The NY Jets cannot rely on Zach Wilson to carry their offense. The main focus needs to be on consistency. In previous seasons, consistency is not a word you could attach to the Jets, especially with the injury plague that has decimated New York's offense this year.
Offensive tackle George Fant was placed on the injured reserve list with a knee injury. The Jets had five of their tackles on IR at one point: Mekhi Becton (out for season), George Fant (still on IR), rookie Max Mitchell (returned to practice), Duane Brown (has returned), and Alijah Vera-Tucker (out for season).
Staying healthy on the offensive line has been not easy for the Jets, and the offense has suffered as a result, allowing 26 sacks so far this season.
With all of the injuries to the offensive line, there have been tons of moving pieces. A lot of credit needs to be handed to Vera-Tucker, who was moved to right guard this season following the addition of Laken Tomlinson in free agency.
Then, because of the injuries, Vera-Tucker started at left tackle against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Vera-Tucker was assigned with protecting Wilson’s blind side, and he played 67 snaps while allowing no sacks, no hits on the quarterback, and only three hurries, per Pro Football Focus.
The following week against the Dolphins, he played all 56 snaps at right tackle and allowed zero sacks, zero QB hits, and zero hurries.
Vera-Tucker provides tremendous value to this Jets team as he can play at either guard or tackle at a very high level, but we will have to wait for next season to see him back out there.
The NY Jets' offense hinges on Zach Wilson in the second half of the season
If the Jets are going to keep playing, they are going to have to relieve some pressure from their young quarterback. Despite the offensive line situation, the Jets have all the tools required to “Take Flight” with their quarterback returning to action.
Rookie wide receiver Garrett Wilson has been proving that the Jets made the right decision by selecting him 10th overall in the draft earlier this year.
He’s seen plenty of targets, recording 42 receptions for 521 receiving yards to pair with two touchdowns. If Wilson can continue this trend, I have no doubt that the Jets can compete and win games over the second half of the season.
We’ve seen the talent that Elijah Moore can bring to the table, but he hasn’t seen the ball much this season. Before the trade deadline, Moore voiced his frustrations about his lack of target share by requesting a trade.
The request took the team by surprise and they ultimately did not trade him. When Moore was asked about his chemistry with Zach Wilson, “I don’t get the ball. I don’t know,” he replied.
Despite attempting to get more targets, Moore had zero targets against both the Patriots and the Bills in the next two weeks. Elijah Moore is not going anywhere for the rest of the season, so Moore will have to turn his frustrations into positivity.
“I’m here, and I’m going to stay here. So why not be super positive?” he told reporters. This attitude is different than how he previously expressed his frustrations, and it is nice to know that he’s still going to be a team player.
Quarterback Zach Wilson called the Elijah Moore situation ‘a tough one’ after he was asked about Moore receiving zero targets in the Bills game, “I would love to get E-Moore the ball, for me & my situation I’m just going through the reads’ and ‘that’s a question for the coaches.”
With Corey Davis missing time due to an injury, former second-round pick Denzel Mims, who also requested a trade earlier in the season, patiently waited for his name to be called and has been seeing some targets.
He’s had some big receptions and has earned a role in this offense. Wide receiver is a position that has some of the most depth on this Jets roster. It will be interesting to see how the coaching staff implements Mims and Moore in this offense as they have unique skill sets.
The Jets had a great one-two punch in the backfield with rookie Breece Hall and second-year back Michael Carter. Hall took the Jets' offense to the next level with his explosiveness which was put on display with his 62-yard rushing touchdown against the Denver Broncos.
Hall tallied four rushing touchdowns in addition to 463 rushing yards through six games before heading onto the injured reserve with a torn ACL. A crushing loss for this Jets offense, as Breece Hall was the first Jets player with a rushing touchdown in four straight games since Thomas Jones did it in 2009.
This team had to replenish a ground game that had proven to be effective despite having an injured offensive line. General manager Joe Douglas made a splash move before the deadline and traded for Jaguars running back James Robinson in exchange for a conditional sixth-round pick. Robinson went on to contribute to the Jets' recent victory over the Bills with a receiving touchdown.
This Jets team has managed to be the best in the NFL when it matters most as they have the best fourth-quarter point differential this season (+58). The second-closest team is the Vikings who have a +33 point differential in the fourth.
This starts all the way back to when Joe Flacco was commanding the offense and led the team to a victory after being down 13 points in the fourth quarter against the Browns.
Then, with Wilson back against the Steelers, the fourth quarter began with the Jets losing by 10 points. But Wilson led the team on two touchdown drives with their final two possessions of the game.
Wilson was nearly flawless in the fourth, completing 10-of-12 passes for 128 yards and a touchdown. Against Buffalo, Wilson led an 85-plus-yard drive in the fourth to take the lead and ultimately secure the field goal to win 20-17.