The Jets lost their fourth straight game on Friday, this time to the Dolphins, 34-13. Here I will share some of my impressions and thoughts about the game.
1. The longer you’re around the Jets, the more you start to notice the same things happen over and over again. The most alarming sight I saw on Friday wasn’t on the field, but in the locker room after the game. Jets young stars Breece Hall, Garrett Wilson and Sauce Gardner all looked defeated as they spoke to reporters. They all seemed annoyed. Hall talked about a Hail Mary and he came close to criticizing the coaches before walking it back.
We’ve seen this before. This is the cycle. The Jets draft talented players. The player came to the Jets and he vowed that he would change the culture of the franchise and that it would become a playoff team. These players almost always come from winning college programs and talk about what they can bring to the table. They achieve personal success early on, which gives everyone hope. Then the reality of being with the Jets settles in and the Jets look crushed. He’s seen it with Muhammad Wilkerson, Leonard Williams, and Jamal Adams, to name a few. Losing takes a toll on the guys. These are super-competitive athletes who are used to winning, but now they’re getting embarrassed.
The 2022 draft class has given us a lot of hope. But Joe Douglas and Robert Saleh will have to be careful not to lose them to the slippery slope that comes with a losing franchise. They should be the cornerstone of the next 10 years, but do they want to be here?
2. We recognize that the Jets currently have major injury issues on offense. i will do it. But I feel like the coaches are throwing their hands up to the sky and saying, “Well, we’re screwed.” Where is the imagination in the attack? ESPN had Tim Boyle attempt only four passes of more than 10 yards in the game, one of which was a Hail Mary.
The Jets will say they can’t throw deep because they can’t protect the quarterback. Think about how you can make a one-shot play. Bring in an extra blocker and throw the ball deep to Xavier Gipson. How about a trick play? Maybe there’s a double pass or flea flicker that catches a sleeping defender.
As someone I respect has told me, the Jets’ offense right now looks like a Day 1 installation. This is the most basic attack. Driving Hall to the line on first down doesn’t work. Throwing a 5-yard pass to Hall doesn’t work.
Nathaniel Hackett was treated badly. I’m not arguing that. But the coach’s job is to figure out how to adjust to what’s being thrown at them. He didn’t do that.
3. That being said, I would like to acknowledge that these injuries are real and the Jets offense has a lot of players playing that shouldn’t be playing. No one expects the Jets to be his 1999 Rams, but they should still remain competitive despite the injuries.
However, when we talk about the firings of Mr. Douglas and Mr. Saleh, we need to include a conversation about what was thrown at them. Losing Rodgers on the fourth play of the season was a blow no team could survive. Additionally, losing their best offensive lineman, Aliyah Berra-Tucker, makes success even less likely. The Jets fielded an eighth different starting offensive line on Friday. It’s tough to win like that.
You could also criticize the Jets for not having a better backup quarterback plan. I think there’s some truth to that criticism, but even if they had a decent backup quarterback right now, would they still be able to win? It may seem like it’s working, and that’s fine, but I don’t think a better backup would really solve the problem completely.
4. Jay Glazer reported on FOX Thursday that Rodgers could return even if the Jets aren’t in the playoffs. If the Jets are playing for pride, they shouldn’t allow Rodgers to return under any circumstances. If we let him practice, it could be a victory for his rehabilitation. This organization has done plenty of stupid things over the years, but allowing Rodgers to play meaningless games would be at the top of the list. I don’t think they will…but saying no to Rodgers is something the Jets haven’t done yet, so we’ll see.
The Jets have scored fewer than 20 points in their last five games. His last 20-point game was Oct. 15 against the Eagles.
Amazing number of snaps
On Friday, Jason Brownlee played 57 of 58 snaps on the offensive line. Due to Lazard’s sudden absence, Brownlee replaced Allen Lazard in the lineup.
Brandin Echols almost put the Jets back in the game with the No. 6 pick just before halftime. But the Jets regained momentum against the Dolphins with a frail Mary.