While much of the attention was on Zach Wilson in the NY Jets' surprisingly excellent offensive performance against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday Night Football, offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett deserves his flowers, too.
In fact, Hackett's miraculous one-week turnaround was the single most significant reason the Jets had every opportunity to win Sunday night's game. Hackett was the MVP of the entire night, and he deserves his praise.
Jets fans, myself very much included, had been very critical of Hackett's offensive approach over the first three weeks of the season. And rightfully so — it stunk. It was bad. There's no way around it.
Not only did Hackett fix seemingly every issue he had with the offense entering the week, but he added new elements to his scheme that hadn't been seen before. Most importantly, he allowed Wilson to play a comfortable and confident game of football.
For the first time in his NFL career, Zach Wilson was uplifted by his offensive coaching staff. The result was likely the best game of his Jets career.
NY Jets OC Nathaniel Hackett was the MVP of Sunday night's game
Hackett ditched the scared, conservative game plan from the last three weeks in favor of a more aggressive, motion-heavy offensive approach against the Chiefs.
He came out firing early in the game, attacking Kansas City through the air and heavily utilizing play-action. The Jets constantly had players in motion, providing an east-west threat to their offense that hadn't been seen before.
It was as if Hackett watched one 49ers game and decided he could just become Kyle Shanahan overnight. That's what Hackett's offensive game plan was reminiscent of. It looked like a Shanahan offense. It looked like a Sean McVay offense. That's not being hyperbolic, either.
Wilson reminded me of a young Jared Goff in McVay's offense. He still struggles to progress through his reads, but the Jets made life easy for him with a motion-based offense designed for quick, simple reads.
It wasn't just the motion stuff, either. Arguably the biggest issue with Hackett through the first three weeks of the season was his puzzling personnel usage. That largely changed on Sunday.
Tight end Jeremy Ruckert went from playing one snap a week ago to playing the majority of Jets offensive snaps this week. Xavier Gipson was featured heavily in the offensive game plan. Even Mecole Hardman got some snaps in.
Meanwhile, the Jets committed to running behind the right side of their offensive line. On one play, they tossed it outside to Breece Hall while Ruckert was in motion, pulling from the left side of the formation. Hall followed Ruckert and Alijah Vera-Tucker for a chunk gain of 43 yards.
The Jets even started using Garrett Wilson out of the slot, something they had avoided pretty much all of his rookie season and this year. The results speak for themselves, as Wilson finished with a team-leading nine catches for 60 yards.
There aren't enough good things to say about what Hackett did on Sunday. The veteran coordinator made life as easy as possible for Wilson, running and executing a modern NFL offense with pre-snap motion, quick reads, and some trick plays sprinkled in.
This was one of the best performances by a Jets offensive coordinator in years. That may be a low bar to clear, but it's still something. Hackett was outstanding against a very talented Chiefs defense on Sunday night.
The Jets are going to win some games this season if Hackett calls more games like this, and Zach Wilson might just be the primary beneficiary.