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Grading the Jets: Offense misses the mark thanks to Zach Wilson's struggles

Zach Wilson #2 of the Jets runs the

Zach Wilson #2 of the Jets runs the ball against the New England Patriots at MetLife Stadium on Sunday, Sep. 19, 2021. Credit: Jim McIsaac

OFFENSE: Zach Wilson threw four interceptions and led zero touchdown drives. It was an awful performance by the rookie quarterback in his first home game. The offensive line did a far better job of protecting him than in Week 1 when Wilson was sacked six times and hit 10 times. The Patriots sacked Wilson four times, but two came in the last two minutes. He had plenty of time to throw. He just made poor decisions. The Jets also established the run game, finishing with 152 yards on the ground - 107 more than last week. Overall, the Jets showed improvement, but Wilson killed any chance of them beating the Patriots.


DEFENSE: They were far better than the offense and they didn’t get much time to rest with Wilson giving the ball away in three of the first four possessions. Jeff Ulbrich’s unit only gave up 260 yards of offense, but they were victimized by some chunk plays. Damien Harris broke five tackles and carried a few Jets into the end zone with him for a 26-yard score. The Jets sacked rookie quarterback Mac Jones three times but never rattled him. They didn’t force any turnovers. But the defense fought to the end. Down by 16 late in the fourth quarter, the Patriots had a first-and-goal from the 5 and the Jets held them to a field goal.


SPECIAL TEAMS: They accounted for all of the points. Matt Ammendola was 2-for-3 on field goals. Thomas Morstead had one 45-yard punt in his Jets’ debut. Braxton Berrios had a good day, returning four kickoffs for 98 yards. Berrios ran one out of the end zone to the Jets’ 38, giving them good field position to start a drive that ended with Ammendola’s first field goal. But the Jets return team had a 15-yard personal foul penalty to start the drive when Ammendola missed the field goal.


COACHING: The defensive schemes have been good, and the players are flying around for Ulbrich. But they have to work on stopping screen passes. The protection and run game were much better, but Mike LaFleur couldn’t get Corey Davis involved more. Two catches for 8 yards for the Jets’ best receiver is not good enough. He also has to find a way to settle down Wilson when he’s playing like that. The Jets were very sloppy – eight total penalties for 77 yards. They had two chop blocks on one play.


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