The New York Jets are allergic to the end zone.
They simply can't score touchdowns and it's costing them opportunities to win.
Frustrated fans understandably want changes — particularly at quarterback and play caller — and anything less is perceived by some as football malpractice.
For now, though, coach Robert Saleh said Zach Wilson will remain in the huddle and coordinator Nathaniel Hackett will still oversee the offensive game plan despite the Jets having gone 36 consecutive drives without a touchdown on offense. The last TD came in the first quarter of the Jets' 13-10 overtime win over the Giants on Oct. 29 — a span of 11 quarters.
“I’m trying to look at everything globally, looking at coaches, looking at players, looking at the why for why things are happening,” Saleh said Monday. "And it’s not as simple as, right there — that guy right there is screwing up everything. And I said it (last) Friday, everyone’s got their hand in the cookie jar.
“We’re all taking turns.”
But while the Jets' defense continues to impress and give opponents fits, the offense can't generate enough of anything on its end to help push New York to victories.
Wilson is a popular target of criticism because he has thrown just one touchdown pass in his last five games. The mistakes that got him benched twice last season are not as prevalent now, but he had a crucial interception in Raiders territory that helped seal New York's 16-12 loss on Sunday night.
Many fans and media are insisting the Jets should bench Wilson again and turn to either Tim Boyle or Trevor Siemian to simply try something different since this clearly isn't working.
“When the reasoning is, well, just to give a spark, I don’t adhere to that,” Saleh said. "You’re making a change just to make a change to see if it sparks something. I don’t know. I’ve never felt like making one guy the fall guy is going to make everyone around them better. Now, if there was something that was going to make things better, yeah, you always look at that.
“But Zach is actually playing pretty good. He’s much better than he was a year ago.”
Saleh acknowledged Wilson is still making some mistakes and “needs to get a lot better and he knows that,” but added: “To try to pinpoint it all on just one person with everything that’s happening, I don’t see how that’s productive.”
Saleh hinted at some schematic tweaks and personnel changes but declined to reveal what those might be. At the very least, though, they won't be to the quarterback or offensive play caller positions.
So, for another week, the Jets will continue to try to find answers on offense.
“I think the main thing for us is just going to be unity,” tight end Tyler Conklin said. "We've got to come together as a team and say, ‘Hey, what the hell do we want this offense to be? What do we need to do to fix this offense? What do we need to do to go on a run here?’
“People are acting like it's the end of the world. We're 4-5. Every team has to go on a run to make the playoffs at some point. And now it's just one game at a time.”
Pass defense. The Jets have struggled a bit against the run this season, but they mostly have shut down teams' passing games. New York hasn't allowed a 300-yard passer in 27 games, the second-longest active streak behind New Orleans (30).
WHAT NEEDS HELP
The penalty situation. The Jets regularly are short-circuiting drives and putting themselves in long-yardage situations on offense. The defense hasn't been immune from making mental errors, either. Overall, New York has 34 penalties in its last four games.
“We’re just not in a position where we can overcome some of the penalties we’ve had,” Saleh said.
OL Max Mitchell. The second-year offensive lineman started at right tackle and more than held his own against Raiders pass rusher Maxx Crosby, who had no sacks after getting three last week against the Giants. Mitchell has shown some versatility on the right side at tackle and guard.
TE C.J. Uzomah. The veteran tight end has struggled the last few weeks. He dropped a touchdown pass from Wilson when he was wide open in the end zone against the Los Angeles Chargers last week and then had two holding penalties against the Raiders, one of which negated a TD run by Breece Hall.
18 & 16 — The Jets have scored 18 points in their last two games and have 16 penalties in that span.
The Jets have consecutive AFC East games — at Buffalo on Sunday and at home against Miami in the NFL's first game on Black Friday.
“It's just understanding where we are in the season, where we are on the schedule,” Mosley said. “We've got to have a short-term memory with the two tough losses and we've got to get back to work and obviously a win would make everybody feel a lot better.”
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