Every year, the analysts over at Football Outsiders put together a team of the NFL’s worst performances of the prior season, and the New York Jets had several ties to the 2022 roster.
It’s called the 2022 “All-Keep Choppin’ Wood Team,” and Football Outsiders described it as the “annual attempt to sift through the debris of the season that was, pulling out the prime examples of bad contracts, boneheaded decisions, and out-and-out terrible play that the league so kindly provides to us.” They added that prior expectations do come into play when determining the “worst of the worst.”
In 2022, the NYJ headliners on the roster were actually former players. Robbie “Chosen” Anderson led the way for all wide receivers and former team captain Foley Fatukasi was named as a starting defensive tackle on the KCW Team — although, there were two current Jets mentioned that we’ll get to below.
Robbie ‘Chosen’ Anderson & Foley Fatukasi Featured on 2022 All-Keep Choppin’ Wood Team
“It was a big year for players who didn’t want to be on their teams making scenes,” the Football Outsiders crew began while discussing Anderson. “The most successful, in at least one matter of saying, was Robbie Anderson, who got into multiple sideline altercations with Carolina receiving coach Joe Dailey, was sent to the locker room by interim coach Steve Wilks, and then finally traded to Arizona the very next day.”
“Anderson then proceeded to play 10 games for Arizona in which he managed seven receptions for 76 yards,” they added. “He didn’t even manage enough volume to qualify for our leaderboards, though his -35.6% DVOA and -79 DYAR would have ranked last and second-to-last had he made enough for the list.”
The decision to pass on Anderson in free agency is still one of Joe Douglas’ best as Jets general manager. Outside of a 1,000-yard campaign in 2020, the former undrafted success story has been a trainwreck ever since getting paid.
“Amusingly, Anderson’s win-loss record this season was 3-13, while the Cardinals and Panthers were a combined 8-10 without him,” Football Outsiders noted.
Anderson will take his talents to South Beach in 2023, as he attempts to reboot his career with the AFC East rival Miami Dolphins. He only accumulated 282 receiving yards in 16 appearances last season.
As for Fatukasi — another free agent Douglas wisely let walk — the Jacksonville Jaguars D-tackle did make the playoffs despite a poor campaign on his part.
“Here’s a mea culpa—last offseason, I had Foley Fatukasi as the best run-stopping lineman available in this year’s free-agent class” Bryan Knowles relayed with Football Outsiders. “Jacksonville, apparently, agreed with me, signing Fatukasi to a three-year, $30-million deal.”
“Fatukasi managed a grand total of one defeat in the run game this season, with just two tackles for a loss in total,” the writer explained. “He had a 19.4% broken/missed tackle rate, astonishingly bad for an interior lineman—it’s the 10th worst for a tackle with at least 400 snaps in SIS’ database, which goes back to 2015.”
After a rough year one in head coach Robert Saleh’s system, it appears Fatukasi was unable to rebound with the Jaguars.
“I can’t explain the drop-off,” Football Outsiders concluded, adding: “The Jags will have to hope he improves in 2023, because his deal means he’s not going anywhere for another year or two.”
Current Jets Nathaniel Hackett & Zach Wilson Named on 2022 All-Keep Choppin’ Wood Team
Two current Jets made the roster too: offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett and backup quarterback Zach Wilson. Obviously, both had different roles in 2022.
Hackett was the first NFL head coach fired last year — with the Denver Broncos — and Wilson was the starter in New York — at least, up until he was benched.
“I am amazed at how unprepared Hackett was; how even the simplest aspects of head coaching seemed beyond him,” Knowles reasoned for the former HC. “By the end of his tenure in Denver, he had outsourced the play-calling and game management decisions, and he mostly ended up standing on the sideline looking befuddled as his team cratered.”
“Hackett became just the fifth coach since the merger to fail to make it through his first full season as a head coach, forever linked with Urban Meyer, Bobby Petrino, Pete McCulley, and Lou Holtz on the list of all-time flops,” the analyst continued. “At least he didn’t assault his own kicker, or announce he was leaving via a letter left in the locker room! You know, small favors.”
Zach Wilson’s inclusion was brief, however, as Football Outsiders listed several quarterbacks and settled on Russell Wilson as the worst of the worst based on prior expectations.
The honorable mention read: “Or Zach Wilson’s failure as a prospect, to the point where the Jets actually thought starting Mike White would give them a better chance to win, and they were probably right.”
The Jets are hoping Hackett and Wilson thrive in their new 2023 roles that aim to keep them out of the spotlight.