The NY Jets are 6-3 entering their bye week, tied for the most wins in the entire AFC. Even the most optimistic of Jets fans probably wouldn't have predicted this type of start to the season.
Improvement was expected, but what the Jets have done over the last nine weeks is completely revitalize and rehab an image that had been decimated over the last decade. These aren't your "Same Old Jets." That tagline has all but disappeared.
But even with the Jets' sudden resurgence, nothing is ever perfect in the NFL. For every Sauce Gardner and Quinnen Williams playing at an All-Pro level, there are a few players who have underachieved through the first half of the season.
Let's take a look at three players who must step up their game and play better when the Jets return from their bye week.
3. George Fant, OT, NY Jets
George Fant was legitimately one of the best pass-blocking left tackles in the NFL a year ago. Fant's career year in 2021 had many banging the table for an extension as the Jets were hoping to build around their veteran tackle.
Unfortunately, offseason knee surgery limited him in the summer, and when he returned to the field this September, Fant looked like a shell of his former self. He clearly just wasn't healthy.
Fant surrendered a whopping 13 pressures in just three starts. To put that into perspective, Jets center Connor McGovern has allowed just 10 pressures in nine games this season. Fant didn't even finish his third game as he left halfway through due to injury.
The Jets hope to have Fant back soon after the bye week, and when he does return, they certainly hope that he'll look more like his 2021 self than the 2022 version we saw earlier in the season.
2. Elijah Moore, WR, NY Jets
This one is less about performance than it is usage. It's impossible to argue that Elijah Moore's sophomore NFL season has been anything other than a massive disappointment.
The 2021 second-round pick was one of the most productive wide receivers in the NFL during a stretch last season and many were excited to see what he could do with an improved supporting cast in 2022.
Unfortunately, Moore's production was scarce early in the year as he took a backseat role to the likes of Garrett Wilson and Corey Davis. Then came his trade request and subsequent blowup.
Now, Moore finds himself as an afterthought in the Jets offense. The hope is that changes over the second half of the season, though. Moore is simply too talented to be just another body for the Jets on offense.
If he's healthy and playing, he should be involved.
1. Zach Wilson, QB, NY Jets
If the Jets are going to make any serious run at the postseason, they're going to need Zach Wilson to be more consistent than he's been. It's as simple as that.
Wilson responded following a miserable couple of weeks with a much-needed bounce-back performance in Week 9. The second-year QB didn't light up the stat sheet, but he didn't need to.
Wilson was smart, decisive, and competent, and the Jets found success on offense as a result. That's the version of Zach Wilson that the Jets need to see more of. That's the version of Zach Wilson that could help lead them to their first playoff berth in over a decade.
The Jets need Wilson to be better, but more importantly, they need him to be consistent.