Was Mike LaFleur really to blame for Jets’ offensive struggles in 2022?

Who is to blame for Jets dismissing Mike LaFleur?
Mike LaFleur mutually agreed to part ways with the Jets
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The New York Jets started the most important offseason of the Robert Saleh era with a bang. The team mutually agreed to part ways with offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur Wednesday evening on the shoulders of another below .500 season. 

Struggles down the stretch to score points offensively ultimately led to the young coach’s dismissal after two seasons. 

But was Mike LaFleur really to blame for the Jets’ offensive woes down the stretch?

New York did not record a single touchdown in the final three games of the season which was compounded by six losses to end the season. An inability to develop their young signal-caller also was a major part of the team’s offensive funk. 

As with many things in the NFL, teams that struggle don’t just struggle for one reason. That much was talked about by Saleh in his press conference with reporters Thursday morning. New York’s offensive line was decimated with injury. Alijah Vera-Tucker was lost for the year early in the season while rookie phenom Breece Hall also was lost for the year after a torn ACL. 

Key injuries play a part in a team’s struggles. But the lack of production made by the Jets second overall pick in 2021 played an even larger role in the demise of Gang Green. Wilson completed less than 60% of his passes, threw more interceptions than touchdowns and struggled to learn from mistakes he made throughout the season. 

On-the-field success wasn’t the only issue among the Jets offense either. The team had Elijah Moore requesting a trade due to a lack of targets, Zach Wilson had to deflect blame after he did not take responsibility for a loss, and even the rookie phenom Garrett Wilson has frustrations with the offensive system. 

Safe to say, it’s been a roller-coster ride for the New York Jets in 2022. It’s easy to say that Mike LaFleur is being a scapegoat for the team’s offensive struggles and lack of development from Zach Wilson. Yet when talking about young quarterbacks, coaching matters. Even LaFleur mentioned as much in his end-of-the-year conference saying “Through two years we haven’t done our job with him. Any player that isn’t producing to the level they are capable of, as a coach you failed them.”

The Jets previous offensive staff cleary wasn’t doing enough to mitigate injury losses or poor play. And the fact that Wilson had shown little to no improvements in Year 2 shows that new minds might be needed to help New York reach the playoffs. 

Mike LaFleur wasn’t the only reason for the Jets offensive struggles. But he sure wasn’t a part of the solution either. 

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