EAST RUTHERFORD — It seems that no matter how bad it gets as a group, the 2023 New York Jets offense has found new ways to make it even worse.
In Robert Saleh’s first year at the helm, the Jets were forced to use four different quarterbacks as the injury bug took away several key contributors on a rebuilding roster. In 2022, Zach Wilson’s ineffectiveness and injury problems left New York again using four quarterbacks to try and find a solution to a seven-win unit.
Now in 2023, for the third straight year, Saleh and his offense are on their fourth straight quarterback.
New York’s reality came to a head in Sunday afternoon’s 13-8 loss to the Atlanta Falcons on the home MetLife Stadium turf. After three quarters of failing to score a touchdown, and reach the red zone as a whole, the Jets turned to Trevor Siemian to try and find a spark that third-string quarterback Tim Boyle was unable to accomplish.
After benching Wilson two weeks after 12 quarters without a touchdown, and Boyle after eight quarters and only one, there’s only one major takeaway for the 2023 Jets.
Their offense is the worst in franchise history.
“We’re searching,” Saleh said after the loss. “I felt like there were a lot of missed opportunities and chances for explosives. We have to find a way to take advantage when we have those opportunities.”
The Jets have been searching all year though since Aaron Rodgers was lost four plays into his debut.
After their loss to Atlanta, Gang Green is dead last in the NFL in third-down conversions and red-zone offense. They own the 31st-ranked passing offense and 27th-ranked rushing offense. They have gone six straight games without scoring over 14 points, and are just 3-3 on the season when the defense gives up 20 points or less in a game. They have just three touchdowns in their last five games.
You can look at any statistical analysis of years past, or of groups that may have had less talent, but the Jets in 2023 have to be the worst overall offensive group in team history. What may be even crazier is the fact that the team itself understands what they are doing may not be acceptable, but it’s not an indication of what practice has been like throughout the week.
“As a defense and special teams, I feel that the guys who were on the field on defense and special teams did the job that they had to do,” C.J. Mosley said “The results is what they was.”
It’s hard to be successful though when the quarterback position is as bad as it has ever been though.
For the third straight year, the Jets have gone through their fourth quarterback in a single season. These problems were supposed to end when the team acquired Rodgers in the offseason, but injuries to the future Hall-of-Famer and a new-look offensive line have made it hard for any continuity to be built.
Saleh did not name a quarterback for next week’s contest against the Houston Texans but it may not even matter.
With all the offensive line concerns about their health, the lack of a true receiving threat outside of Garrett Wilson or any legit rushing threat pales in comparison to the mastermind behind this group.
As good as Nathaniel Hackett has been with Rodgers as his quarterback, his inability to field a competent offense without him has followed at almost every stop he’s been at.
Saleh and his staff have looked for answers each week since Rodgers went down in Week 1. They’ve benched veterans like Allen Lazard, and quarterbacks like Wilson, and focused on playing young undrafted talents as opposed to aging veterans.
But as the results continue to get worse, it’s far more apparent that the offensive problems may just be a part of his overall coaching tenure.
New York’s staff has certainly built a dynamic defense that can leave them in almost every game the rest of the way. It’s their historically bad offense though that might be what they are all remembered for in the end.
An offense this historically bad may not save any coaching staff despite the clear injury excuses.