Marty Monhinweg is a man who has his work cut out for him. The second year offensive coordinator isn’t just trying to get the Jets offense heading in the right direction after an up and down season from rookie Geno Smith, but he’s trying to reverse a long term trend.
Over the past 10 years the Jets offense has finished in the top-ten in points scored just one time. Even in that instance, the 2008 Jets that had Brett Favre at quarterback and were able to finish ninth in points scored.
For the Jets, even when their offense has been good, it’s been bad. How is that possible, you ask?
Turn back the clock 10 years to the 2004 season. Running back Curtis Martin led the NFL with 1,697 yards rushing and as a team the Jets protected the football as evidenced by their +18 turnover differential. Surely having the top RB in the NFL and being plus-18 in the turnover department would propel any offense in to the top-ten in the league, wouldn’t it? Yes, of course it would. Unless you were those 2004 Jets.
JetNation.com looked back over the past twenty years of scoring production from teams that boasted the leagues top rusher. Of those twenty teams, twelve ranked in the top-10 in points scored. Of the eight teams who failed to rank in the top ten, only two had a positive +/- turnover ratio. The 2011 Jacksonville Jaguars who were a meager +5 in comparison to the Jets +18. So with a formula that has routinely produced top-ten offenses for the past 20 years, the Jets didn’t just fail to make the top-10, they failed to make the top-15 coming in at 17th in the NFL in scoring that season. Thank you Paul Hackett.
So now the Jets usher in year number two of Marty Mornhinweg and his west coast offense that was so successful in Philadelphia where he was an assistant/offensive coordinator from 2004-2012. During that span, the same span in which the Jets saw that lone season in the top-ten, Mornhinweg produced six offenses that scored in the top-10. While that was clearly an easier task with Donovan McNabb as his quarterback for much of that time, it can’t be denied that Mornhinweg runs a complex offense that appeared to be simplified last year to accommodate rookie QB Geno Smith. Now, with a year under his belt, an improved receiving corps with the addition of Eric Decker, rookie TE Jace Amaro and as deep a backfield as there is in the NFL, it’s time for the playbook to open up, and for the scoreboard to light up.
It’s been said many times that if Rex Ryan was given a top-ten offense, his team would be a legitimate super-bowl contender. Here’s to hoping Mornhinweg finds a way to propel the Jets in to a position with which he’s become so familiar, but one that to the Jets and their fans is all too elusive.