The NY Jets have truly been 'All Gas, No Brakes' this year playing with heart, grit, and endless determination each and every game. Whether they enter the fourth quarter up by seven like against Green Bay or are down by 13 with less than two minutes left like against the Browns, they simply never stop fighting.
It all starts with head coach Robert Saleh who instilled that attitude in his players. In the face of an embarrassing defeat, he clapped back at the haters and showed that chip on his shoulder was only growing with each jab and jest the media hurled at him and his players.
He isn't the only one with a chip on his shoulder, however, as the entire staff/roster at One Jets Drive has resembled a Lays factory at times. Here are the five players who seem to have that chip on their shoulder every snap they play this season.
5. Denzel Mims, WR, NY Jets
When Denzel Mims was originally drafted by Joe Douglas and Adam Gase in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft, he was coming in to be the Jets' WR1 of the future. At 6-foot-3 and 207 pounds with a 4.38 40-yard dash, he had that tremendous combination of size and speed that simply can't be taught.
Looking at his NFL.com Scouting Report of that year, it seemed that Mims' weaknesses were all related to teachable things (route running) and his strengths revolved around physical attributes (size, speed, catch radius).
The hope was that "brilliant offensive mastermind" Adam Gase would coach Mims up on the nuances of route-running and develop him into a true WR1. That obviously didn't happen.
Gase was fired, and the new regime of Robert Saleh and Mike LaFleur opted to bring in veteran free agents Corey Davis and Keelan Cole, and draft another wide receiver in the second round of the next draft — Elijah Moore.
His first offseason with his new employers started off just about as bad as it possibly could've — starting with a case of food poisoning that caused him to lose 20 pounds and continuing with playbook struggles and a midseason bout with COVID-19.
When the Jets finished the season with injuries to all three of their top wide receivers, Mims was still buried on the bench behind the likes of D.J. Montgomery and Jeff Smith.
This season, he made great strides to get in his best physical shape and also mentally keep his head up. All he wants to do is play, which is why he requested a trade in hopes of landing with a team that could better utilize his skill set
As fate would have it, the Jets held onto him and now the second-rounder who replaced him has had issues with the team while Corey Davis went down with an injury.
As a result, Mims has started the last two games and you can tell every single time he gets the ball that there is a massive chip on his shoulder. On this play, his refusal to go down which resulted in the most YAC on a Jets catch all season and set up the touchdown that brought the game within reach.
The week before that, he threw a key block on the big Breece Hall 62-yard touchdown that proved to be the difference-maker for the game.
For a team that's taking the run-heavy approach, it is imperative that they have wide receivers that are willing to block on the outside. Corey Davis has always been a great run-blocker, and Mims has done a fantastic job filling in that void.
Why? Probably because hitting people is such a great outlet to channel frustration and play with that chip. As he continues to work with the starters and get in a rhythm with Zach Wilson — we might start to see that chip have a greater effect on the stat sheet.