The New York Jets currently have a two-game winning streak but if they want to stay relevant, they need to continue sticking to what actually has worked.
After losing four straight and falling to an abysmal 1-5, the New York Jets have rallied to win two straight games. They will face two subpar opponents in Miami and Los Angeles the next two weeks, so the season isn’t quite over yet. They have a chance to get back into the NFL Playoff conversation at 5-5 but must do several things in order to get there.
One of the main reasons for the Jets’ two-game winning streak has been their conservative approach on offense. During their losing streak, they allowed quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick to drop back 35-40 times and he turned the ball over 11 times. Allowing Fitzpatrick to simply manage the game, while leaning on their ground attack, has helped the Jets to become a more efficient offense and take care of the football.
The Jets’ coaching staff now realizes that last year’s offense was an aberration. They cannot expect to be a pass happy offense with a quarterback who plays so reckless. Even if they can’t be a top 10 offense, they can still be a competent one. The Jets have a solid backfield tandem of Matt Forte and Bilal Powell, who have both been productive these last two weeks. Powell produced the Jets’ longest run of the year last week, 35 yards. Hardly anything to be proud of when compared to the rest of the NFL.
Opposing defenses have been able to contain the Jets’ offensive attack due to their lack of speed. The Jets still have playmakers who need to be fed the rock. Quincy Enunwa is Gang Green’s best offensive player, period. Yes, some fans will argue Brandon Marshall is, but Marshall isn’t nearly as versatile as Enunwa and can’t turn an 8-yard hitch route into a 69-yard touchdown as he did against Baltimore.
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The Jets also have two young, speedy rookie wide-outs in Robby Anderson and Charone Peake. These two have flashed and could be used more on screens, reverses, or even to keep defenses honest by attacking downfield. Even Fitzpatrick’s noodle arm should be able to hit them deep, especially if Marshall is being doubled.
On defense, the Jets have to continue to play defensive end Sheldon Richardson in his natural position. They should limit defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson‘s snaps as he has been very unproductive and looks hurt. Linebacker Lorenzo Mauldin has looked better the past two weeks, probably a result of putting Richardson back in his natural position.
The secondary is still an issue and right now, Darryl Roberts is their best corner. Darrelle Revis has lost all of his physicality; in coverage and alarmingly tackling/disengaging blocks as well. This is why opponents are throwing screens right at him due to his unwillingness to tackle. Marcus Williams has been eaten alive downfield and also when playing in the slot. Right now, the Jets might be better off giving Juston Burris and Roberts snaps over him, as well as limiting Revis’ snaps, who is hurting the team more than helping them.