With one game left to play the only thing this team is fighting for is pride. However, before we get to Week 18 our pair of experts Paul ‘Boy Green’ Esden and Michael Obermuller will sort through the mess and give you answers to some pressing questions.
Big Changes Coming to the Jets in 2023
1. Which pending Jets free agent is destined to leave in 2023?
More importantly, I’ll say George Fant will be suiting up for his final NYJ game in Week 18. The Joe Douglas signing had an up-and-down tenure in New York. Year one was rough, and then out of nowhere, the veteran played at a “team MVP” type level in 2021.
After his knee operation over the offseason, however, Fant’s game has totally fallen off a cliff. He’s been absolutely terrible this year and with plenty of offensive tackles coming back from injury this summer, there’s just no way I can envision the Jets bringing back Fant.
This entire offensive line has to be destroyed, burned, and forgotten about. It was a total disaster due to some injuries and players not living up to expectations.
I’ll carry the torch here on Fant I think he’s destined to part ways this offseason. The same can be said for Connor McGovern, probably Duane Brown, and even Nate Herbig. The only guy that is guaranteed to come back is Laken Tomlinson because of the contract.
The good news is Alijah Vera-Tucker will be healthy next year and you can only hope the same for Mekhi Becton. This has to be the No. 1 priority for general manager Joe Douglas that isn’t quarterback driven.
2. Which addition to the Jets team this past offseason do you regret the most?
Well, I don’t necessarily regret it, but the Jets should regret promoting Rob Calabrese inside the offense. Mike LaFleur’s side of the football has been brutal in 2022 and heads could roll at the end of the season.
If Calabrese went down as the initial scapegoat, I don’t think a single Jets fan would bat an eye.
Not only has Zach Wilson regressed under the quarterback coach’s teaching, but the position is literally the No. 1 problem for this Jets roster right now. It would be somewhat surprising if the Jets fired LaFleur, but a move to replace Calabrese with a veteran mind would make a ton of sense.
How can it not be Laken Tomlinson?
I thought that was the easiest softball in history. A player that knows the scheme, coaches that are familiar with him, and an obvious need. How could this possibly go wrong?
The reason the Jets didn’t realize their full potential this year is squarely on the erosion of the team’s offensive line this season. Tomlinson is one of the biggest people responsible and it’s a major regret right now.
He is guaranteed to be on the roster next season by his contract so you can only hope this was a random blip and he’ll bounce back next season.
3. Was this 2022 Jets season a success or a failure?
That’s a really tough question because if you told me seven wins at the beginning of the season — and you added that Sauce Gardner, Garrett Wilson, Jermaine Johnson, and Breece Hall would all look like studs — I would answer success without a shadow of a doubt.
Having said that, it’s a failure because of Wilson. The Jets failed to develop the quarterback that they drafted No. 2 overall and even worse, they lost the fanbase’s faith in him as a long-term option. That means that if the organization doesn’t get the QB position right in 2023, it could set itself back in a massive way.
If that happens both Douglas and head coach Robert Saleh could get fired, that would be a total disaster for this franchise.
Yes, it was a failure as a prisoner of the moment.
The Jets had a legitimate chance to end the NFL’s longest active playoff drought and they failed. We can chalk up all kinds of excuses but those are the stone-cold facts. It’s deflating, embarrassing, and the God’s honest truth.
Sure is there some hope for the future with a young core and the potential of an aggressive offseason to go find a new quarterback? Absolutely but right now in this moment? This season was a complete and utter failure.
A tough pill to swallow considering where this team was earlier this season.
What Are the Jets Playing for in Week 18 vs. Dolphins?
4. Who do you want to see start at quarterback in the regular season finale versus the Miami Dolphins?
Honestly, I’m not even sure that I care after what we were subjected to the past two weeks. The only answer that makes sense to me is Zach Wilson though.
Mike White’s chance at the starting job in 2023 is now over. There’s no way Douglas would put his entire career as a general manager in a streaky journeyman’s hands and considering his free-agent status, what’s the purpose of playing him if he might not be on the roster in two months?
As I mentioned earlier, Flacco is 100% gone this offseason, so that doesn’t make any sense either. And then there’s Streveler, who showed us a ceiling of Taysom Hill against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Wilson is the only logical choice, considering he’s the only quarterback that’s likely to be with the Jets next year.
Might as well give him one more shot to see if he’s salvageable as a prospect, especially if Saleh is considering a change on his coaching staff. Wilson can still enter next season as the primary backup if they determine that he is.
This is a total dart throw based on all the circumstances of this game no longer meaning anything.
I guess Zach Wilson because all of the other guys are pending free agents. This entire room made get a grenade thrown into it so why not play the last guy that is going to be left?
Wilson looked absolutely dreadful on Thursday Night Football against the Jacksonville Jaguars so this selection doesn’t feel great. However, I believe that is the only answer that makes sense.
Mike White is clearly hurt. Joe Flacco is simply a warm body. Chris Streveler was a nice story but he showed in that game he has clear physical limitations.
5. The Jets’ playoff hopes are over but that doesn’t mean we have to stop predicting how these games will go. What happens in the regular season finale versus the Miami Dolphins? (season records: Boy Green 7-9, Obermuller 9-7)
It’s tough to make this prediction on Sunday night this week, being that we have no clue who is playing quarterback for either team. Dolphins QBs Tua Tagovailoa and Teddy Bridgewater have both been dealing with injuries and the Jets have a decision to make — stick with Mike White or go back to Zach Wilson after being eliminated from the playoffs.
Either way, it’s hard to see Gang Green winning after looking like a totally broken team in Weeks 16 and 17. Now that they are officially eliminated, are they expected to play with more fire than a team that’s literally fighting for a wildcard spot? Although it would be very typical of the Jets if they won this game, considering its lack of importance.
Kind of a cop-out answer but if Skylar Thompson starts for Miami, I’ll take the Jets. Officially, I’ll take the Dolphins assuming that Tagovailoa or Bridgewater plays with the season on the line. Miami wins 27-16 and the Jets end the season on a six-game losing streak.
Man, this had a chance to be special.
If the Jets would’ve beaten the Seahawks this Miami game would likely be in primetime whether that be on Saturday or Sunday. Now it’s just a ho-hum game randomly thrown on the slate. What a blown opportunity, but alas.
I know this game is meaningless for the Jets. They have been eliminated from playoff contention and really the only thing on the line is draft positioning.
However what about this team’s pride? At one point they were 6-3 on the season and now currently sit at 7-9. Are you really going to end the season on a six-game losing streak with your tail tucked between your legs heading into the offseason?
We haven’t seen much fight from this team over the last batch of weeks, but I believe they will put up a spoiler performance versus the Dolphins and come away with a win. That result will be somewhat frustrating because I’ll ask myself where was this a few weeks ago?
Give me the Jets to win after an inspired effort 22-18 over the Dolphins.