The NY Jets must improve upon these three things in Week 2 against the San Francisco 49ers.
The excitement of a new football season ended quickly for NY Jets fans after watching their dreadful Week 1 performance against the Buffalo Bills losing 27-17.
Adam Gase’s squad was lucky to be within 10 points in this game as it really should have been a 20-plus point loss. The offense looked anemic, the defense struggled early, and the Bills handily defeated the Jets in every capacity.
Quarterback Sam Darnold had one of his worst days as a professional — although the stats won’t show it. Meanwhile, a defense that many had high hopes for in 2020 looked lost at times, but was bailed out by a couple of fortuitous Josh Allen fumbles.
The Jets were a mess in Week 1 and a lot is going to need to change if they are to find success against a very tough opponent in Week 2.
This article is really only supposed to go over three things the Jets need to improve upon for the next week’s game, but there are so many things that Gang Green needs to improve before they face the defending NFC champions, the San Francisco 49ers.
So this week, hopefully for the only time this season, I will give you some honorable mentions.
Next: Honorable Mentions
NY Jets’ honorable mentions
I would like to quickly touch on two things that need to improve in this slide. The first being the pass coverage.
Josh Allen had open receivers on almost every drop back on Sunday. The Bills all but abandoned the run game simply because they could.
There was no need for the Bills to run as the Jets left a good five yards of cushion on seemingly every play and allowed their opponents to do whatever they wanted in the passing game.
Next, I would like to touch on the play calling. There were glimpses of creative play-calling from Adam Gase and the rest of his staff, but for the most part, it was the same uninspiring and non-descript play-calling that we saw last season.
Gase’s offense continues to struggle with similar personnel usage, a lack of pre-snap motion, and downright puzzling play-calling.
The talent isn’t there either, but with another uninspiring showing from Gase, it isn’t hard to see why the Jets’ offense looked like the worst unit in the league on Sunday.
That has to change, especially going into a game against one of the best defenses in the NFL.
Next: 1. Tackling
1. The NY Jets must improve their tackling
Pretty much the first thing that people learn about the game of football is that tackling is the bread and butter of the sport. Gregg Williams’ defensive unit struggled with tackling for most of this game, particularly when it came to bringing down Josh Allen.
It is one of the most frustrating things to watch when a team misses tackles.
This is absolutely unacceptable. If the Jets are going to have any success this weekend and be anything but a joke, the defense needs to do better.
The unit did pick things up in the second half to a certain extent with the help of the standout performance from Marcus Maye, but the Jets got helped out by some miscues by the Bills (particularly missed field goals) that made the unit look a lot better on the scoreboard.
Allen’s two fumbles certainly didn’t hurt matters either.
The Jets could not find a way to get off the field in this one. The defense was out there for over 40 minutes of game time and allowed the Bills to convert 50 percent of their third downs.
Once again, this is a direct result of missed tackles and players being out of position. If the Jets are going to have any chance in their home opener, they’re going to need to turn things around, quickly.
Next: 2. Sam Darnold's performance
2. Sam Darnold’s performance must improve for the NY Jets
I am not a Sam Darnold hater who wants the Jets to just give up on the guy. But I’m also realistic and know that if the Jets don’t get better quarterback play, it’s going to be a big problem.
While I’d like for Darnold to become a reliable starter that is in New York for years to come, if this keeps up, changes will need to have it.
I really don’t want to rip on Darnold but at the end of the day, he was just straight-up bad in Buffalo. He went 21-of-35 in the air for 215 yards with a touchdown and one interception.
Those numbers don’t look too bad on paper, but if you watched the game you really saw a struggling quarterback.
His awareness was not where it should be in year three. Darnold looked like a rookie and made rookie mistakes. The interception was particularly bad. Rolling to the left, off-balance, into double coverage, are you kidding me?
Terrible! That has to change.
Even when he had open receivers he missed them by a mile, costing the team possessions and contributing to that lopsided time of possession mentioned in the last slide.
Ultimately, for any football team to succeed they need average quarterback play at the very least. At a bare minimum, that is what the Jets need from Sam Darnold this week.
Next: 3. Discipline
3. The NY Jets need better discipline
To close out the list of things that really need to improve this week, we have the age-old complaint of teams who commit way too many penalties and look really sloppy.
Yes, there was no preseason, but that doesn’t excuse or change the fact that the Jets need to commit fewer penalties and just be more disciplined overall.
Against the Bills, the Jets committed nine penalties, costing them 95 yards. At one point in the second quarter, the Jets had more penalty yards than they did total offensive yards.
Once again, this is unacceptable. Ultimately, this falls on head coach Adam Gase, who, let’s be honest, hasn’t looked all that good since he’s gotten the job with Gang Green.
And that may be the understatement of the year.
The Jets were fourth-worst in the NFL last week in penalty yards. The only team worse were the New Orleans Saints (119 yards), the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (103 yards), and the Arizona Cardinals (102 yards).
If Gase can’t get this team in order, the Jets will continue to struggle and Gase may just lose his job.