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Jets must create a real identity on offense in 2018

By Luis Tirado Jr.
MIAMI GARDENS, FL - NOVEMBER 06: Robby Anderson #11 of the New York Jets looks on during a game against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium on November 6, 2016 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
MIAMI GARDENS, FL - NOVEMBER 06: Robby Anderson #11 of the New York Jets looks on during a game against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium on November 6, 2016 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
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The offense of the New York Jets wasn’t consistent at all in 2017 as they failed to have a real identity. That undoubtedly needs to change come next season.

Last season for the New York Jets, their offense left much to the imagination. They weren’t really a dominant rushing team nor were they an established offense built on an aerial attack. As of a matter of fact, one would hate to imagine what the Jets offense would have looked like if they didn’t get the kind of performance out of quarterback Josh McCown that practically no one believed could happen before last season even began.

Needless to say, McCown had the best season of his entire career with the Jets in 2017. Before breaking his hand and being out for the year, McCown totaled 2,926 passing yards, 18 touchdowns, and nine interceptions. What’s sad is those numbers aren’t even that great but on the Jets, they exceeded even the wildest of expectations.

The even sadder thing is, the Jets offense didn’t have any kind of consistent identity at all last season. They changed things up almost every few games or so and made a lot of boneheaded decisions when it came to scoring or at the very least, keep those chains moving. In games they should have run the football, they passed much more than they should have. In matchups that they should have thrown more in, they ran for pretty much nothing as the Jets had a plethora of three and outs all season long.

In the grand scheme of things, offensive coordinator John Morton needs to establish a clear and consistent playbook/playcalling style that is catered to the strengths of the team based on all their upcoming offseason moves. It’s a simple concept as it all comes down to what kind of personnel the Jets bring to the mix that can make them be a definitive passing or rushing team.

No matter which route they take, they need to bolster their offensive line first and foremost. The Jets need to bring in better quality offensive linemen whether it’s through free agency or this year’s draft that can help in pass protection and establish the run. After that, Morton, general manager Mike Maccagnan, and head coach Todd Bowles all need to be on the same page as to what direction makes the most sense to go in on offense.

Should the Jets be a power running team or focus more on being a pass-oriented one? Your guess is as good as mine but if they want to be like other teams that are successful, they need to focus on one and push the envelope with it. Either way, it’s important for the Jets offense to have an identity as to how they can get the job done effectively and having it lead to scoring a lot more touchdowns.

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In 2017, the Jets scored 32 touchdowns compared to the 46 against them by opponents. 19 of those touchdowns came through the air, as 13 were totaled on the ground. Keep in mind, however, opposing teams against the Jets scored 30 touchdowns through the air so maybe, just maybe, the Jets might want to focus more on their aerial attack.

This might make the most sense since the majority of teams get the job done consistently with above-average quarterback play and high-quality receiving options. If the Jets go this route, then they’ll need to get a top quarterback like Kirk Cousins in free agency or even use their No. 6 overall pick on a potential franchise player and stick to that. Adding another top receiver would make the Jets offense a scary one to face on gameday.

Of course, if the Jets want to go back to what worked many years ago by being a ground-and-pound kind of team, they need to bolster their running back corps. If the Jets landed a top running back in free agency like Le’Veon Bell or even Latavius Murray, for example, that could set the tone for Morton to unleash a three-headed monster with a huge free agent signing, Bilal Powell, and Elijah McGuire. This could still work even in today’s pass-happy NFL.

Overall, Morton and the Jets need to decide what works best for an offense that was too inconsistent and well, a bit all over the place in 2017 when it came to how they got the job done on that aspect of the team. The great news is, 2018 will be a new year, a new season, and hopefully, a new look offense that has a definitive identity that players can not only execute well in but brings a plethora of excitement to fans watching them get on the field and score touchdowns consistently.

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