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The Jets and the Bye Week

It’s been a struggle

New York Jets vs Minnesota Vikings - December 17, 2006 Photo by Mark Brettingen/NFLPhotoLibrary

The bye week in the NFL is a chance for a team to reset in the middle of a long season. Players currently have an abbreviated offseason because of OTAs and minicamps. Additionally, an NFL player has to stay in shape at all times. A brief respite during the season is a way for their bodies to heal, even if ever so slightly while a team tries to rethink its season-long plans.

Gone are the days when training camp was used to get the players into shape. Now a team usually has a good idea who will make the roster (except for a few spots) in July rather than late in August. The camps are used to get timing of routes down for receivers, cohesion of the offensive line, and symmetry in the defensive backfield. Training camp is used to set up the starting lineups and hopefully avoid injury. Some prominent players never play a down in the preseason.

It is usually good to have a bye week in the middle of the season rather than the very start or the very end. Bye weeks range from week 6 through week 14 so there is quite a disparity in the timing. Yet like in this case I thought the early bye week was good for the Jets. It allows them to settle some moving parts in the lineup while giving Zach Wilson time to let all he has learned so far sink in. It also allows Zach to watch tape of himself then self scout his own performance. There is usually no time to do so during the season, but it can be enormously helpful to a young player.

While the bye week is a boon for most teams, it has been a source of displeasure for Jets fans. In the last eighteen years the Jets are tied for the 4th worst record at 7-11 which is a .389 winning percentage.

The fact that the Jets have even this much success as an organization can be attributed to Eric (Mangenius) Mangini who won all 4 games he had after bye weeks from 2005-2008. Lately the news has not been that great with the Jets winning just 2 out of the last 10 games after the bye week including the last 5 in a row. Even in the back to back years the Jets went to the AFC championship game the Jets lost both those games after the bye.

Maybe the Jets have turned the page in the bye week saga with a new regime and a new emphasis on being prepared. There are reports that Saleh has made adjustments to the practice schedule and made a competitive portion of practice earlier to influence the Jets’ 1st quarter offensive woes. The Jets have yet to score a point in the first quarter and have only 13 points in the first half through 5 games. The change in practice regimen was done to induce some life into a dormant Jets first half offense.

A quicker start offensively would do wonders for the Jets as their defense may be on the field less in the 1st half. Also their rookie QB possibly won’t be in catchup mode the entire 2nd half. A positive game script is vital to getting Zach Wilson into a wining game flow instead of sitting on the sidelines then throwing every play he is in the game.

The Jets also need to reverse the fortunes they have had against their division rivals, the Patriots. They have won just once in the last 15 games against the Pats with that win coming in overtime back in 2015. A Ryan Fitzpatrick 6 yard pass to Eric Decker in overtime did the trick. It also points out how long it’s been since the Jets have had a win in this series.

The Patriots are not the same team the Jets have seen in the past. Even though they beat the Jets in New Jersey, they are 0-4 at home this year and start a rookie QB of their own. If the Jets can get off to a better start they have a good chance of beating their rivals in their own stadium.

That’s what I think...

And

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