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HoosierCat

Week 8: Bengals @ Jets

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Tanier takes a look at the Jets in this week's Walkthrough column.

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Walkthrough Tank Watch: New York Jets

Every Wednesday, Walkthrough checks in on one of the NFL's worst teams to determine what's going wrong, what (if anything) is going right, and what (if anything) they can do to start heading in the right direction.

Somehow, we almost made it to Halloween without catching up with the Jets.

The Jets Story So Far: Adam Gase doesn't just destroy franchises, he reroutes nearby rivers to flood his former team's headquarters so future generations will be unable to find traces of their existence. The Jets, like the 2019 Dolphins, were forced to bulldoze their entire roster and start fresh under Robert Saleh and general manager Joe Douglas. Other than a stunning upset over the Titans, the Jets have spent two months playing behind a "Pardon Our Appearance: Franchise under Construction" sign.

What's Going Wrong? Let's keep things brief.

Zach Wilson tore a PCL on Sunday and is out a while. Mike White is now their starter, with newly reacquired Joe Flacco backing him up.

Even before his injury, Wilson wasn't exactly winning the rookie quarterback storyline sweepstakes. Trevor Lawrence has been impressive despite Urban Meyer, Trey Lance is at least better than Jimmy Garoppolo, Mac Jones is a souffle baked out of intangibles, and we're all politely ignoring Justin Fields until the Bears fire some coaches/execs. Wilson was just looking busy and trying not to get hurt until he got hurt.

Mekhi Becton, the team's best offensive lineman, has been on the IR for weeks. LaMarcus Joyner and Carl Lawson, two of the veterans who were signed to stabilize Saleh's defense and jumpstart the rebuild, have also been out for weeks.

As a result of all the injuries, the Jets field the roster of a 1970s expansion team built out of other teams' 17th-round draft picks.

There has been no breakout star. Usually, a rebuilding team can point to a James Robinson-type running back, a slick slot receiver with a few touchdowns, or a small-school edge rusher with a half-dozen sacks after seven games. The Jets haven't even had that kind of luck.

Is Anything Going Right? Not much.

A few youngsters such as guard Alijah Vera-Tucker and edge rusher John Franklin-Myers have played well enough to be penciled in as building blocks.

The Titans upset proved that the Jets can have a flicker of a pulse if they aren't trailing 17-0 by the middle of the second quarter.

What Needs to be Done? The Jets knew they would be terrible this year and are building for 2023 at the earliest, so these recommendations are designed to give both more hope for the future and a little dignity right now.

Trade Marcus Maye. Maye said he wants to stay with the Jets, but he's facing legal issues and dealing with an ankle injury. If Gase did one thing right in his sordid little career, it was nabbing two first-round picks from the Seahawks for World's Tiniest Defensive End Jamal Adams last year.

Be more like the Lions. The reason the Jets have been outscored 44-0 in first quarters is that they run a preseason offense at the beginning of every game. Meanwhile, the Lions attack with surprise onside kicks and fake punts, then try to run the ball straight through the defense's ribcage while clearing their playbook of every tight end screen ever imagined.

In other words, the Lions have an identity, while the Jets start every game reteaching themselves how to run inside zone and the boot pass.

Get Elijah Moore involved. One way the Jets can establish their own identity is to better integrate second-round pick Elijah Moore into the offense. Moore scored a touchdown on his first carry of the season against the Patriots. Offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur needs to stop treating reverses and slot screens like some form of newfangled sorcery. 

In fact, slot weapons (Moore, Jamison Crowder, Braxton Berrios) are the relative strength of the Jets offense. LaFleur and Saleh may want to load up some old Patriots film for some ideas, or just go run 'n' shoot once Wilson is healthy and let the chips fall where they may.

Keep an eye on Douglas. Joe Douglas has a sterling reputation among the Twitter intelligentsia, which in itself raises Walkthrough's suspicions. (When the loudest name-droppers on the Internet all agree on something, they're usually wrong.) Everything that has gone wrong so far during his Jets tenure has been blamed on Gase, just as the collapse of the Eagles was blamed almost entirely on Howie Roseman. That's another yellow flag. Trading a draft pick for Flacco instead of yanking some Kyle Sloter-type off the waiver wire is a third: the Jets need to horde every future resource right now, and Douglas should realize that.

Douglas' Eagles drafts were rather weak, and his 2020 Jets draft already features a few critical misses (Denzel Mims, La'Mical Perine). Granting a general manager multiple years of benefit of the doubt is a great way to end up with another affable, approachable, clueless Mike Maccagnan type.

How Bad are the Jets? The Jets have the worst roster in the NFL. Saleh and his staff are capable of coaching them up to be better than the Jaguars and Texans.

What's Next? The Jets host the Bengals next week. They have a winnable stretch of games starting in Week 11: Dolphins, at Texans, Eagles. A pair of wins in those three games would provide at least a little evidence that the organization is coming out of its Gase coma.

https://www.footballoutsiders.com/walkthrough/2021/kirk-cousins-and-legends-arbitrary-benchmarks

 

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I don't mind the media coverage at all.  It's nice to turn on some sports show and see more about my team than the score of last week's game.

The CJ video clip was hilarious.  I thought the same thing as well when AJ Hawk said he played with him for a season and still couldn't say his name.
I really hope he continues to have a great season because he's genuinely a good guy and a better than average TE that believes in this team.

Who the hell is QB Mike White?  I honestly had to look him up.  If you had asked me who Mike White was, I would have said my handy man.

Turns out he was a 5th round draft pick of the Cowboys in 2018 out of football powerhouse, Western Kentucky.
Sounds like a big guy 6'5 with a big arm, but lacks in most measurable areas for QB's.
Put pressure on him, don't stop, and the defense is going to have a big day.

Have I mentioned today how much I love this team ??
Like I haven't loved a Bengals team this much in a long time.

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44 minutes ago, membengal said:

 

Yah Lou finally got some real players and has shown that he can, in fact, produce a credible D when not saddled with turkeys.

And as long as we’re on the subject of coaches, can I add that Pollack has done about everything we could have hoped for with the oline? It’s not perfect but it’s a long way better than it was last year.

And oh yeah, Taylor. There’s been noticeable improvement in play selection and play calling since the Bears debacle. He appears to have embraced the “let Burrow cook” philosophy, which is very, very smart. Just might earn him that extension after all.

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21 minutes ago, HoosierCat said:

Yah Lou finally got some real players and has shown that he can, in fact, produce a credible D when not saddled with turkeys.

And as long as we’re on the subject of coaches, can I add that Pollack has done about everything we could have hoped for with the oline? It’s not perfect but it’s a long way better than it was last year.

And oh yeah, Taylor. There’s been noticeable improvement in play selection and play calling since the Bears debacle. He appears to have embraced the “let Burrow cook” philosophy, which is very, very smart. Just might earn him that extension after all.

On ZT...it is quite possible we were all (I am including myself in this) being WAY too hard oh him for gameplan and play calls in weeks 1 and 2 and is it appears more and more likely that the gameplans were decidedly conservative to help Burrow work back in to game action as safely as possible.  It is clear that starting from midway through the Steelers game when Joe called the audible to a run and made the first down in the red zone that as he started to look like himself the chains came off the offense a bit. At least to my eye. 

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ZT and Burrow mix well.    

I don't think the QB values the football like an elite QB should, yet.  I also think they are shaky on 2nd and manageable and bad on 3rd and manageable. 

So it isn't perfect but they are getting mismatches at high rate for big plays.

 

 

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1 hour ago, membengal said:

On ZT...it is quite possible we were all (I am including myself in this) being WAY too hard oh him for gameplan and play calls in weeks 1 and 2 and is it appears more and more likely that the gameplans were decidedly conservative to help Burrow work back in to game action as safely as possible.  It is clear that starting from midway through the Steelers game when Joe called the audible to a run and made the first down in the red zone that as he started to look like himself the chains came off the offense a bit. At least to my eye. 

Well, the week 2 game plan was definitely to hide Joe as much as possible, that's for sure. No doubt increased comfort with his health is an important factor. But they still seem to struggle early and come on late, which suggests they're still better to reacting to what they see vs. anticipating what they're going to get. But they've also been getting better earlier, and as long as there's signs of improvement I'm happy.

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