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Awful Zach Wilson, stubborn Jets brass are already killing the season
The Jets losing streak to the Patriots extends to 15 games. Plus, how the Jets brass (and Zach Wilson) are to blame for a quickly sinking season.
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What’s Up with the Jets? 🛩️
The Jets sputtered to their second straight loss, falling to the Patriots 15-10 on Sunday afternoon (box)
New York is now 0-15 against the Patriots since the start of the 2016-17 season
The 15-game losing streak is now tied for the longest active streak in the NFL, with the Broncos also losing their last 15 games to the Chiefs
QB Zach Wilson was abysmal in the loss, going 18/36 (50%) for 157 yards with no touchdowns or turnovers
The Jets somehow had a chance for a Hail Mary on the game’s final play, but Randall Cobb was not able to hold onto the deflection in the end zone as time expired
While New York’s defense only allowed 13 points, they did give up 358 yards of offense with no sacks or forced turnovers
The second half of the game showed several incidents on the Jets sideline, including WR Garrett Wilson appearing to yell at Zach Wilson and RB Michael Carter getting into it with running backs coach Taylor Embree
The Jets offense has scored just 36 points this season and is averaging 12 points per game on offense through three weeks
Zach Wilson will remain the Jets starting quarterback next week, according to head coach Robert Saleh
CB Sauce Gardner told reporters that Patriots QB Mac Jones purposely hit him in his “private parts” on a play in the game
Game Balls 🏈
🏈 Thomas Morestead: Normally, we’d award a game ball to the best player on offense and defense, but no one deserves it this week. The defense wasn’t bad, but it’s hard to say there were any standout performers as the team didn’t get a single sack and didn’t force any turnovers for the second straight week. And don’t even get me started on the despicable offense.
Morestead was forced to punt early and often on Sunday, and reminded you of how much better he is than Braden Mann in the process. Late in the fourth quarter, Morestead appeared to have saved the team’s chances to pull out a victory with a 75-yard punt on a fair kick.
Play of the Week 📺
In a game as ugly as this one, our Play of the Week is awarded to a play that almost happened. Trailing by five points at midfield with one second remaining, the Jets were somehow in the position to pull off the ultimate thievery with a Hail Mary attempt.
After Zach Wilson aired it out to the end zone, the ball was deflected right to Randall Cobb who was in a shockingly good position to make the catch and end the losing streak in the most epic and unlikely way possible.
Unfortunately, Cobb’s right foot slipped on the soggy MetLife turf and he was not able to haul it in. What could have been, indeed…
The stubbornness of the Jets brass is ruining this season ✍️
Make no mistake – Zach Wilson is the number one reason that the Jets lost on Sunday. And while I defended Wilson solely for not losing them the game in Week 2 against Dallas, this is far from the first time this has happened. No, instead we are now in Year 3 of this quarterback derailing the hopes of this franchise.
At this point, we know what Zach is. It’s almost pointless to continue to harp on it because we all know it to be true: he ain’t the guy, and he isn’t even an NFL caliber quarterback at this stage of his career.
What is worth talking about and what I find to be a far greater concern, however, is how the stubbornness from this franchise is compounding this quarterback issue.
We all understand that the Jets never planned for this situation to become a reality, but Aaron Rodgers tore his Achilles all the same. At that stage, you still had 16 games ahead of you and as the front office and coaching staff, you can’t just throw your hands up in the air and say “it’s not fair” or “there’s nothing else we can do.” That’s how the fans can feel, but not you.
It’s now been two weeks since Rodgers went down for the season, so why hasn’t Joe Douglas and the Jets signed another quarterback already? We all know that the market isn’t anything great, there is no slam dunk option out there, but the bar is so god damn low with Zach Wilson that this is a rare case of literally anyone else being a better option.
Colt McCoy, Carson Wentz, Matt Ryan… it almost doesn’t even matter. All the Jets need is average or just competent quarterback play right now. If they had that, they would have won yesterday’s game vs the Patriots and probably with relative ease. Instead, though, they continue to waste everyone’s time and let this season bleed away with every moment that goes by without bringing in another option.
At this stage, you’ve already needlessly wasted two weeks that could have been spent getting any of those quarterbacks up to speed on the playbook. Literally one season ago we saw the Rams acquire Baker Mayfield off waivers on a Tuesday and had him play in their game just two days later – which they won – so I don’t want to hear that this isn’t possible to do and that the team shouldn’t even try. That is a losers mentality and frankly, it just looks like the Jets are making the cognizant choice to double down on their bad decision to draft Zach Wilson in the first place by keeping him around and refusing to bring in any competition.
But it’s asinine. The Jets cannot flush yet another season down the toilet because of their misguided loyalty Zach Wilson and ineffectual efforts to keep his confidence going. It is organizational malpractice, especially considering the expectations entering this season. Just because you lost Rodgers for the season and the Super Bowl hopes have been quelled does not mean you just pack it in and hope for better luck next year. This team is too damn talented and there are too many games left for this to all have been wasted so quickly.
And the longer this goes, the more the Jets run the risk of losing the locker room and having players like Garrett Wilson, Breece Hall and Sauce Gardner not wanting to be here. Yesterday alone we already saw Wilson getting into it with Zach and Nathaniel Hackett on the sideline, and Michael Carter going at running backs coach Taylor Embree. And it’s only Week 3.
That is a problem that lies on the shoulders of Joe Douglas, but it does extend to the coaching staff, as well. As long as this continues to be their quarterback situation, they need to stop being so damn hard-headed and slow to react to the reality staring them in the face. One year ago in Foxborough, the Jets were in a 3-3 slopfest against this same Patriots team in poor weather conditions. Wilson couldn’t get anything together, much like today, and Robert Saleh made a pivotal mistake by not benching him and turning to Mike White for the remainder of the game.
Saleh could have righted that wrong and learned from his mistake yesterday in a very similar situation when the Jets offense just needed something different. No one would argue that Tim Boyle is any great quarterback but you have to try something, don’t you? Instead, though, Saleh sat on his hands yet again and saw Wilson and the Jets sputter to the finish line and score just 10 points on offense for the second straight week.
For the 15th fucking time in a row, the Jets lost to the Patriots. And it just did not need to be that way. In fact, the last three or four of these games probably should have gone the other way if only the Jets could have gotten the absolute bare minimum from their signal caller.
Speaking of stubbornness, let’s talk about the offensive coordinator. When you know you are extremely limited at quarterback and that the opponent is going to sell-out against the run, you have to get creative. Screens, pre-snap motion, misdirections, gadget plays, trick plays, RPOs, quarterback runs, anything. And yet Nathaniel Hackett has done absolutely none of that through three weeks with Wilson under center.
If you want to give them a pass for the first game, sure, the game plan never had Wilson coming in that game. But each of the last two weeks Hackett knew what the situation was going to be at quarterback and still come to the table with one of the most vanilla, predictable and stale offensive game plans you’ll ever see… twice.
And the personnel usage, once again, has only made things look worse for this team on offense. After Week 1, people were clamoring for more snaps and touches for players like Breece Hall, Mecole Hardman, Xavier Gipson and Jeremy Ruckert. That outcry only grew stronger after Week 2’s loss in Dallas, to the point where Robert Saleh himself said that players like Ruckert needs to get on the field more.
Despite those calls and desperate need for more explosion and run-blocking in their offensive scheme, Hackett and the Jets continued to attempt to make the same stale offense work in Sunday’s malodorous loss. Mecole Hardman had just two snaps on offense, Jeremy Ruckert one and Xavier Gipson, yet again, had zero. Even Breece Hall only had 12 rushing attempts on the day after just four in the previous week.
“The Jets keep putting on the same movie and expecting a different ending,” analyst Connor Rogers said on SNY’s Jets Post Game Live on Sunday.
So why is it that something that has been so obvious to so many people who aren’t even in the building has been so impossible for Hackett and the Jets to correct? Three weeks into the season, it has been baffling and at this point it is killing them.
I said it earlier and I will continue to say it – you don’t get to just sit there and pout all year because you lost Aaron Rodgers. You don’t tear up the playbook, throw your hands up in the air and give up. You have to try something, and you have to try something different. Enough of doing the same thing over and over and over again and praying for a different result. It’s not going to happen.
We are already at a point in the Jets season where it feels like things are over and it isn’t even fucking October yet. This franchise needs to wake up, stop coaching scared and be ready to make the bold and obvious decisions in order to get this thing back on track.
Zach Wilson cannot be the starting quarterback anymore and a single decision-maker on this team thinks otherwise, the season is already dead. We are at a crossroads moment for this organization that must admit to themselves the reality of their situation, stop being so inflexible and make some changes.
Their jobs may not depend on it, but the fate of this 2023-24 season certainly does. Now wake up before it’s too late.
Next Week’s Game 🗓
Match-up: Jets (1-2) vs. Chiefs (2-1)
Where: MetLife Stadium – East Rutherford, NJ
When: 8:20 PM EDT
Where to Watch: NBC
Around the NFL 🏁
The heavily favored Cowboys lost to the Cardinals in surprising fashion on Sunday by a 28-16 score
Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa and the rest of the Miami offense lit up the Broncos for a 70-point explosion (two points shy of the NFL record for a single game) in their victory
Saints QB Derek Carr left the game with an AC joint sprain in his throwing shoulder as New Orleans blew a 17-0 lead on the road to the Packers
The Chiefs improved to 2-1 after blasting the Bears by a 41-10 score as QB Patrick Mahomes threw for 272 yards and three touchdowns
Colts back-up QB Gardner Minshew II led the team to an upset win on the road, defeating the Ravens 22-19 in overtime thanks to five field goals from kicker Matt Gay
The Bills recorded their second consecutive blowout victory, beating down the Commanders by a 37-3 score