New York Jets offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett looks on before...

New York Jets offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett looks on before a game against the Philadelphia Eagles at MetLife Stadium on Sunday, Oct. 15, 2023 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Credit: Jim McIsaac

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. – Nathaniel Hackett gave a brutally honest assessment of the Jets’ struggles in the red zone and on third down after doing some self-scouting over the bye week.

“We sucked in the red zone and we sucked on third down,” the Jets offensive coordinator said.

The Jets rank last in red-zone touchdown percentage (29.4) and third-down conversion rate (25.0). It has been a major point of emphasis this week as they prepare to face the Giants. Hackett said the biggest issue has been “self-inflicted wounds.”

Penalties, missed assignments and negative plays put the Jets in many third-and-long situations. They’ve scored touchdowns on just 1-of-9 red-zone trips the last two games.

“It’s not just one person,” Hackett said. “Everybody’s kind of taken turns. Everybody’s got to settle down and everybody’s got to do their job.”

Quarterback Zach Wilson said the players have to learn from their mistakes and be better.

“The coaches are looking at it, we’re looking at it,” Wilson said. “We’re trying to find a way. That’s really all it comes down to. We’re going to try to find a way to be better on it.”

Ruckert’s improvement

Tight ends coach Ron Middleton likes what he’s seeing from Jeremy Ruckert. Middleton said Ruckert being healthy (unlike his rookie year) and the time the Lindenhurst product spent with Aaron Rodgers have made a difference. Ruckert has four catches in the last three games and is one of the Jets’ best run blockers.

“What really really helped him I think is the work he did with Aaron,” Middleton said. “Aaron was very comfortable with him. He got his opportunity to get out there and he performed. He’s had a great offseason, he’s healthy and he’s earned some snaps.”

Injury news

Sauce Gardner and D.J. Reed were full participants in practice for the second straight day. It’s a good sign that they will be cleared from the concussion protocol. They still need to be evaluated by an independent doctor.

Right guard Joe Tippmann (quad) did not practice again, so it’s doubtful he will play Sunday against the Giants. Wes Schweitzer will start in his place. The Jets have been cross-training tackle Billy Turner to play some guard in practice because they lack depth there.

More from Mekhi

Mekhi Becton has impressed since bouncing from right tackle to left tackle in Week 3. It’s Becton’s more natural position and should be his permanent spot even after Duane Brown returns from injured reserve.

“He’s done a really good job,” Hackett said. “He’s worked really hard at his craft, working at that left side. I thought he was doing a really good job at right. It’s great to have that flexibility with him. Happy with him and want even more from him. I think he’s got so much potential.”

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