NY Jets: 3 players to blame for Week 1 loss to the Panthers

NY Jets, George Fant
NY Jets, George Fant / Abbie Parr/Getty Images
4 of 4
NY Jets
NY Jets, Connor McGovern / Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

1. The entire NY Jets offensive line

Yes, this article specifies individual players, but the entire offensive line had to be called out one way or another.

The team was embarrassed in the trenches, and the offensive line did nothing to help Zach Wilson in his NFL debut. Wilson saw himself on the ground far too often — the team letting up a total of six sacks to the Panthers' defense.

And the running game? Nonexistent.

For an offense that is built on the run game, the Jets totaled over 40 yards on the ground — something that needs to be fixed going forward. Zach Wilson is deadly in play action, but a rushing attack might be necessary to help set that up.

In terms of specifics, George Fant was getting downright embarrassed on the day. Rookie Alijah Vera-Tucker, who hadn't played in the preseason, was tossed around like a ragdoll. Even star tackle Mekhi Becton struggled before his worrying injury late in the game.

Thankfully, it doesn't seem that his injury was as serious as many first imagined. Though Becton will likely miss substantial time, there is a chance that his 2021 season isn't over.

The offensive line seemed to gel late in the game once Fant was shifted to left tackle to back up Becton, while free-agent signing Morgan Moses took over at right tackle. By that time, it was too little too late.

A few questions could be asked of the coaching staff's decisions, such as the choice to not swap Fant for Moses earlier in the game. However, it's only Week 1.

The Jets have a ways to go, as does the rest of the NFL. The team is young, and the coaches are warming up to their new jobs.

Next. NY Jets: Ty Johnson talks Robert Saleh, Zach Wilson, and much more in exclusive interview. dark

Losing rarely feels great, but the most important part of this season is the development of young talent. The Jets aren't ready to compete just yet. The team and staff will grow as the year goes on.

On to New England.