5 NY Jets mistakes that doomed the team in 2023

The Jets need to avoid making these five mistakes again

NY Jets wide receiver Garrett Wilson
NY Jets wide receiver Garrett Wilson / Ryan Kang/GettyImages
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3. Not having a WR2

When Corey Davis retired, a huge void opened on the wide receiver depth chart. To start the season, the Jets had Garrett Wilson, Allen Lazard, Mecole Hardman, Randall Cobb, and rookie Xavier Gipson. With Wilson as the clear-cut WR1, the rest proved they weren't ready to fill the WR2 role that Corey Davis left vacant.

Following Davis's retirement, the hope was that his role would be filled by Allen Lazard, but that quickly proved not to be the case. Davis was a big-bodied receiver whose best moments came when he made catches over the middle of the field while also having the ability to stretch the field.

Lazard has the ability to stretch the field and excels in over-the-shoulder deep ball catches, but he has shown that he struggles to catch the ball over the middle of the field and outside the numbers.

Lazard ended the 2023 campaign with 23 catches on 48 targets, that’s a 48 percent catch rate against the league average of 63 percent.

Next up is Mecole Hardman, who offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett refused to use once Rodgers went down. He later lost his job to Gipson, who also had a lackluster catch rate of 55.3 percent — 21 catches on 38 targets.

Randall Cobb had five catches on 17 targets, corresponding to a 29 percent catch rate. For comparison’s sake, Wilson had 95 receptions on 168 targets, which is a 56.5 percent catch rate. Now, these stats do not consider balls that are out of reach, that is to say, balls that are poorly thrown by the quarterback.

Quarterback play definitely had its share of the blame for the lack of wide receiver production, but the truth is that the Jets did not have a WR2 on the roster once Corey Davis retired.

It was reported that GM Joe Douglas inquired about Tampa Bay’s Mike Evans and Las Vegas Raiders’ Davante Adams, but both teams were unwilling to commit to a trade in the midst of the playoff hunt.

In 2024, the Jets need to revisit their wide receiver depth and bring in a proven commodity as WR2 to be a compliment to WR1 Garrett Wilson.