Jets takeaways from a bad Week 7 loss to Patriots
The New York Jets somehow defeated the Tennessee Titans earlier this year, but that upset has not carried over into the rest of the season. The New England Patriots crushed Gang Green in Week 7 on Sunday, sending Robert Saleh’s team into a tailspin.
This is what rock-bottom feels like. Let’s offer some Jets Week 7 takeaways, none of them good:
Jets Week 7 takeaways
3. Coordinator Mike LaFleur was not a good choice to lead this offense
The Jets were at a profound disadvantage under Adam Gase, and the franchise has been buried near the bottom of the NFL for several years. Given these realities, New York needed a steady and reliable hand at offensive coordinator. Instead, Robert Saleh entrusted the offense to first-year coordinator Mike LaFleur. The LaFleur name has some stature in NFL circles due to Matt’s work with the Green Bay Packers, but Mike LaFleur is his own man, and he has not yet proven himself as an NFL coordinator.
The Jets are paying for this lack of experience.
How will they dig out of this hole? It’s not as though Mike LaFleur has been there and done that in the NFL. Saleh has reminded us that staffing choices matter, especially for a first-year coach who was taking on one of the toughest jobs and one of the most difficult and demanding rebuilding projects in pro football.
To be fair to Saleh, however, this next point needs to be reinforced after the Jets Patriots blowout:
2. Greg Knapp’s death was a bigger blow for the Jets than many first grasped
Veteran NFL coordinator and assistant coach Greg Knapp was going to be the “quarterback whisperer” who taught Zach Wilson how to play at the pro level with the Jets. His death in a bike-and-car accident this summer was tragic primarily because a man’s life was cut short far too soon, and because a family lost its husband and father. That death was also devastating to the organization, because Knapp was the sagely, veteran voice Zach Wilson needed to hear. Saleh made a great choice in putting Knapp on his staff.
The Jets were never able to benefit from that staffing choice. A Greg Knapp-like figure is exactly who they need, and they’re without one. That deficit showed up against the Patriots (who swept New York this season), and it has shown up in every game other than the out-of-nowhere upset of the Titans.
1. The Jets are nowhere close to being a contender in the AFC
It’s depressing for any fan of the team, but reality is reality and should never be ignored or wished away: The Jets are not especially close to becoming a real factor in the AFC at large, the AFC East Division in particular, or the NFL. The Patriots made that clear.
One draft and one free agency haul will not enable the Jets to win nine games in a season. That’s a huge mountain to climb for a team which looks headed for a 3-14 record at best in 2021.
The talent level is nowhere near the standard which generally exists for a contending team. This has little to do with Zach Wilson’s evolution, too. Skill players, defensive players, linemen — no position group on this roster is truly solid. It’s ridiculous to claim that the Jets need to fill holes on their roster, because “filling holes” suggests that there is actually a whole fabric to poke holes in!
There isn’t a whole fabric. The Jets are a blank canvas rather than a cloth with just a few holes to plug.