clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Reason For Optimism?

Let’s hope so

NFL: New York Jets at New England Patriots Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

In a year where the New York Jets offense has been downright offensive, there may be room for some optimism. The Jets defense has been the rock that has held this team together. They haven’t been perfect, and in additional posts I will detail how the Jets defense can be more dominant than they have been this year. A few areas in terms of scheme need to be addressed for the Jets to be a truly dominant defensive team.

I will say this Jets team has achieved what it has because of the defense. Six wins isn’t much at this time of the year, but it could have been much worse. The offense never had a chance because of the offensive line. The defense is what has carried this team throughout the year. The Jets offense has a grand total of 17 touchdowns this season though 16 games: 11 passing and 6 rushing. The Jets also have a return touchdown and three pick sixes to give the team a total of 21. That’s four less than the New York Giants (five wins) and Carolina Panthers (two wins) and five less than the New England Patriots (four wins). The defense hasn’t been perfect, but in many areas they are dominant. In many ways you can’t describe the defense just gets it done.

Let me surmise if you will about the future.

Say Joe Douglas wakes up one morning and realizes he said he would build a dominant offensive line. A line that would impose its will on other teams. He trades a few players, gets some more draft picks, then uses them on a highly talented offensive tackle. He moves Mekhi Becton inside at guard where his girth would be an asset instead of a liability on the edges of the line. He brings in James Hurst at right tackle for maybe $3 million a year on a two year contract. He brings in a player like George Fant (doesn’t have to be him) as a swing tackle. He brings in a Phil Haynes or a Dalton Risner on a $3 million contract to be a backup guard. That’s not a dominant line, but it has the makings of a solid offensive line if the Jets draft Olumuyiwa Fashanu or Joe Alt as a left tackle.

This is important if the Jets are to have Aaron Rodgers back at QB next season. You know Rodgers loves the New York scene, he was everywhere before training camp. Aaron doesn’t want to go out as a player who failed in New York because of an injury. He wants to prove he can come back from this setback and achieve greatness. In order to do so he has to have a competent offensive line. If he sees no improvement in the Jets horrendous offensive line he just might retire. My guess is he will tell Joe Douglas in no uncertain terms that he must improve the offensive line or else. Much has been said about Aaron Rodgers, but no one ever said he was stupid. He’s a smart guy with leverage on the Jets. If he retires it opens up a huge can of (serious salary cap problems) worms for the Jets. So if Aaron Rodgers says something to Joe Douglas, Douglas will be all ears.

The Jets offense is not that far away from being a top ten offense in the NFL. Now don’t laugh because it’s true. You fix the line, then use a pick Douglas acquires from a trade to find a compatible receiver to Garrett Wilson. How about Xavier Legette, who is 6’ 2 1/2 , 225 lbs and runs under a 4.4/40? He would be a great complement to a shifty Wilson. Add a guy like Malachi Corley (5’ 10 1/2” 200 lbs) later in the draft as a third receiver. He is a slot type player who is nicknamed “the YAC God.”

You have a solid running back combination in Breece Hall and Israel Abanikanda. I think you have a great one two punch that can be spectacular. Breece Hall, in my opinion, is a top 5 running back in the NFL without a doubt. He has vision, acceleration, good long speed and elusiveness. He is a solid 1,500 yard back in a balanced offense behind a decent offensive line. Abanikanda is a power back with speed. He lacks great elusiveness, but he has powerful legs to run through tackles and he has great deceptive speed. Both are solid receivers out of the backfield, and the Jets would be wise to use them in a variety of ways. Both can be used on option routes against linebackers with the ability to win easily. They can be outlet receivers in the flat that no linebacker could ever cover. They can run wheel routes up the sidelines with great success.

I could go on and on about ways the Jets offense can be successful. You know if you give Aaron Rodgers a competent squad along with a special defense, magic can happen.

This is not rocket science. Put great players in positions to succeed. This is the formula for success in the NFL. The adage that you are only as strong as your weakest link rings true at the pro level. You don’t have to be great at every position. That’s a near impossibility in the salary cap era. You can be great with competent guys to supplement special players at key positions. It’s crucial not to have subpar players at any part of your starting lineup. The opponents will find them and exploit them unmercifully. If you have two or three of those players it’s nearly impossible to win.

With the right strategy the Jets can be winners in 2024. You have a future Hall of Fame quarterback who is dying to play for the Jets. A great wide receiver and two quality running backs. All you need is to find the right pieces to supplement those guys, then work hard to build cohesion.

What we really need is competency from the front office. Joe Douglas needs to step up to make this team what it can be.

Call me Joe, I will help you. Please call me I’m here to help.

That’s what I think.

What do you think?