It is widely known that the New York Jets offense has struggled greatly for far too many years. In 2021, the Jets offense ranked 26th in football with 306.4 yards per game, which, compared to years past, is an improvement but still nowhere near good enough. The last time the Jets had an offensive unit rank better than 26th was the 2015 season when they ranked 10th in football.
To make significant progress when you have been at the bottom for so long is never easy. That being said, Joe Douglas has allocated a lot to this unit, and it has been built up to make a jump.
Continuity with key leaders
The first reason to have optimism that the Jets offense can rank substantially better is the stability in place schematically. Offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur is now in year two of leading this unit for the Jets. He showed remarkable growth as the 2021 season progressed.
The hope is that he continues to ascend with more experience. Along with LaFleur, Zach Wilson is entering his second year. His confidence in the scheme should be on a completely different level. At the end of last year, Wilson displayed noticeable progress himself. He has all the arm and athletic ability with now better surrounding talent to execute his anticipated jump.
Many key players to the Jets offense are also now in their second year. Michael Carter, Elijah Moore, Corey Davis, and Alijah Vera-Tucker are all in year two with the Jets and have time in the scheme. Other returning starters in, George Fant and Connor McGovern, are both coming off strong year’s in last year’s offense. Even important depth players such as Tevin Coleman, Braxton Berrios, and Dan Feeney were all retained this offseason.
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Upgrades in personnel
A key reason why the Jets are poised to make a leap is the significantly better talent. In free agency, three veterans were signed who are all expected to contribute right away. A boost to the offensive line was added in Laken Tomlinson. Even great depth was added to the front in Nate Herbig. The tight end position was vastly improved with the signings of Tyler Conklin and C.J. Uzomah. Then, in the draft, the Jets added Garrett Wilson, Breece Hall, Jeremy Ruckert, and Max Mitchell. Lastly, if Mekhi Becton can play on a level similar to his rookie year, it would go a long way for the Jets’ offense.
Where this unit should rank
When reviewing this offense on paper, there is no glaring weakness. There are questions that have to be answered, but the talent across the board is considerably better. Pair that with half of the personnel’s time in the scheme, and a sizable increase in the final rankings should show up.
By the end of the 2022 season, the goal should be that the Jets’ offense, for the first time in seven years, breaks into the top-20 in football. If all goes well, this unit could even get into the top 15. Ultimately, the talent is in place for this group to be vastly improved this year.