Healthy Roster Could Erase Jets Concerns Over Lack of Weapons on Offense
We’ve heard it all a million times. Be it from Jets fans, media pundits or opposing fans who do little more than look at the stat sheet, the claims of the Jets having “no weapons on offense” is one that rings true if you look solely at Gang Green’s offensive rankings, but doesn’t hold any water if you look at past performances of current players.
Two Jets who missed significant time last season were tight ends Chris Herndon and Ryan Griffin. Should those two return and manage to stay healthy, Sam Darnold will have some quality targets in the middle of the field which could open things up if Adam Gase is willing to make one simple adjustment on offense. Line Le’Veon Bell up at wide receiver to allow him to create some mismatches.
A simple glance at the stat sheet shows a high reception total for Bell in 2019 as he hauled in 66 passes. However, his 7.0 yards per catch was the lowest of his career for seasons in which he did not miss significant time due to injury. Why the drop in production? Bell was rarely used as a wide receiver in comparison to previous years. Bell had 66 and 77 snaps out of the slot in 2017 and 2018 respectively versus just 28 in 2020. This, despite having a more than competent blocking back on the roster in Bilal Powell who could have easily picked up the slack in pass protection had Bell been deployed elsewhere.
But if Adam Gase were to make that one adjustment with a pair of healthy tight ends to go along with a high end slot receiver in Jamison Crowder, there’s no reason not to expect Sam Darnold to have multiple quality targets to choose from on any given play.
Consider the speedsters on the outside in Breshad Perriman and Denzel Mims and even moderate production out of that pair would make life much easier on Darnold and Gase.
This doesn’t even take in to consideration the emerging Vyncint Smith and potential fifth or sixth receiver Braxton Berrios who has shown the ability to make people miss, but hasn’t seen the reps on offense to show what he can do on a regular basis.
Nobody is going to confuse this group with the greatest show on turf, but devoid of talent is far from an accurate description, especially if Sam Darnold is as good as many of his most ardent supporters claim.