Jets takeaways from 30-9 loss to Saints, including more bad offense, News NFL – Maxi News Today

This was the time of the season when it was all supposed to start coming together for Zach Wilson. The growing pains weren’t going to disappear entirely and his head figured to still be spinning. But now is when it was supposed to look a little easier for the rookie quarterback.

That’s just not how it’s actually working out.

Wilson struggled again on Sunday, completing just 19 of 42 passes for 202 yards in the Jets’ 30-9 loss to the New Orleans Saints. The Jets offense had just 256 yards under his direction, and they were barely over 200 until the final, meaningless drive.

It’s hard to blame it all on the 22-year-old, of course. He came into this game without his top two receivers (Corey Davis and Elijah Moore) and his top two running backs (Michael Carter and Tevin Coleman). And he was victimized by the Jets’ usual offensive ineptitude, including three drops by running back Ty Johnson and back-to-back drive-killing penalties at the end of the first half by Denzel Mims.

He’s not exactly surrounded by an all-pro cast. The problem is that reinforcements aren’t coming. This is essentially what he’s going to be playing with the rest of the way. And that’s a big problem because Wilson isn’t exactly capable right now of carrying a team. He needs a team to help carry him.

That was clear on Sunday when it was, oddly, the easiest passes that were the most troublesome for Wilson. He had a play early where he rolled right, avoided Saints defender, and had tight end Ryan Griffin wide open a few yards away. Wilson lobbed the ball several yards behind him. In the second half, he tried to hit a wide-open Braxton Berrios off to the left. He actually bounced that pass to him, despite no pass rush in his face at all.

He’s obviously a better passer than that. Throws like that usually happen when a quarterback isn’t confident in his throws, isn’t exactly sure what to do. With his head swirling with information, his touch on the easy throws are just off.

Again, that wasn’t supposed to be happening 13 games into the season, but he doesn’t have the help around him to settle him down. Receivers aren’t getting open, others are dropping passes, the running game isn’t doing anything at all. And when too many things go wrong on offense, that can make a young quarterback press even more.

And if that continues, it essentially makes this stretch of a games a wasted opportunity. The Jets hoped that the final month of the season would be about Wilson showing he was an NFL quarterback, proving to everyone (and himself) that he had learned enough to be in position to take a big leap forward next year.

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It’s just hard to see how that can happen with the way things are going right now.

Here are some more takeaways from the loss that officially eliminated the Jets from the playoffs for the 11th consecutive year …

  • All season long we’ve all been wondering why Mims doesn’t play more. Then he goes and shows everyone why. With the Jets driving at the end of the first half in the two-minute drill, he pushed them out of field goal range with back-to-back penalties – a dumb, illegal-hands-to-the-face penalty away from the ball and then an illegal formation penalty when he lined up wrong. The first almost nullified a touchdown, but Wilson couldn’t connect with Jamison Crowder in the end zone. His athleticism has never been in question. It’s always been about his work ethic and head. And here, in a game played without Davis and Moore, Mims appeared to be benched for the entire second half.
  • Those three drops on three targets by Johnson were all awful. All three hit him right in the hands, including one that would’ve gone for a first down on the second drive. On that one, the ball was thrown a little behind him, but he was wide open and no one was bearing down on him. Veteran players have to give rookie QBs a little more help than that.
  • The defense came into this game demanding respect and … well, I guess it got some. They played better. It certainly helped that Saints QB Taysom Hill, playing with “mallet finger” on his throwing hand, wasn’t much of a threat through the air (15 of 21, 175 yards). But they were still basically run over in this game. The Saints finished with 203 rushing yards, including 120 on 27 carries by Alvin Kamara. And Hill had 73, including a humiliating, 44-yard touchdown run in the final minute when he was just looking for a first down to end the game, but broke through the line of scrimmage and saw no Jets between him and the end zone at all.
  • With running backs Carter and Coleman out for the Jets, La’Mical Perine made a rare appearance and even played on offense for the first time since Halloween. He came into the game with seven offensive snaps and one carry on the season. He ended up rushing seven times for 28 yards.
  • Actually, it turns out, Austin Walter was supposed to start at running back for the Jets – at least that’s what offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur told the CBS broadcast crew in their production meeting on Friday. But despite being active for the game, Walter didn’t play due to an illness.
  • Berrios, who really has been underused this season, was the Jets’ most targeted receiver. He was thrown to 10 times and caught six passes for 52 yards
  • Well, the Jets may have found a kicker. Newly signed Eddy Pineiro nailed all three of his field goal attempts – 36, 46 and 36 yards.
  • Another game, another injury: This time it was a shoulder injury for DT Quinnen Williams. He landed hard on his left side after making a tackle. He walked off the field, but went straight to the locker room. He did return for a few plays in the second half, but wearing a harness and looking like he was in a lot of pain.
  • How bad as the injury situation become for the Jets? They went into this game without 11 players who were projected as opening day starters. They were also missing three of their biggest free agent acquisitions (DE Carl Lawson, Davis, S Lamarcus Joyner), their franchise player (S Marcus Maye) and four of their first six draft picks (Moore, Carter, CB Michael Carter II, LB Jamien Sherwood). Nobody wants to use it as an excuse for their struggles, but it sure does have to be factored in as a reason.

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