New York Jets: A clean bill of health won’t solve the team’s issues

New York Jets (Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images)
New York Jets (Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images) /

The New York Jets are dealing with countless major injuries at the moment, but even a clean bill of health will not be enough to solve the team’s issues.

The New York Jets are an organization that has looked completely inept through the first three weeks of the season. There is plenty of blame to go around, but few answers in sight.

Perhaps the aspect that has been the biggest ailment to the team so far has been the countless injuries suffered by key members of the roster.

The injury bug started in the preseason when starting linebacker Avery Williamson went down with a torn ACL. It was a sign of things to come for Gang Green as the team would suffer through many more injuries in the weeks to come.

Starting wide receiver Quincy Enunwa is out for the season and he’s joined on the injury report by Sam Darnold who’s been battling mononucleosis, and the likes of C.J. Mosley, Quinnen Williams, and Jordan Jenkins — among others — who have missed time with injuries.

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Fortunately, the team’s bye week has come at the perfect time as the Jets will have off Week 4 before returning for a road matchup with the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 5. At 0-3, things are looking bleak, but all hope is not lost.

The Indianapolis Colts started last season with a 1-5 record but finished the year with a 10-6 record and a wild-card berth. The only team ahead of them in the AFC South? The Houston Texans who started the year 0-3 — much like the Jets.

It’s improbable, but not impossible.

That said, pretending that the returns of the likes of Darnold, Mosley, Williams, Jenkins, Chris Herndon, and Brandon Copeland will solve all of the Jets issues is foolish.

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This is a deeply flawed football team, and that goes beyond the injuries and suspensions. Sure it certainly doesn’t help when you lose three of your best defensive players and your starting quarterback, but that isn’t the biggest issue plaguing the Jets right now.

It’s easy to point to those absences as the single most significant thing holding the Jets back right now, but it just isn’t true.

The Jets offense is anemic. It lacks creativity, it lacks spark, and it just lacks substance. Head coach Adam Gase’s play-calling through three weeks has been nothing short of unbearable as it feels like the Jets are right back in the Jeremy Bates/Chan Gailey systems of old.

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Sure, he’s been hindered by a third-string quarterback and a terrible offensive line. But that’s no excuse for a lack of originality.

Speaking of that offensive line, the Jets’ five-man unit up front has been an absolute disaster through three weeks. Batting injuries, the offensive line has been far and away the most disappointing unit on the team — and it’s not even close.

Call it a lack of chemistry, poor coaching schemes, or simply regression. Whatever the cause — likely a mixture of the three — the Jets offensive line is a major problem right now.

And worst of all, there is no saving grace from a returning starter. This is the healthy starting lineup.

Until the offensive line is fixed and the play-calling improves, the offense will continue to struggle no matter who’s under center.

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And on defense, Mosley is great, Jenkins is solid, and Williams is promising, but that doesn’t fix some of the other problem areas. The Jets’ cornerbacks continue to be a major concern as the likes of Darryl Roberts, Nate Hairston, and Trumaine Johnson are getting abused each week.

Hairston looked promising in Week 2 but regressed this week against the Patriots while Roberts looked lost against New England. And yet somehow, the $72.5 million Johnson can’t find his way back into the starting lineup.

The defense has also seen disappointing seasons from both Leonard Williams and Henry Anderson. The pass rush was nearly non-existent with Jenkins out and much of the blame should fall on those two who couldn’t capitalize against a beat-up Patriots offensive line.

There are holes on this roster. Not holes that will be filled by returning players, but holes left unfilled as a result of poor roster construction and underachieving talent.

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So no matter how optimistic Jets fans would like to be, there is no knight in shining armor waiting to return and save the day for Gang Green. Instead, the team must fix their own issues internally as opposed to turning to external returns for solutions.

Injuries aren’t the problem. The Jets are the problem.