The New York Jets offense looked anemic in Week 1, averaging only 3.9 yards per play on offense, which is why there’s nothing to lose by starting Christian Hackenberg right now.
Simply put, if New York Jets quarterback Josh McCown came out and balled in Week 1, throwing for 250+ yards and three touchdowns, there would be no reason for this kind of talk. Yet the longtime, wise, and turnover prone veteran quarterback didn’t ball out. Pro Football Focus had McCown as the second worst quarterback in Week 1, going into the Sunday Night game.
McCown played so poorly against the Buffalo Bills that he threw a league low of only 20 percent of his passing plays becoming a first down, once again heading into the Sunday Night game. That’s ugly for a veteran who is supposed to be able to, at the very least, manage an offense and get down the field.
Now it’s not all McCown’s fault, the offensive line played average at best in the passing game, and below average in the run game. The run game was disgusting, as this was not a ground and pound offense whatsoever. Offensive coordinator John Morton needs to get the run game way more involved and effective before next week’s West Coast showdown against the Oakland Raiders.
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Why It’s Time for Hackenberg
McCown is earning $125,000 per start according to many league sources and that itself could be a primary reason for why there should be a quarterback change.
Why should the Jets be paying, one of the highest per game start bonuses, when they could be letting a highly invested quarterback take the field and see what he’s got?
Look, I understand the Jets have some sort of master plan that they’re not letting the fans in on, but McCown isn’t going to lead this team to a single win if he plays like he did against the Bills.
The Jets spent a second round pick and a 4th round pick on two of their backup quarterbacks and will spend $125,000 for a 38-year old veteran to start each game. In my opinion, this is a no-brainer decision, the Jets need to start Christian Hackenberg before the team loses hope on their season and more injuries occur.
If the Jets are truly committed to a heaven-forbid I say it, “TANK,” then they should let their young quarterbacks take the field and try to develop their game. With the new CBA practice rules, it’s harder for quarterbacks to get enough reps during practice in the week. Instead, the Jets need to put the ball in the hands of their young quarterbacks, preferably Hackenberg based on their initial investment, and let McCown teach them day in and day out.
Moving Forward to Oakland
Presumably, McCown will start against the Oakland Raiders. I expect the Jets to get the run game way more involved and hopefully they will try to throw down the field more. Week 1 against Buffalo was difficult to watch from a fan’s perspective and because of that, I expect more creativity from the offense and better tackling from the defense.