realize the need to compete in 2022. The Jets have money to spend, draft capital to play with, and a QB and Coach to build for. This will be a wild ride and it will never fail to entertain us…

TOJ DraftSZN Presents Dylan’s Dimes: Draft Resolutions for Douglas

This week, we begin the 2022-23 season as Joe Douglas embarks on his third draft season with the New York Jets. Once again, Dylan’s Dimes takes a unique approach: I decided to give “Draft Resolutions” to Douglas and grant him some advice on how to approach a draft with four projected top 40 picks.

Resolution 1: Don’t Go Secondary With An Early Pick

Robert Saleh has proven to have a legitimate secondary development acumen. Looking back to his secondary in San Francisco, Saleh showed the ability to develop under the radar players and tailor them to fit his scheme. Look no further than Ahkello Witherspoon, who ranked as the sixth best CB by PFF in 2020 and started 33 games in his four seasons under Saleh. Jason Verrett was another example of development but, in his case, he joined Saleh later in his tenure and the former pro bowler resurrected his career to put together a strong 2020 season starting 13 games with two interceptions, 60 tackles and 7 PBUs. K’Waun Williams was a speedy slot corner who Saleh recognized could make plays in space and be dialed up as a blitzer. The list goes on and on, but in San Francisco Saleh made the most of what he had and then some.

Then, as a head coach, Saleh built a staff that could also bring the most out of young talent. The team drew some negative attention in the preseason for opting to take late round fliers to fill out their secondary rather than sign proven talent in free agency or address the position early. Instead, the team has trotted out Michael Carter Jr., Brandin Echols and Bryce Hall for the majority of this season. Carter has shown flashes of a capable starting slot cornerback for the future, while also flashing impressive instincts in key pass breakups or sacks like the one this past Sunday. Brandin Echols has racked up back to back interceptions in the past two weeks with one returned for a score against the Dolphins. He also has 8 PBUs and has proven to have the wheels to hang with some of the better vertical threats the team has faced this season. Perhaps the most impressive development can be seen in Bryce Hall, a late round flier from Douglas’s first draft class that has taken a huge step forward. With 16 PBUs and 78 tackles, Hall has shown range as a tackler and, although being beat at times, his coverage against top weapons from opposing teams has been incredibly encouraging. As a unit, although far from perfect with their 28th in pass defense ranking, the secondary has taken a massive step forward under Saleh and his staff’s leadership.

Prospects like Derek Stingley Jr. and Kyle Hamilton are tempting, and I believe both can be potential pro bowlers: however, with the developmental acumen that Saleh has shown and the depth of the defensive back class, if the team utilizes their inevitable top five pick on one of the two it would be disheartening. If the team opts to trade down to the middle or late first round and one of the top defensive backs on the board is there, then yes, it’s worth a thought. With the lack of depth and talent on this tea, though, Douglas should focus on adding blue chip prospects in areas like the edge rush, offensive line or receiving corps.

If the team can add depth to the secondary with later round picks and set out to develop them, that approach has been tried and somewhat true for Saleh. I also like the idea of adding a complimentary veteran in free agency similar to a lower tier outside swing like the 49ers took on Verrett to help aid Echols and Hall’s development. The area of priority for the Jets in the secondary needs to be safety though and, although a guy like Hamilton is tempting, this safety class is strong and adding depth to the room later in the draft to prevent bringing guys up from the practice squad week in and week out is a much better goal. Prioritizing positional value with their earlier selections and allowing Saleh’s developmental skills to shine should be an ideal for Douglas to continue upon in the 2022 draft.

Resolution 2: Address Previous Mistakes

Early returns of the 2021 draft class have been fruitful. Despite early hiccups, Zach Wilson has begun to take strides, go through his progressions at a quicker pace and show more confidence. When healthy, the trio of Alijah-Vera Tucker, Elijah Moore and Michael Carter have looked like franchise building blocks and future stars. I also mentioned Echols and Carter Jr. who have both shown flashes of being impact defensive backs for the squad moving forward.

Unfortunately, the 2020 draft has been hardly as successful. The team drafted a large mauler type left tackle in Mekhi Becton and passed on Tristan Wirfs, who has since become a pro bowler. Becton has shown glimpses of being a dominant tackle but has missed just about all of this season, went down in games last season, and proven to have a hard time staying conditioned. Denzel Mims, a second round pick from Baylor, has been an utter bust. Despite the young receiver showing up late in his rookie season, a bout with food poisoning and an inability to pick up the playbook has produced a season that’s seen him slide down the depth chart dramatically. In two seasons, Mims has 31 receptions for 490 yards and no touchdowns. He’s been a dud and a headache for the team, and moving on from him could be in the cards this offseason. This list goes on as Jabari Zuniga and James Morgan have been released, Cameron Clark got hurt over the summer, and Braden Mann has looked spotty in the punt game. Ashtyn Davis has come on in recent weeks and, with a legitimate compliment alongside him at safety, he could be salvageable. However, aside from Bryce Hall, the class has been disappointing. Now, Douglas holds ample capital to correct his mistakes, and he must choose to do so.

Resolution 3: Support Zach Wilson, Now and In the Future

The final resolution for Douglas is to prioritize the support of his young quarterback, now and down the road. The Jets have likely two picks in the top ten and four in the top 40. Trading down from those selections, even if not far, can help accumulate selections for future drafts, particularly the 2023 class that already has taken attention away from this one. Still, this team is one that can take a step forward by adding players in this draft as well. Getting more talent like AVT, Michael Carter and Elijah Moore that can grow with Wilson is crucial. Just like last year, this is a deep receiver class and the team could look to add one of the top guys there. I also think adding a tight end should be in the cards in order to accommodate Zach and aid his struggles to see the middle of the field. Overall, the priority needs to be on making sure Wilson can continue to grow, develop and have the most optimal situation for success.

TOJ’s In The Trenches: New York Jets Defensive Line Review, Week 16

In our weekly In The Trenches series, we’ll focus on the performances of the Jets’ offensive and defensive lines throughout the season. In this edition, Dan discusses the performance of the defensive line in the Jets’ week 16 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars and preview their week 17 matchup with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

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TOJ’s Burning Questions Heading into Jets-Bucs

Check out Stephen’s reaction to the Jets’ win over the Jags!

In this week’s burning questions column, TOJ Live Co-Host Stephen Zantz will be addressing the burning questions surrounding the team heading into Jaguars week. The Jets topped to the Jaguars 26-21 which has them at 4-11 on the season.

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TOJ Roundtable: New York Jets QB Zach Wilson Season Predictions

The TOJ Roundtable returns for the 2021-2022 season, where the TOJ writers gather around the aptly-named round table to discuss all things New York Football Jets this coming season. Make sure to follow every writer on Twitter.

What will New York Jets QB Zach Wilson’s stat line be for this coming season?

DA Osorio
I’ve already gone on record, most recently on the Trap Or Die podcast, that I think Jets QB Zach Wilson wins NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year. I think it is a two-QB race between him and Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence and I think Wilson, because of a Jets defense that will keep games close enough to give him some signature moments in pursuit of an award generally given to QBs who produce those, ends up edging out the former first-overall pick. A first-year stat line of 24 TDs, 4 interceptions, and 3896 yards is on the docket for the young signal-caller as he mirrors Cowboys QB Dak Prescott’s statistical averages for his rookie season. Those numbers, plus an 8-9 record for the Jets, propels him towards some hardware.

Dan Essien:
My predicted stat line for Zach Wilson in this 2021 17-game regular season is 3750 passing yards, 28 TDs, 15 INTs, 62% Comp, and 7.1 Y/A. I believe the Jets will rely steadily on the run game, as Wilson acclimates to the NFL game. When he’s let loose, he can be a bit of a risk-taker so he won’t be without a nice chunk of turnovers. However, the good will noticeably outweigh the bad with Wilson.

Michael Meegan:

For his rookie season, I predict Zach to throw for 3620 yards, 25 TD’s, and 7 INTs with a completion percentage of 64% and a Y/A of 7.4.  The Jets are going to be a run-first offense this year, I do not expect to see many games with Zach throwing the ball 40 times a game.  Zach was a low turnover guy in college never throwing double digits picks in any of his 3 years starting and I do not expect that trend to stop once he gets to the NFL.  We will not have to talk about Zach making a 2nd-year leap 12 months from now because he will be good from the jump.

Matt Gianesses:

I predict Zach Wilson will throw for 24 TD’s and 13 interceptions in 2021. These are very reasonable numbers to ask from a 2nd overall pick in today’s NFL. 24 TDs is a number only eight Jets QBs have reached before. The combination of a more aggressive and modern offense and a 17th game will help Zach reach the touchdown threshold. If healthy for all 17 games, Zach will throw for 3,700 yards.

Joe Belic:

Love Matty highlighting the more modern offense, but I think The Jets offense is predicated on running the ball (a little old school philosophy), and I believe that will somewhat hinder Wilson’s stat line. That said, I feel a 17-game season with 3750 passing yards, 23 TDs, 15 INTs, 62% completion percentage, 7.0 Y/A, 50 rushing attempts for 225 yards, and two touchdowns on the ground is realistic production. Not even Aaron Rodgers topped 7.0 Y/A his first season under Matt LaFleur, and Baker Mayfield averaged 222 Y/G in a comparable offense last year. Look for similar numbers in those categories for Wilson. While it’s not the sexiest prediction, I think it’s a good start to a career and something to build on for the future.

Will Parkinson:

For me, Zach Wilson over a 17-game season rookie year will throw for 3525 yards, 24 TDs, 10 INTs, 68% Comp, and 7.5 Y/A. I think the Jets are going to rely early and often on the run game: the use of a ton of outside zone will be to take advantage of the team’s speed and get Wilson in ALOT of early quick reads and play action. This will be done, in my opinion, to help build his confidence as he starts out the year facing two great defensive coaches in Bill Belicheck and Vic Fangio. I think he’ll take some big-time shots downfield and convert big plays but work to minimize turnovers. I think it’ll be a strong OROY-type season from Wilson and lead into a huge 2022.

Dylan Price:

I agree with Will on this point: given the offense will rely so heavily on the run, I don’t foresee Zach Wilson throwing the ball a ton. I disagree with how generous everyone is with their predicted stat lines given the acknowledgment that the Jets will be a run-heavy team. Over a 17 game season, I look for Wilson to just eclipse 3,000 yards with a total of 3,196 yards. I expect a touchdown to interception ratio of around 22 to 12 and a completion percentage of around 63%. Look for an average of around 6.9 Y/A as well. It’s not that I don’t think Wilson will light things up, but between the heavy rushing attack LaFleur will install coupled with just the natural progression for a rookie over a 17 game season, his production will be handicapped slightly. All in all, I expect a strong season with a very good last 4-5 games.

 

Greg Armstrong

I can see Wilson having a year where he goes for 3567 yards, 26 touchdowns, and 14 interceptions with a 7.8 Y/A. I think we can expect to see more pushing the ball downfield as the season progresses and as Wilson gets more acquainted with the offense. I think we’ll see a strong run game reliance within the first couple of weeks and week over week we see more of the Jets lengthening the leash for Wilson and what they call.

Last Week on TOJ Live

Author: Dalbin Osorio

Dalbin Osorio is a Case Planner for Graham-Windham, New York's oldest child welfare agency. He is, also, a student at the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College. Dalbin graduated from Monroe College with a degree in Business Administration. A 3 sport utility man in high school (think a mix of Jerome WIlliams, Brad Smith, and Jayson Nix), he joined TOJ in 2013.

Episode 945 – Mailbag (Part 2) w/Chris Nimbley

Scott Mason talks with Chris Nimbley of Jetsinsider.com to answer YOUR mailbag questions (Part 2)!

Episode 945 of “Play Like A Jet” is here! Subscribe on iTunes or check out the audio below. Scott Mason talks with Chris Nimbley of Jetsinsider.com to answer YOUR mailbag questions (Part 2)!

Play Like A Jet is part of the Turn On The Jets Digital Podcast network……

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Episode 944 – Mailbag (Part 1) w/Chris Nimbley

Scott Mason talks with Chris Nimbley of Jetsinsider.com to answer YOUR mailbag questions (Part 1)!

Episode 944 of “Play Like A Jet” is here! Subscribe on iTunes or check out the audio below. Scott Mason talks with Chris Nimbley of Jetsinsider.com to answer YOUR mailbag questions (Part 1)!

Play Like A Jet is part of the Turn On The Jets Digital Podcast network……

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Episode 943 – Latest Jets & NFL Whispers Including Russell Wilson, Franchise Tags, & More w/Nick Spano

Scott Mason talks to uStadium Co-Founder Nick Spano about the latest whispers surrounding the New York Jets!

Episode 943 of “Play Like A Jet” is here! Subscribe on iTunes or check out the audio below. Scott Mason talks with uStadium Co-Founder Nick Spano about the latest whispers surrounding the New York Jets!

Nick talks about what he recently heard regarding the Jets’ front office’s optimism and pessimism regarding free agency, buzz surrounding Russell Wilson, an offensive lineman Gang Green could target, which players the Jets may and may not get a chance to pursue courtesy of the franchise tag, and more!

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