Following a disappointing offensive performance Monday night there is a growing concern over the Jet’s inability to consistently move the ball and put points on the board. With the regular season set to begin on September 11th, will Gang Green’s offensive woes continue? Lets take a look at some of the contributing factors to the offensive struggles.
Lack of practice time- If you combine the lockout along with the new CBA rules eliminating two-a-days it should really come as no surprise that the Jets offense is running a little behind the defense. It takes time to get everyone on the same page offensively, especially when you are trying to incorporate new receivers into the system. Quarterback Mark Sanchez is still learning the tendencies of his playmakers and this is going to lead to mistakes and stalled drives as well. (The fact that Plaxico Burress and Derrick Mason has missed some practice time due to injuries does not help the cause either.)
Preseason game planning- Lost in the discussion of the Jets struggles is that the team does not game plan for the regular season. The offense enters the game with a very vanilla script with the goal of getting the players some reps, while accumulating some film for evaluations. This lack of game planning explains why the offense may not take advantage of certain situations or will settle for a punt.
Offensive line- The Jets offensive line, which is considered by many to be one of the strengths of the team, has had to deal with a major injury while incorporating in a new tackle in Wayne Hunter. The Jets have been without Brandon Moore for the majority of the preseason, which has lead to some reshuffling, while Hunter is still learning the ropes of becoming a starter in the NFL. The offensive line play should improve now that Moore is back and the unit can practice/play together.
New wide receivers- The Jets have added three very talented wide receivers to their offense (Burress, Mason, Kerley), but it is going to take time for Mark Sanchez to develop chemistry with these playmakers. The previously mentioned lack of practice time does not help and there is a very good chance that some of these growing pains will continue into the regular season. Lets not forget that offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer also needs to figure out ways to effectively use all of his new weapons, and that can take time as well.
And the answer is? The bottom line is that the Jets offensive struggles are to be expected as the unit is incorporating new pieces in an accelerated environment. Add to the fact that it is only the preseason and the panic button should be put away. There is a chance that the Jets offense will struggle early in the first game or two of the regular season, but other than that I think Gang Green will have no problem putting points on the board.