Gang Green has lost three in a row and five of their last seven. This team doesn’t have a lot of time to feel sorry for themselves because they have a short week against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Several One-Word Jets Responses to Pressing Questions
1. If you could use one word to describe Zach Wilson’s performance versus the Detroit Lions, it would be what?
Roller-coaster. Technically, that might be two words but that’s the perfect description for this Zach Wilson performance and pretty much every Wilson outing. You can’t say he’s not exciting, even if the youngster makes you shake your head at times. Wilson’s greatest strength is moving the pocket and throwing the ball on the run. Unfortunately, offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur doesn’t seem to understand that.
On the flip side, his greatest weakness is reading the defense and making the smart decision in real time. You might call it poise, and it does take some time to find that in the NFL. You just have to wonder if Wilson will ever find that consistency and poise while he’s still in New York — to pair with the big-play ability.
Wilson’s entire passing chart was explosive exciting passing plays and he threw for over 300 yards.
However, also bonkers because he only completed 51 percent of his passes and missed a lot of easy layup throws.
At the end of the day, I aggressively push back on people that blame Wilson and point to him as the main reason this team lost on Sunday. The Jets had a 17-13 lead with 4:41 remaining in the game thanks to Wilson.
Even after the Lions took the lead late in the game, Wilson put the Jets in a position to tie the game to force overtime. It’s a wild ride when Wilson is your quarterback, but you can’t say it wasn’t exciting.
2. In a very similar question, if you could use one word to describe the New York Jets’ current chances to make the playoffs this season, it would be what?
Slim, but if you told Jets fans that they’d be 7-7 with an outside shot at the playoffs in August, most would have signed up for that in a heartbeat.
The issues are the various tiebreaker scenarios. New York’s best shot via tiebreak is getting in over Miami and that requires a Dolphins sweep on the season series.
It’ll be much tougher to overtake the Los Angeles Chargers and New England Patriots, but losses like today’s Week 15 Pats blunder will certainly help Gang Green’s postseason chances.
I know everyone is down in the dumps and understandably so after blowing this opportunity versus the Lions.
However, the path is pretty clear for the Jets to make the playoffs. Win out (vs Jacksonville, at Seattle, at Miami) and you need Patriots to lose one game (vs Bengals, vs Dolphins, at Bills).
If that happens the Jets will end their 11-year playoff drought and it doesn’t seem that impossible when you really think about it.
Predictions and Rationalizing a Brutal Jets Loss to Lions
3. What was the biggest reason the Jets lost to the Detroit Lions in Week 15?
Coaching, whether that’s head coach Robert Saleh not calling a timeout or LaFleur forcing his offensive system and playbook on Wilson. I mean, seriously, how about tailoring a game plan to your quarterback’s strengths?
It’s not like the BYU product is some journeyman backup either, he’s the guy you entered training camp with as the starter! And yet, it seems like LaFleur would rather force him into a pocket passer role that he’s not built to succeed in. Wilson is mobile and accurate on the move, but his OC seems content trapping him inside the numbers.
Let’s not forget Jeff Ulbrich or Brant Boyer either. The defense closed out the game with a massive miscue on fourth and short, and the special teams unit began the game with a screw-up on punt coverage. Now, you could argue these two were more player execution than coaching, but Ulbrich and Boyer should not be absolved of either of these two “explosives.”
There are so many things we can point to which makes it all the more frustrating.
For me, it comes down to the punt return touchdown or the blown fourth and inches play that the Lions scored on to take the lead.
I’ll go with the blown defensive play at the end. If the Jets just stop Detroit there they win the game. The defense has been so good all year long and all they had to do was get a stop and we’re having a much different conversation.
It’s hard to blame a single player because we don’t know what the coverage is or who was responsible for what. So with that said I won’t pick a player to throw under the bus, but the entire unit that was a brutal mistake that cost them the game.
4. I know everyone hates moral cookies but is there a delectable one that Jets fans should feel proud about right now (or will feel proud about when the season is over)?
Last week had several but honestly, this week felt different. This game was so crucial and everything just seemed to fall apart epically in the final moments.
Just when Wilson leads an impressive touchdown drive, the defense collapses. Then, Wilson makes a few throws on the final drive and Saleh falls asleep at the wheel. Not to mention all the offensive mistakes throughout the game.
Instead of finding a silver lining, I walked away from this game (and the past three losses) feeling disappointed and discouraged. At this moment, I don’t believe Mike White or Wilson is the answer in 2023 and that means shopping for a veteran QB this spring.
I hate moral cookies especially when we’re talking late December football that has playoff implications.
Are the Jets playing well past expectations at this point? Of course, they are. Vegas had this team’s over/under win total at 5.5 they currently have seven wins. However, expectations change as a season is happening.
If I had to pick one it would be Garrett Wilson is going to be a special player for a long time. He took down another record with his 67th reception. He now has more catches than any other Jets rookie in franchise history topping the legendary Wayne Chrebet.
5. The Jets lost what many deemed a must-win game versus the Detroit Lions, what happens this week on short rest versus the Jacksonville Jaguars on Thursday Night Football? (on the season Mike Obermuller is 9-5 and Boy Green is 7-7).
What happens is you shake this loss off and focus on Jacksonville. This is another red-hot offense with Trevor Lawrence starting to look the part of a franchise quarterback in Doug Pederson’s system.
At the same time, this Jets D held down Detroit for the most part and I believe that they can do the same to the Jaguars. The question for the Jets is always the offense, no matter who is at quarterback.
The last really consistent offensive effort came against the Chicago Bears and Wilson’s best effort was two games prior against the Buffalo Bills. At the same time, Zach beat this Jags’ defense in 2021 and the blueprint is available if the Jets choose to use it.
At the end of the day, however, I have too much respect for this proud NYJ roster to talk myself into predicting a fourth straight loss. I’ll take New York to win 27-23 on Thursday Night Football.
I have been on a recent losing skid as it pertains to my Jets picks, but there are still three games left in the season to flip that!
On paper, it is a battle between two teams heading in opposite directions.
The Jets have lost three in a row and five of seven. The Jaguars have won two in a row and four of their last six.
Jacksonville has an outside shot to still win the AFC South and will be coming in with good spirits. However, I think this Jets team at home responds and makes some serious noise.
Trevor Lawrence is playing well, but he hasn’t faced off against this Jets’ defense. I’ll take Gang Green to win this game 24-20 over the Jaguars to keep their playoff hopes alive!