The Jets 2021 season can be compared to an old restaurant trying out new recipes – a few new dishes may turn out to be huge successes for the place and some of the dishes need to be tossed straight into the trash can. The Jets are going to need to home in on the recipes that worked this season and get them ready for prime time in 2022 – or else next year could just as easily be another disaster as 2021 turned out to be.
I must be fair to Robert Saleh and his crew. This season really did turn out like most experts thought it would be. Starting out with a young, new head coach and a bunch of rookies including a rookie starting QB usually isn’t the recipe for a division title and a postseason berth. However, the Jets doubled their wins this season versus 2020 including two big wins against the AFC South and AFC North division winners (Tennessee and Cincinnati.) The Jets were in a number of games this season and other times they looked like they were in the Land of the Lost.
Yesterday against the Bills, playing in Buffalo in January never seems like a winning scenario and the Bills proved that they are a legitimate division winner and playoff contender. The Jets did hang around in this game until the fourth quarter when attrition creeped in, and the Bills just took care of business. The Bills earned their second straight AFC East title and finished off the Jets at the end 27-10. The final score of this game doesn’t indicate that this game was a blowout but when you factor in the Jets had only 53 total yards of offense yesterday, even a casual fan can figure out that nothing went right on the offensive side of the ball. In fact, the Jets set a record for the lowest offensive output in a game in the history of the franchise.
Rookie QB Zach Wilson is taking baby steps towards improvement and did not throw an interception for the fifth game in a row. That’s improvement in any coach’s book and a positive for Wilson. Wilson also threw a TD pass to Keelan Cole which was his first TD of the season so congratulations to Cole for that stat. Wilson didn’t have many other options for passing targets since he finished with just 87 yards of passing and was missing his top four WR targets: Corey Davis, Elijah Moore, Braxton Berrios and Jamison Crowder who left the game early. Having been an offensive coordinator and a head coach, it’s pretty hard to have a passing game when your quarterback doesn’t have anyone to throw to. Furthermore, the Bills defense sacked Wilson so many times yesterday he must have felt like he was little more than a grocery item being tossed into a bag all game long.
The Jets defense did put on a little more of a show and kept the team in the game by keeping the score to just 13-10 by the beginning of the fourth quarter. Also playing without key defensive members, the Jets D kept the Gang Green in this game but when the time of possession is so lopsided, any defensive unit forced to stay on the field for a prolonged period is eventually going to run out of gas.
Another area of that can be regarded as positive is the Jets seemed to have found a kicker in Eddy Pineiro who nailed a 49 yarder yesterday. Since coming in the second half of the season, Pineiro seems rock steady and a good addition to the Jets special team’s unit. Take all the positives and negatives with a grain of salt. The Jets will have a really long offseason to take in the good, bad and ugly of the 2021 season and try to work on the 2022 Draft to see if they can find more key missing pieces to putting together a winning organization. The Jets have missed the playoffs for the 12th consecutive time (the longest streak in the NFL) and need to turn this plane around for 2022 and work on the takeoffs, flights, and landings to push back the tide of negativity surrounding this entire organization.