Six games into the Jets’s regular season, they are 1-5, Zach Wilson is hurt, and Joe Flacco is back.
That’s quite a set of circumstances and some drama to boot.
At basically at the one-third pole of the season, it’s time to see where the Jets are – the good, the bad, and the ugly.
With their latest 54-13 thrashing from New England — Bill Belichick definitely ran it up on his never-ending vengeance — the Jets’ defense is young and inconsistent. They had a listless effort against the Pats, and the absence of C. J. Mosley shouldn’t result in a pure 30-plus point rout.
Yet, Mosley’s missing presence was truly felt as an emotional leader of the unit, as the Jets lacked any spark. Quinnen Williams has been a stalwart up front, but he doesn’t have Mosley’s touch.
The Jets’ D has been one of the top five Red Zone units all season long, and their overall unt has been in the middle of the pack. They have been literally wiped out with injuries at linebacker, and Mosley practiced earlier this week. Jarrad Davis remained questionable at this writing to play Sunday.
Their secondary is young and also has its share of injuries. Marcus Maye is back, but he could be dealt in the coming days. Bryce Hall looks settled in a corner spot, and the secondary has responded much better than expected with plenty of names you have to check on a depth chart.
As for Wilson, he teased the fan base with an anticipated utng against Tennessee aside from a mediocre at best overall showing. He hasn’t satisfied his hype, but the Jets are committed for the long haul. In his defense, the offensive line needs time to jell, and hopefully Wilson can avoid any major injury.
Flacco was a good re-signing, as he did a yeoman’s job in replacing Sam Darnold last season. The Jets have been high on the potential of Mike White, and it will be interesting to see if he gets the nod over the next few games.
The Jets’ running game still needs to be addressed, and it has been extremely unproductive. Its lack of production has forced Wilson’s hand more than expected and caused him to constantly be on the run. An average of 70-plus yards a game doesn’t cut it.
Rookie Michael Carter will continue to get the workload, but Tevin Coleman and Ty Johnson haven’t lived up to expectations. The real quandary has been the status of second-year back La’Mical Perine, who has been a scratch with illnesses and unexplained reasons. Perine showed some flash last season, but he has proved to be more of a bust.
The Jets have to decide how to handle Denzel Mims. He has been an enigma since he was drafted from injuries to benchings. This was supposed to be their answer to losing Robbie Anderson. Instead, he could be on the trading block soon.
There also is Elijah Moore, who looked ready for a stellar rookie season in the summer. Moore also hasn’t been utilized properly, and also has lost some of his luster. He was supposed to replace Jamison Crowder in the slot, and Crowder seems the best candidate to be dealt with his impending free agency.
Corey Davis has emerged as Wilson’s favorite target, and Keenan Cole should find a way to more receptions. If tight end Tyler Kroft shakes his back issues, he could be a viable option.
Offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur needs to continue to devise plans to keep this overloaded aspect of the offense as a prime weapon. It could take on a different look after the trading deadline.
Jets’ owner Woody Johnson gave his full support for Douglas and Robert Saleh Tuesday, and rightfully so. In spite of Wilson’s indoctrination as the club’s quarterback Messiah who could lead the team to a handful of wins or more this season, the reality of it all has surfaced. Appreciate what is done this season.
Saleh quickly has discovered how difficult a head coaching job can be and the tribulations of a true rebuilding job. He and coordinator Jeff Ulbrich have done a credible job with the defense, Saleh’s calling card.
After six games, the Jets have settled at a spot where many thought they realistically would be. The real question is whether they have reached their high-water mark.
Over the next 11 games, Douglas and Saleh will need to toss out the dead wood and continue the process. If this team wins two or three games this season, don’t be alarmed. That could be the short or high end of it. Their December game with Jacksonville certainly will have plenty of implications.
Red-hot Cincinnati with rising star Joe Burrow visits MetLife Sunday, and then the Jets have a quick turnaround with a trip to Indianapolis Thursday night. It can be a daunting task to have a respectable performance.
Like any horse race, though, they are at the one-third mile marker, and there will be plenty to watch down the home stretch.