We are less than a month away from the 2022 regular season opener for the New York Jets.
These are exciting times as we see this roster start to come to fruition. Our pair of experts, Paul ‘Boy Green’ Esden Jr and Michael Obermuller, share some predictions and their thoughts on a variety of subjects to kick off the week.
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Give Us the Honest Truth
1. How many games does Zach Wilson end up missing (if any)? Do you feel confident in Joe Flacco stepping up in his stead?
First off, I do feel strangely confident in Joe Flacco leading the offense. An average quarterback like Jimmy Garoppolo has made it to the Super Bowl in this system and so long as the offensive line comes together (work in progress), the offense should succeed behind a stable hand like Joe’s. After all, he did win an NFL title in Baltimore and knows what it takes to get the job done.
With Wilson, I don’t think they rush him back. Remember when he first got injured last season and two weeks became four? I’ll go long with this one and say he’s out five to six weeks from Tuesday’s surgery. That would set his return date for either Week 3 or 4 of the regular season.
What a weekend that was for Jets fans huh?
On the second drive of the very first preseason game, we were told on social media that Wilson definitely tore his ACL, out for the season, and we should all accept it.
Until of course doctors actually looked at it and simply said you know a couple of weeks, but nothing too bad.
I’m just glad for the sake of this fanbase and of course a young quarterback in Wilson that everything appears okay. I think there’s a chance he misses Week 1, but that would be the team being cautious in my opinion.
What a fun game that could be (I’ll be there) a veteran Flacco steps up to face his old team (Ravens) to kickoff 2022. Head coach Robert Saleh has been effusive with his praise of the former Delaware product. In a small run of a game or two, I think Flacco can do what needs to be done. Beyond that I start to get worried.
2. What player disappointed you in the preseason opener and why?
I know a lot of guys were missing but the first-team defense disappointed me most because it suffered from the same deficiencies as last year.
Sub-par run defense, no screen awareness, poor linebacker and zone coverage, and wide-open holes for Jalen Hurts to scramble through. I felt like I journeyed back in time!
As for a specific player, I’ll say Michael Carter II. He had an underratedly bad second half of the season in 2021 and didn’t get much heat for it. Against the Eagles starters, MC2 was getting run over and beat in coverage. It’s too bad Brandin Echols has been hurt because I would love to see him get a real shot at the nickelback job.
I was equally disappointed with the Jets’ defensive effort. The Eagles were like a hot knife through butter and there didn’t seem to be a damn thing New York could do about it.
Now context is important they were without several key starters and it is the vanilla preseason. However, that was super disappointing.
Although specifically, I have to say, Quincy Williams. He delivered an absolutely dirty hit and there is no debating that. I tweeted it during the game and Saleh agreed with me in the post-game presser, if Williams wants to stay in the league as a starter he has to clean that stuff out of his tape.
He runs 1000 miles an hour but always does dumb stuff. Williams knows better and he needs to act like it.
3. With George Fant moving back to RT, does your gut say he gets paid ahead of 2022 or has to wait until 2023?
The two-year deal for Duane Brown provides some slight long-term security at OT, so I’ll say no. I think they want Fant to prove he can do it a second time after a career campaign in 2021.
Having said that, next offseason will be a huge one at offensive tackle. Do you pick up Mekhi Becton’s fifth-year option? Doubtful. Do you extend Fant or let him test free agency? Do you draft a new left tackle in the first round? Decisions, decisions.
There are a lot of decisions to make and one of them better include paying Fant ahead of 2022.
Saleh said it during Sunday’s presser, Fant is the “ultimate team guy.” He was promised the left tackle job but because he is so versatile and has the ability to play both, the Jets leaned on that as they asked him to move back to right tackle.
He has been a stalwart in the locker room and has delivered when the Jets need it. It is time to return the favor with a juicy extension.
Peanut Butter Prediction Time
4. It’s time to predict some cuts, who will be the biggest name that gets chopped?
La’Mical Perine (RB): It almost felt like the 2020 draft pick was in a head-to-head battle with Zonovan Knight against the Eagles. The pair split every second-half snap, trading moments of success.
Although Perine had a better yards per carry clip, Knight showed enough promise to stick around. The Jets like Perine and know he’s a high-character guy. If they release him now they’ll give him a chance to latch on elsewhere.
We are in complete agreement it is time for this former Jets draft pick to hit the road and pack his bags. There is no room for him in this backfield and by delaying the inevitable, they’re only lessening his opportunities to pick up a job elsewhere.
Maybe they keep him for another week of roster cuts so he can eat playing time in the preseason, but the time is now. He was an unfortunate flop of a pick and was really a JAG (just a guy). Perine can do a lot of things fine, but has no special quality that really separates him from the pack.
5. Give us your other 4 official cuts and why?
Luq Barcoo (CB): The former Chiefs cut has shown ball-hawking ability in practice but he got exposed against Philly. As a recent flier he’d make an easy cut at a deep position.
Chris Glaser (G): Another recent pickup. Caleb Benenoch passed the preseason audition with flying colors but Glaser did not. With lots of depth at guard I’ll say either him or Isaiah Williams gets waived, maybe both once the Brown signing becomes official.
Bradlee Anae (DE): The Jets gave Anae a ton of snaps this weekend to get a nice long look at him. Aside from being involved on one sack, however, he was not very impressive and showed a lack of discipline in the run game. Robert Saleh needs to free up some space at D-end for when Vinny Curry and Carl Lawson return to game action.
Keshunn Abram (WR): Out of the three undrafted rookie wide receivers on the roster, Abram has had the least impact so far. This deep room could use a trimming as they hone in on which pass-catchers they want to keep long-term.
I had a fan bring up this week that technically Becton can be placed on IR which means the Jets would only have to cut four guys ahead of the deadline on Tuesday.
Some smart thinking however on Sunday Saleh said they expect their big man to be out for the season, but until it is officially official they won’t place him on IR. On Tuesday the former first-rounder is having a consultation in California, not even surgery, so he won’t be placed on IR ahead of the first round of roster cuts.
That means we have four actual prediction cuts to make, let’s do this:
Tim Ward (DL): There are too many guys in the room and they have to start trimming the fat.
Tony Adams (safety): Way too many bodies at the safety position, again another case of removing numbers from certain positions.
Tarik Black (wide receiver): The Jets really like the crop of youngsters they have at the position and it should be a fun battle to watch down the stretch.
Luq Barcoo (cornerback): This will be the other place I agree with my partner in crime. Corner is super deep on the Jets and fresh bodies mark easy targets in these early cuts.