Following a Week 5 loss in London, the 14th installment of our Heavy on Jets expert roundtable discussion will focus on some hot topic storylines from the past week like Marcus Maye, Denzel Mims and Joe Douglas’ first major extension, while also rehashing the game a bit.
- Week 1: What to watch in training camp, Joe Douglas’ next moves.
- Week 2: Predicting every major training camp battle.
- Week 3: What Jet would you bet your career on? Love one, hate one, steal one.
- Week 4: Zach Wilson comparisons, roster bubble & how the Jets can contend.
- Week 5: Green & White scrimmage overreactions, preseason primer.
- Week 6: First round of cuts, unofficial depth chart & Snoopy Bowl standouts.
- Week 7: Second round of cuts, replacing Carl Lawson & recapping Green Bay.
- Week 8: Roster cutdown predictions, thoughts on Shaq Lawson.
- Week 9: 2021 projections, team award winners & breakout candidates.
- Week 10: Offensive line concerns and Week 1 silver linings.
- Week 11: Breaking down Week 2, questionable play-calling from Mike LaFleur.
- Week 12: Week 3 offensive issues, correcting the 0-3 start.
- Week 13: Week 4 Zach Wilson throws, unsung heroes & criticisms.
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Trouble in London
1. In a very favorable matchup, this was probably the worst that Jeff Ulbrich’s defense played all year, what do you attribute that to?
Lack of adjustment. Which seems really strange for a guy who had a whole database on the Atlanta Falcons based on his history with that franchise.
They didn’t give much of a chance for these defensive linemen to get after the passer because of quick passing from Matt Ryan and a strong run game. This defense should’ve made them pay with interceptions but they weren’t able to make the plays. That’s an area that they must improve.
I’m going to give them the benefit of the doubt a little bit and say fatigue. According to Pro Football Focus, this unit played an absurd 100 snaps in the Week 4 victory over the Tennessee Titans and then coupled that with a plane flight to the United Kingdom. No matter how good the Jets “regen” (or regeneration training) is, that’s a very tough seven or eight days on the body.
Players like C.J. Mosley and Bryce Hall didn’t miss a single snap in Week 4 and must have been feeling it on Sunday but in general, this group didn’t look to have the same intensity that they normally have. Just after making key tackles on Derrick Henry, they were unable to stop Cordarrelle Patterson and Mike Davis. Physical first-rounder Kyle Pitts also had a field day.
Ulbrich’s side of the ball has been solid all year so I’m willing to chalk this up as a bad game. Now they get a well-deserved bye week to recover.
2. What did you think of Mekhi Becton’s “unleash Mims” tweet?
I think it was a little slice of the locker room and certainly the opinion of fans. Why the heck isn’t this talented guy playing anyway?
With Becton being injured and all, he just gets to sit back and watch, and this is a situation that makes no sense to the average viewer. Denzel Mims got more run today and after his performance, that should continue. Find ways to use him! — Becton is just speaking the truth.
Since the beginning of the Mims saga, I’ve remained somewhat neutral. I was a huge Elijah Moore guy this summer and I still am, but he just hasn’t seemed ready for such a heavy workload early on. I also believe that this is still a deep wide receiver room that has not been used properly by offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur so far.
There’s no reason that all of these talented players can’t rotate in and out. That includes the second-round pick from 2020. Why can’t we witness Moore and Mims side-by-side, or Corey Davis and the Baylor product? There’s no reason that the OC should be boxing his playmakers into specific roles and snap counts.
Instead, keep them fresh and utilize their strengths and weaknesses by swapping them more consistently. As for Becton, I think his comments are pretty telling that LaFleur doesn’t have a handle on the room.
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Jets’ Extensions & Marcus Maye
3. Do you expect Maye to return after the bye (based on his agent’s comments and his ongoing legal situation)?
What other choice does he have? The legal situation won’t be affecting his current status and in terms of any suspension, that probably wouldn’t come until next season at the earliest.
In terms of a possible trade, if the Jets could get any sort of solid value, they’d probably move him. Although any team who trades for him won’t be able to sign him to a long-term deal until the offseason and the legal situation muddies things.
Hopefully, none of that off-the-field stuff affects the locker room. That’s my only concern.
I would have to agree that Gang Green is in no position to bench Maye, which would be the only other option. Robert Saleh has publicly backed the star safety so it would be a strange turn of events if he changed his tune in two or three weeks.
As for Maye’s camp, it’s now in his best interest to play and put some positive traits on tape. When his agent first hinted that he wanted to be traded after his ankle injury, it appeared that the playmaker might have played his last game in green and white but now, the situation has changed.
Both parties need Maye out there and because of that, he should be back Week 7 or 8.
4. Now that John Franklin-Myers proved that Joe Douglas is willing to extend players, who do you think deserves a new contract next?
Quinnen Williams. He’s eligible for a brand new contract this offseason and this is going to be a massive deal that could end up in the $100 million range.
The former first-round pick should be the centerpiece of this defense and possesses everything you look for. He’s been playing really well this season but he’ll play even better when Carl Lawson returns in 2022.
That’s a duo that the Jets front office can’t wait to see side-by-side.
First of all, congratulations to my man ‘JFM.’ If you didn’t catch his emotional speech after receiving the extension, I recommend doing so immediately. He is truly a genuine teammate and a special talent on top of that.
Based on Douglas’ newfound criteria for extending players, Williams fits the mold 100%. Not only is he a major cog in the trenches but his ceiling is sky-high. Here are two other names that definitely deserve some consideration, Folorunso Fatukasi and Javelin Guidry.
Foley has become a team leader and a captain but he’s also a darn-good defensive tackle. The run-stuffer plays a huge role on this defensive line and he could be worth re-signing long-term. Guidry has also proven his worth as a versatile defensive back that can play the nickel or outside. Both are currently making less than $670,000 on their current deals.
5. We’ve reached the Week 6 bye. After seeing the onfield product through five games, what is your adjusted record prediction for 2021?
Oof! While my 10-7 record is still technically possible I just really don’t see that anymore. LaFleur’s offense just isn’t consistently advancing and progressing the way I thought it would, it’s too sporadic right now which is costing the team.
Right now I’d say 6-11. There are still plenty of winnable games on the schedule but this team needs to prove it on the football field.
My initial projection was 8-9 if I remember correctly. To be honest, I had the Jets starting 1-4 to begin the season and still finishing at that mark, so it’s definitely possible but I’m not sure it’s probable anymore.
Like Boy Green said, the way this team has looked changes the level of confidence more than anything. I do not think they are a two-win team like some fans believe but they’re probably not an eight-win team either. The other problem is the competition. I had Gang Green beating several teams that have played better than I expected, like the Cincinnati Bengals, Philadelphia Eagles and New Orleans Saints.
Injuries will continue to occur and upsets will happen along the way but realistically, I believe 5-12 is a fair assessment with a chance at six wins and a floor of four (I hope).