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Jets used bye week to figure out how to improve their offense

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Zach Wilson of the New York Jets is sacked by Steven Means of the Atlanta Falcons during the NFL London 2021 game at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Sunday, Oct. 10, 2021 in London, England.

Zach Wilson (2) of the New York Jets is sacked by Steven Means (55) of the Atlanta Falcons during the NFL London 2021 game at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Sunday, Oct. 10, 2021 in London, England. (Ryan Pierse/Getty Images/TNS)

The Jets have started the season at 1-4 mostly because of their struggling offense.

Gang Green entered Week 6 ranked 31st in yards per game (267) and 32nd in points (13.4). The Jets have amassed just 79 yards of total offense in the first quarter this season. Needless to say, it’s been slow for the Jets and rookie quarterback Zach Wilson.

So, Robert Saleh and his staff used their Week 5 bye week to examine how they can improve their offense and feel good about the future adjustments.

“I thought offensively, Mike [LaFleur] and his staff did a really good job digging in deep in terms of what the offense is having success at,” Saleh said Monday. “[For example] what the quarterback is having success at versus what he’s not having success at. The splits of the first quarter versus second, third, fourth quarter, just to see what [Zach Wilson] looks comfortable doing, having conversations with him to see if we can get into more of a rhythm in the first quarter.”

Wilson’s start to his career has been rockier than the Grand Canyon. There have been moments of excellence, like his second half performance against the Titans when he threw two touchdowns. And most importantly, Wilson flashed the arm talent that made him the No. 2 overall pick with off-platform throws that traveled 58 and 56 yards in the air, according to Next Gen Stats. But Wilson also combined for six interceptions in clunkers against the Patriots and Broncos.

And those splits Saleh mentioned give more insight into when Wilson has faltered.

First quarter: 5-for-18 with 34 yards and two interceptions.

Second quarter: 25-for-45 with 258 yards and four interceptions.

Third quarter: 27-for-39 with 258 yards, one touchdown and one interception.

Fourth quarter: 37-for-62 with 510 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions.

The eye test already showed that Wilson looked significantly better in the second half versus the first. Those advanced stats simply confirmed that.

His second-half numbers progress specifically when the grouping in the second half becomes 11 personnel. When the Jets are in that grouping, he throws 79% of the time in that time period, according to Next Gen Stats. And he is better.

He’s 50-for-79 with 657 yards, three touchdowns, three interceptions and his passer rating improves to 86.3. That’s not elite by any means, but it’s what gets the Jets offense going the second half.

And Wilson’s overall numbers when in 11 personnel are 75-for-122 with 895 yards, three touchdowns and four interceptions. He’s also noticeably more comfortable passing in that grouping, which the Jets use for most of their throwing plays in the second half.

The sooner the Jets play to that strength, the better it might turn out for their offense.


Marcus Maye and Jarrad Davis, who both suffered ankle injuries, are on schedule to return this week against the Patriots in Foxborough, according to Saleh.

Maye hurt his ankle during the Jets game against the Broncos, but finished it before being ruled out for a few weeks. He was a key component for the Jets secondary as he played every snap in the first three games. He had 23 tackles with a sack and a pass breakup. He was the deep safety for the Jets and has helped the secondary limit big pass plays. That’s one of the reasons why the Jets had one of the best third-down defenses in the league. He also limited big over the top plays, something the Jets were bit by against the Falcons.

Davis hurt his ankle in the second preseason game against the Packers and has been out since.


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