No two individuals are more responsible for the immediate short-term success (or lack of same) of the NY Jets than quarterback Zach Wilson and offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett. Those same two people, however, are doing everything they can to turn this lifeless offense back to something Knute Rockne would run in the 1920s.
Even without the injured Aaron Rodgers, the Jets have one of the game's best running backs in Breece Hall and a tremendous WR1 in Garrett Wilson. It's an offensive coordinator's dream. Yet here the Jets are once again, having watched a winnable game against the Los Angeles Chargers slip away thanks to their own comedic errors.
On a night when yet another elite quarterback in Justin Herbert couldn't get anything going, the Jets fell 27-6 thanks to three fumbles (two of which were on Zach Wilson), costly penalties, and a vanilla offensive game plan. Something needs to change before next Sunday against the Las Vegas Raiders.
The Jets seem unwilling to consider a quarterback change despite the fact Wilson is playing so badly any other team would be looking for better options. Hackett might need to fall on the sword for this humiliating performance, and that could mean losing his play-calling powers.
NY Jets must take play calls away from Nathaniel Hackett.
Let's get this out of the way first. The rest of the offense was putrid against LA. College teams would have done better. Allen Lazard played like he was concussed, the makeshift offensive line wilted in the second half, and penalties hurt them at the worst time. Problems 1 and 1A are still Wilson and Hackett.
The Jets are currently creating the worst "chicken or the egg" problem of all time? Are Wilson's hideous stat lines and poor overall play the product of Hackett running the most basic, least creative offense ever, or is Hackett calling these plays because he knows Wilson can't execute anything more complex?
Both are putting up all-time stinkers in the last few games, but Hackett should be firmly in the crosshairs of every Jets fan. This coordinator, who has done nothing away from Aaron Rodgers, struggles in his alleged specialty with poor third down and red zone plays while overseeing Wilson's regression. This should put him on the hot seat.
Even if Hackett isn't going to be fired because he is hanging on to Rodgers like a leech in an attempt to stay relevant, the Jets need to consider at least decreasing his responsibility. Nine touchdowns in eight games would get every other OC in the league fired.
The Jets are in a unique and difficult spot. The offense is so bad that it will ruin a postseason team, yet neither the QB nor the coordinator seem to be in danger of losing their job. If Saleh came out during the week and announced a demotion for Hackett, that would show fans how serious this team is about making the playoffs.