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Film Review: NY Jets offense is climbing Mt. Everest without boots

NY Jets, Robert Saleh, Zach Wilson, Film Review, All-22
Robert Saleh, Zach Wilson, New York Jets, Mt. Everest, Getty Images, Jet X Graphic

The film shows a New York Jets offense that is trying to climb Mt. Everest without its boots

In the last episode of Hard Knocks, New York Jets head coach Robert Saleh used a fitting analogy to paint a picture of where the Jets stood at that moment. Saleh compared the Jets’ upcoming journey to scaling Mt. Everest, saying the team was only at base camp and still had the whole climb ahead of them.

The full film breakdown can be found at the bottom of this article. 

Just a few weeks later, adversity struck in the worst way imaginable. Now, this organization must find a way to get back on track as it attempts to scale an impossibly difficult mountain.

Quick disclaimer: I’m not an expert at mountain climbing. I have not, and will most likely never, climb a mountain.

Still, we all know that before you begin the climb of a mountain – especially one as treacherous as Mt. Everest – you have to both physically and mentally prepare, gather all necessary gear, and then travel to the base camp. Those steps set you up for the best possible chance of success.

Of course, in NFL terms, the preparation and subsequent travel to the base camp represents the off-season.

In the course of gathering their gear, Jets general manager Joe Douglas, the coaching staff, and the front office knew two things: (1) they were going to swing for the fences at the quarterback position and (2) if they landed the desired quarterback, most of the other necessary pieces to make it to the mountaintop were in place.

When you think about mountain climbing, and more specifically, climbing Mt. Everest, you would imagine that finding the right pair of boots is high on the list of priorities. Well, future Hall of Famer Aaron Rodgers represented the absolute best pair of boots on the market that one could buy. At last, the Jets hit a grand slam at landing the quarterback.

Finally, the Jets were ready for their travel to base camp with a ton of energy and even more expectations. After consistently stacking hours, days, weeks, and months of hard work, effort, and preparation, the season-long climb was right in front of them. Coach Saleh’s message was that the travel to the base camp is the easy part. Once this team starts the climb, there is no doubt that adversity will strike.

But how does this group stay together, continue to be positive in dark times, and claw their way into the light?

Unfortunately, their trusted boots gave out on the very first step up the mountain. Aaron Rodgers was lost for the season after four snaps. But the message must remain because there is no turning back.

The gear the Jets brought to the climb is the gear they must use. It won’t be sunshine and rainbows. The dark times will appear quite often and they will have to adjust accordingly. As a group, they must find a way because the show goes on and there is no replacing those pair of boots with anything of the same caliber.

The Jets survived the night but are frozen in their tracks

After the devastating injury to Aaron Rodgers, the Jets clawed their way to a gritty victory over the Buffalo Bills. The emotion was intense but it was easy to see the belief each player had that they were going to continue to compete. Someone would make a play at the right time to make the most of the opportunity – including Zach Wilson, Breece Hall, Garrett Wilson, Jeremy Ruckert, Quinnen Williams, Quincy Williams, Jordan Whitehead, D.J. Reed, and Xavier Gipson.

Adversity and dark moments have presented themselves again. Everyone is seeking answers in the midst of this two-game losing streak where the Jets offense has only managed to score 20 points. It won’t get any easier, either. With their backs against the wall, they must now prepare to face Andy Reid, Patrick Mahomes, and Travis Kelce in a primetime matchup on Sunday Night Football.

What now?

The question is simple: How do the Jets use the game film from Week 3 to improve?

If you’re frustrated with Zach Wilson, Nathaniel Hackett, and this Jets offense right now, that is completely understandable. It’s incredibly frustrating to watch this Jets offense operate and then see teams around the NFL score points at ease, sustain drives, throw the football on time, be creative schematically, and take advantage of the talent at their skill positions.

When will we see the Jets roll the dice, become aggressive, and keep the opposing defense on their toes? Is it all on the shoulders of Zach Wilson and he deserves 100% of the blame?

After the crushing loss to the Patriots in Week 3, the Jets have to dig deep and do some soul-searching. Coach Saleh urged the team that in times of adversity, they had to stay together with a positive mindset. And listen, I get it – enough of the motivational nonsense and coach speak, the product on the field is what matters. You’re probably thinking, “Enough is enough, we want results now.”

On social media, throughout the week, we pull and post clips from the prior game. We play the “what if” game. We play the “I would have run this instead” game. The “I would have thrown here” debate.  And sure, sometimes it’s obvious and there is no debate. As fans, all of that is natural. As a coaching staff, they have to evaluate the previous game in an efficient and productive manner. It’s mid-season and there is a quick turnaround to the preparation for the next game.

An efficient and productive manner means not dwelling on the misses to the extent that it paralyzes your efforts to turn the page. An efficient and productive manner means evaluating where each unit can improve by having honest conversations, asking in-depth questions, and deciding what needs to change from a situational, schematic, and processing standpoint.

For example, do we have the right personnel combinations? What can we do differently on early downs to get players in a rhythm? What play did we run that had potential but needs a tweak? Are we putting our skill position players in the best positions to maximize their talent? What portions of the field do we need to attack more? Are we instilling confidence in each other by being on the same page? Are we going through our progressions efficiently and if not, what can we adjust? Are we making enough in-game adjustments?

Patriots at Jets Film Review

I reviewed the offensive film from the Jets’ Week 3 loss to New England. Ultimately, I broke down 31 plays starting from the first drive up until the last (excluding the Hail Mary drive).

However, I went a different route and structured the film review in a fashion that allows us to look at this game with the perspective of (1) this particular game is over; (2) this is the offensive unit and players that will be available on Sunday Night Football; (3) let’s fix the misses instead of dwelling on them; (4) tweaks in personnel usage, aggression, confidence and mindset are imperative; (5) there are questions that should be asked and answered to understand how Zach Wilson is processing information; and (6) formulate new creative ideas.

Let’s throw out the ifs, ands, or buts. The game happened. It’s over and there is no going back. Do everything you can to improve your chances to compete, sustain drives, and put up points on Sunday Night Football against a talented and experienced Kansas City Chiefs team.

 

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