1st & 10: Early Off-Season Thoughts

Stephen Russo offers his early offseason thoughts on the New York Jets

1st…

There is not much you can take away from the Jets season finale against the Bills. Sure, the offense set a franchise low for yards in a game with 53 – but having a subpar offensive output was expected with Zach Wilson having a JV squad to throw to (I’m being generous) and Jamison Crowder getting hurt in the first quarter. The Jets, by enlarge, were outmanned at every position on the field but managed to keep this a 13-10 game into the 4th quarter, on the road, in terrible conditions, against a very good team that was playing for the division title. If we’re going to take anything away from this game, it should be fight they showed in a meaningless game. 

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TOJ’s 1st & 10: A Predictable Dud

Stephen Russo gives 10 thoughts from this Sunday’s Saints game.

1st…

At the start of this season, you all probably (much like me) knew there would be a game or two (or three or four) like this one. A game where the whole team looks flat. Nothing goes right. It’s boring. There’s nothing to cheer for. It is, in a word, meh. We knew they were coming, but it doesn’t make that pill any easier to swallow when it’s here. It’s easy to say before the season begins that the Jets will probably finish 6-11 or 5-12, because you know, objectively, that is what will happen. But when you’re in it, watching another boring game on a Sunday in December feeling like you’ve wasted another 3 hours of your weekend, those 11 or 12 losses sting just a little bit extra… especially knowing you’ve wasted way too many Sundays like this over the past decade.

I am here to say that I agree… it sucks.

But, it’s not the end of the world. It was one game, against a well-coached Saints team that was due for a win. A team that could run the ball, which as simple as it sounds, attacks our biggest weakness. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to see that the Jets are not a very good football team. When you couple that with being as injury riddled as they are, it’s not a recipe for success. Should they have played the Saints tougher? Sure. But are we really surprised by an outcome like this, especially when they enter the game without their top 2 receivers, starting tight end, and top 2 running backs? I don’t think so.

So, as bad as it was on Sunday, the sky is not falling. The world is not over. And Zach Wilson is not a bust after 9 full games.

This past Sunday sucked. Let’s dust ourselves off and move on.

& 10…

1. I think we can put the collective defense of Denzel Mims to bed… officially.

2. Catch the ball please, Ty Johnson.

3. Sundays are so much more enjoyable watching Elijah Moore catch passes for your team, regardless of how bad they are.

4. One silver lining was Eddie Pineiro went 3/3 on field goal attempts!

5. Feels like Braxton Berrios was the only receiver that showed up to play on Sunday. The fanbase had a collective outrage when he was getting too many targets earlier this season, but he has played his butt off at receiver and on special teams. The Jets should re-sign him.

6. I think Joe Douglas has his work cut out for him this offseason. It’s time for him to mix up his typical approach, and marry his “build through the draft” strategy with an aggressive free agency period in March. This is how you build a competitor in 2022 and a team that can stay in the hunt for a wild card spot. Hopefully Woody forces him to open up the checkbook.

7. Despite growing calls for his job after the season, I would run it back with Jeff Ulbrich. I think continuity is something this organization has severely lacked for a long time. I believe that getting these younger players comfortable in a system and mixing in seasoned veterans would be the best way to improve this defense.

8. I am a big fan of John Franklin-Myers and Quinnen Williams. But too often, their presence simply hasn’t been felt for entire games. I think it is right on point to say that this defensive line has been very underwhelming this season.

9. If I were Joe Douglas, I would allocate those first 4 picks in the draft to: OL, WR, Edge, and LB, in no particular order. I would pair that with going aggressively in free agency to sign veteran starters at: TE, CB, S. That being said, my mind could change depending on who comes available in free agency… hello Michael Gallup.

10. I will not be out on Zach Wilson at any point during his first season. I will admit, however, that I think it is mildly concerning that he is still struggling to hit layups (screen to Berrios and boot to Ryan Griffin. On the other hand, when you’re an offense led by a rookie quarterback, sometimes to have to lift him up. So, when you’re a team decimated by injury and missing top weapons, you cannot have: 5+ drops, costly penalties, no receiver separation, and no running game. That is no way to lift your young quarterback up.

Robert Saleh said he doesn’t want Zach Wilson to play hero ball… it’s time his team stopped making him play that way.

TOJ’s 1st & 10: An Ugly Win is Still a Win

Stephen Russo walks fans through how they should feel about yesterday’s Jets win.

1st…

Was this the game we all wanted to see? Absolutely not. We had all hoped for Zach Wilson to come back from more than a month away and look like Aaron Rodgers in a high-powered offense and throw for 300 yards and 4 touchdowns because booth Mike LaFleur is clearly the second coming of Mike Martz and can get any QB to look like a Hall of Famer. But that’s not what we got. What we did get was a gritty performance by a young team and a young quarterback who got better as the game went on.

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1st & 10: Another Division Loss… but with Encouraging Signs!

Stephen Russo offers 10 thoughts on the Jets ahead of this week’s Texans game.

1st…

These are the types of losses that we can stomach. Competent, competitive football with young, core players making big plays with a shot to win in the 4th quarter. This is what the season is about for the youngest team, with the most snaps played by rookies, coached by a very green coaching staff is about. While no one is walking away feeling like this is a moral victory (it is not), you can come away with some encouragement about this team and the direction it is heading – particularly when Zach Wilson returns. I am certainly not OK with being 0-10 in the last 10 division games, or losing to a bad Miami team at home, but following the last few weeks, there is progress there. I am happy about that.

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TOJ Roundtable: Who is One FA You’d Love to Sign This Offseason?

Your favorite TOJ writers suggest one free agency signing next offseason.

The TOJ Crew comes back around the roundtable to discuss the Jets topic of the week. This week we pick our dream free agent pick up for the 2022 offseason

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1st & 10: Another Ugly Division Loss

Stephen Russo tackles the topics on Jets fans’ minds after a humiliating loss last week against the Bills.

1st…

The Mike White era was fun while it lasted. He provided us with excitement, albeit short lived, and we enjoyed every minute of it. From the 405 yards against Cincinnati and the “Secaucus Special” two-point conversion to the Elijah Moore touchdown against the Colts and the “what could have been” if he stayed in the game. It was fun.

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1st & 10: The Football Gods Giveth and Taketh Away

Stephen Russo gives his 10 takeaways from the Jets-Colts game.

1st…

We’ve had four days to let this loss marinate and while I thought it would get easier… it didn’t. Jets fans have been through enough, particularly in the quarterback department. For far too long, we’ve experienced inept quarterback play before we’ve even gotten to the backup.  From Luke Falk to Bryce Petty to Greg McElroy to Brooks Bollinger (shall I keep going?), it’s been death by a thousand cuts. I feel like we’d have to go all the way back to Ray Lucas to talk about a backup quarterback that had any sort of success with the Jets. But not this year! Mike F’n White comes out of nowhere to throw for 400 yards and 3 touchdowns against the Bengals to lead this team to victory and give us all a glimmer of hope for some exciting football on Thursday night. Then, the kid actually follows it up by delivering a game-tying touchdown pass to our beloved Elijah Moore in the first quarter before realizing that he has no feeling in the fingers on his throwing hand and will miss the rest of the game…

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TOJ Roundtable: What Will The New York Jets Final Record Be

Your favorite TOJ writers tackle the topic of the Jets’ final record.

The TOJ Crew comes back around the roundtable to discuss the Jets topic of the week. This week we try and predict what the Jets record will be at the end.

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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.

1st & 10: Jets Get Embarrassed in Foxborough

Stephen Russo recaps the Jets’ devastating loss against the Patriots

1st…

I understand that this is a process. I understand that this regime, right, wrong, or indifferent, is somewhat falling on the sword of the countless years of ineptitude that came before them. I also understand that we have a very young team and coaching staff, with rookies at three very important positions: Quarterback, Head Coach, and Offensive Coordinator.

My message is very simple: I don’t care.

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