The New York Jets are one of the NFL’s most storied franchises, but they’ve been struggling in recent years. This season has been no different, as the Jets have gone 2-6 and are currently on a four-game losing streak.
Zach Wilson is a running back for the New York Jets. He was drafted by the team in 2015 after playing college football at Ohio State University. On his way to boring he encountered another New York Jets castoff on his path to boring.
DENVER (AP) — Take a peek at what’s going on with the New York Jets:
1. A quarterback carol: Zach Wilson is in the middle of the Jets’ Charles Dickens portion of the calendar, which includes appearances by former quarterbacks Sam Darnold of the Carolina Panthers in Week 1 and Teddy Bridgewater of the Denver Broncos on Sunday.
Darnold and Bridgewater have teamed for a perfect 5-0 record, with seven touchdowns and just one interception.
Bridgewater was on the Jets’ roster from March through August of 2018, presumably as one of three quarterbacks vying for the starting position. Bridgewater outperformed both Darnold and Josh McCown, but the administration never saw him as anything more than a trade piece at the time. Because Darnold was the golden rookie, he was the odd man out, traded for a third-round draft selection.
For the second week in a row, Zach Wilson will face a former Jets starter in a quarterback battle. AP Photo/Matt Ludtke
Three years later, the Jets are squaring up against a resurgent Bridgewater with their new golden rookie. This is a fascinating matchup. Take a look at this: According to ESPN Stats & Information, Wilson and Bridgewater are the two most pressured quarterbacks in the NFL, as well as the two quarterbacks who hold the ball the longest. They’re also in the top in terms of air yards per attempt.
So, essentially, they’re playing under identical conditions, but the outcomes couldn’t be more different. Bridgewater is off to a strong start, completing 77 percent of his passes for four touchdowns and no picks. Wilson is going through some growing pains after a four-interception nightmare.
The obvious difference in this comparison is Bridgewater’s expertise, not to mention a superior supporting cast. The statistical picture demonstrates the significance of quarterback decision-making. Wilson is still finding his footing, figuring out how to strike a mix between playmaker and game manager.
In a recent discussion between coach Robert Saleh and general manager Joe Douglas, the subject came up. They were discussing Patrick Mahomes and Aaron Rodgers, and how everyone congratulates them on their amazing, off-the-cuff performances. “What gets lost in translation is their ability to simply play boring football,” Saleh observed.
The Jets want Wilson to play that manner, but it’s not his style, and he understood it when he was selected.
2. More and more crowded: The Jets already have one questionable scenario at wide receiver (Denzel Mims in the doghouse), and another seems to be developing. When Jamison Crowder (groin) returns, what happens as slot receiver? It’s unclear if he’ll be able to play on Sunday.
Listening to Saleh, it’s obvious that he adores Braxton Berrios, who has stepped in magnificently. Crowder, on the other hand, is so beloved by the Jets that they forced him to accept a $5 million salary cut. Crowder, for one, hasn’t forgotten about it.
You can probably guess where this is heading. To be honest, I wouldn’t be surprised if they traded Crowder by the middle of the season.
3. The waiver wire: Joe Douglas deserves credit for using the waiver wire to his advantage since 2019. Consider:
A waiver claim (Berrios, 124 yards) was the Jets’ top receiver. Their top rusher (Ty Johnson, 65 yards) and sack leader were both injured (John Franklin-Myers, 2 sacks).
With 65 yards on the ground, Michael Carter is the Jets’ co-leading rusher. USA TODAY Sports/Vincent Carchietta
4. It’s in the Carter family: Michael Carter is just 5-foot-8 and 201 pounds, yet he’s a tackle buster. Last week, he demonstrated it by collecting 26 yards after contact. His father, a former South Carolina State running back, instilled in him the value of YAC.
Carter, who has two brothers who played running back, stated, “I grew up with a whole lot of running backs.” “If you were tackled by the first person, you were made fun of.”
Last week, Carter got 13 touches and 33 snaps. Expect those statistics to hold steady, and don’t be shocked if Tevin Coleman’s role begins to diminish.
5. Greetings, Madden! C.J. Mosley, a linebacker who rebuilt himself after missing 30 of 32 games due to injury in 2019 and a COVID-19 opt-out, is one early bright light (2020). Mosley 2.0 is a sleek 231 pounds after losing around 15 pounds in the summer, and it’s obvious that he’s faster than the previous version. He rebounded last week with ten tackles and one pass breakup after a slow start.
“I finally put some decent things on tape after two years,” he remarked.
Mosley joked that he felt quicker and that he’d want to see it reflected in a Madden rating adjustment. For the record, behind defensive tackle Quinnen Williams and safety Marcus Maye, his overall rating (83) ranks third on the team. Mosley made a career decision in the offseason: he needed to lose weight to stay up with the training and be a force in the new 4-3 system.
“That’s one of the things I knew I needed to do to be a leader on this team and great in this defense,” he added. “It’s difficult to lead from the bench, it’s difficult to lead when you’re fatigued, and it’s difficult to lead when you can’t move about and create plays. That was something I felt I needed to accomplish in order to be a good fit for this group.”
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6. Is it real or a mirage? The young cornerbacks, who were expected to be the weak link, have performed well. According to ESPN Stats & Information data, the Jets have allowed just 232 receiving yards to wide receivers, which is the third-lowest number in the league. That statistic is misleading since 57 yards occurred on a play in which a safety was beat, resulting in Robby Anderson’s score in the Panthers’ defeat.
They haven’t faced any Pro Bowl quarterbacks or receivers, so it’s a wait-and-see scenario. The Tennessee Titans, who will bring receivers A.J. Brown and Julio Jones to town next week, will be the team’s first major test.
7. Dead ends: When was the last time a tight end made a game-changing play for the Jets? Do you know who Johnny Mitchell is? Mickey Shuler, anyone? Of course, I’m joking. In 2019, Ryan Griffin made a couple plays, but you get the idea. It’s the same old, same old for the most part. Chris Herndon has done nothing with the Minnesota Vikings, in case you were wondering.
8. Mike & Zach: Mike LaFleur, the offensive coordinator, was supposed to call plays from the coaches’ booth during the summer. He liked it that way. Then he tried working from the sideline during the preseason, and that’s where he’s been ever since. Why?
“Most importantly, the quarterback loves him down there,” Saleh said.
Wilson and LaFleur have a practice regimen in which they go through the play script after each series, with the goal of having them side by side during games. It’s “gold” to have such arrangement, according to Saleh.
The outcomes haven’t been gold — or silver, or bronze, for that matter — but it’s essential to remember that players and coaches are still in the early stages of their development.
9. Were you aware? The Jets are attempting to avoid a third consecutive 0-3 start, which would be a franchise-record. Consider it for a moment.
Last but not least: “God bless my mum, she’ll definitely murder me. [She] speaks poor English and has no idea how many yards it takes to gain a first down, but she was instructing me on what we should say to our receivers. You should take everything with a grain of salt, but I’m not scared to take in all of the data because you never know what you’ll discover. It’s all worth something.” — Saleh on his team’s defeat last week
Zach Wilson is a former New York Jets castoff. He was released in the final round of cuts and has spent the past few years trying to find his way into the NFL. Now, he’s back with the Jets and ready to compete for a roster spot this season. Reference: jets record 2020.
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