At 2-2 through the first four weeks, the New York Jets are one of the pleasant surprises in the 2022 NFL season. But it certainly hasn’t been all perfect on the road to .500 a quarter of the way through the schedule.
The Jets have had their share of disappointments in the first four weeks, with injuries near the top of the list.
Mekhi Becton had season-ending knee surgery early in training camp. That’s a major disappointment for the Jets and their former first-round pick, who played one game in 2021 because of a knee injury.
"It was devastating"
Alijah Vera-Tucker shares his reaction to Mekhi Becton's injury: pic.twitter.com/rewXDnYDNC
— Jets Videos (@snyjets) August 10, 2022
The body blows with the offensive line continued when tackles Duane Brown (IR, shoulder injury), George Fant (IR, knee injury) and Max Mitchell (knee injury sustained last week) each sustained a significant injury.
In a similar vein, Zach Wilson missed six weeks and the first three games after Aug. 16 arthroscopic knee surgery. That was valuable time lost for the most important player on the Jets. But that the second-year quarterback returned last week, led them to an exciting comeback win and looks to be healthy again mitigates the disappointment.
No player can be considered a major disappointment through four games. There have been some tough individual performances but typically it has been limited to a game or two.
Thanks to Lamarcus Joyner, the Jets have the ball
— Jets Videos (@snyjets) October 2, 2022
Safety Lamarcus Joyner was the most disappointing player through the first three games. But he bounced back with a strong performance last week with two interceptions, four tackles and an 89.8 overall grade per Pro Football Focus.
That said, let’s look at the Jets’ biggest disappointment through four weeks of the 2022 NFL season.
New York Jets’ biggest disappointment in 2022
The biggest disappointment for the Jets in the first four weeks is not the performance of any one player. It’s the mindless, undisciplined penalties and critical mistakes the Jets make every week that’s most disappointing.
Even more disappointing is that most of these ghastly errors are made by veteran players, not the youngsters on the roster.
Late hits and unnecessary roughness penalties have burned the Jets throughout the first four games. Just last week Carl Lawson was whistled for an obvious unnecessary roughness penalty late in the first half against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Instead of an incomplete pass on third down, the Steelers had a first down 15 yards up field. That set up a field goal before halftime, cut the Jets lead to 10-6 and gave the Steelers momentum in the second half.
“Bad mistake by me. It will not happen again.” – Carl Lawson on the penalty #Jets
— Connor Hughes (@Connor_J_Hughes) October 2, 2022
The week before, with New York down two scores and trying to rally early in the fourth quarter deep in Cincinnati Bengals territory, wide receiver Corey Davis got into an altercation, grabbing his opponent’s face mask. The flag came out, crushing the Jets’ drive in an eventual 27-12 loss.
So egregious were these Jets miscues and poor decisions in their Week 1 loss to the Baltimore Ravens that head coach Robert Saleh contended they lost the game more so than the Ravens won it.
The silver lining here is that this is all fixable. Better discipline and decisions, particularly by veteran NFL players who know better, should not be difficult to achieve. If this area gets fixed, the Jets could set themselves up for a nice run the rest of this season. For a team that won six games the past seasons, that would not be a disappointing end result at all.