The main issue plaguing the Jets so far this season has been their lethargic offense in the first half of games. As mentioned last week, the Jets have only mustered 79 yards of total offense in the first half through their first five games and have been outscored 75-13 in those first halves. Frankly, those numbers are unacceptable for any level of football, let alone for an NFL team. The bye week offered an opportunity for the team to take a step back and examine how the offense was operating. By looking at the positives and negatives from the previous games, the coaches should conceivably be able to scheme the team to play to their strengths and mitigate their weaknesses.
“I think coaches, players, the organization, to step away and watch somebody else for a minute. It’s a good refresher and a chance to come back and see if we can finish this thing strong,” said Robert Saleh. Through taking this short break, Saleh said that offensive coordinator, Mike LaFluer, and the offensive staff looked at what worked and what did not on that side of the ball.
“I thought offensively Mike and his staff did a really good job digging in deep in terms of what the offense is having success at, what we’re not having success at. What the quarterback is having success at versus what is it that he looks most comfortable doing.” Saleh said while adding that he was going to try to “change some things up that are subtle.” on his end.
One tweak Saleh wants made on offense is to find a way to get their “best players” on the field in a consistent fashion. Specifically, Elijah Moore. “His speed is felt on the football field, obviously he missed a game, really game and a half if you consider what he missed in Denver, but he’s coming along. He’s going to continue to get opportunities, we just got to find creative ways to get him on the football field and get him in position to go make a play,” said Saleh.
As for Zach Wilson, Saleh wasn’t too concerned. Saleh said that the rookie must simply, “continue to get better” over the course of the year. “Continue to grow from the things, not only that he’s done well, but the things he did not do very well…Find a way to be comfortable in that first quarter so you’re not waiting until the second quarter to get rolling,” said Saleh.
While the potential improvements sound great on paper, the true results occur on Sundays. Saleh and the coaching staff can draw up a plan for their offense, but can the plays be executed correctly? Will the team show a willingness to play to their strengths, or will the Jets revert back to their lethargic first half offense?
Essentially, the Jets second season begins this upcoming weekend against the Patriots. This game will go a long way in setting the tone for how the offense will look and perform for the rest of the season. The Patriots have looked beatable, they are only 2-4 after all and the Jets were most likely an average Zach Wilson game from defeating them the first time. Optimism still surrounds this team, and the Jets have the opportunity to build on that positive sentiment with a strong offensive showing this weekend. Yet, another slow start will most likely result in more frustration and answer-searching. The ball is in the offense’s hands, and the New York Jets development as a team will only truly start to take off if the offense can start fast.