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Zach Wilson, Joe Flacco, Israel Abanikanda and other NFL thoughts.

New York Jets

Zach Wilson, Joe Flacco, Israel Abanikanda and other NFL thoughts.

– The Jets front office deserves criticism for several things. One thing they do not deserve any heat for is their decision to let Joe Flacco go. Flacco played in five games for the Jets 2022. He threw five touchdown passes and three interceptions. Those numbers are impressive only from the perspective of a fan who has watched a parade of ineptitude flood the Jet’s quarterback room. He did little to distinguish himself while he was a Jet. The Jets were looking for a franchise quarterback that could lead them into the playoffs and provide some mentorship for Zach Wilson. Flacco did not show any evidence that he could do that. Flacco is also a pocket passer who is a step faster than a statue. He took 10 sacks in 5 games while with the Jets, and the current offensive line is much worse than the 2022 version. Flacco would have been hard pressed to stay healthy for three games behind the current Jet’s line. I am happy he is having a resurgence with Cleveland, but the noise about keeping Flacco with the Jets is nonsense.

– Raise your hands if back in November, you thought the last week of the season would include the Buffalo Bills playing for the AFC East Division.

– Philadelphia fans are among the least knowledgeable in sports. It doesn’t matter the sport. The loudest of those hammering the Eagles are focused on the Eagle’s offense. I think Philadelphia needs to be more imaginative on offense, especially with a quarterback with the athleticism of Jalen Hurts, but where is the criticism of the Eagle’s defense? The Eagles rank 8th in total offense. Their defense is ranked 24th. The now 4-12 Arizona Cardinals came into Philadelphia and ran for 221 yards while hanging 35 points on the NFC champs. Do you know how many teams had given up over 30 points to the Cardinals before Sunday? None.

– Time to reconsider granting division winners better playoff seeding than wildcard teams. The NFC South winner could finish at 8-9. What makes winning that division more worthy than a team that wins 12 or 13 games but finishes second in their division? Division winners should be automatically qualified for the playoffs, but then the playoff seeding should be solely based on win-loss record.

– Neither the Miami Dolphins nor the Dallas Cowboys are contenders for the Super Bowl. The teams have 22 wins between them, but they will struggle to have a single win in the postseason. We saw this last year with the Minnesota Vikings. In the case of the Dolphins, scheduling may be to blame. Teams having poor seasons are set up with less challenging schedules the following season. If those teams are only a player or two from relevance, they can improve marginally, while the easier schedule greatly improves the optics for a team that still has deficiencies. The good news is that the playoffs shine a glaring and painful light on every team’s flaws.

– The Jets physically visited Cleveland last week. Their minds were clearly elsewhere. I did not expect the Jets to win or even to keep the game very close, but their effort was an embarrassment. I hope they are expecting more of themselves this week in New England.

– The Jets draft position could be very dodgy come Spring. The team may not be in a position to take one of the elite offensive linemen in the draft depending on how things turn out this week in New England. If the Jets can’t select Olumuyiwa Fasanu from Penn State or Joe Alt from Notre Dame, they have to make a move. The remaining offensive linemen with first-round grades are projected to go off the board in the early twenties. The Jets will need to move back and stockpile some picks, which may their best move considering how many holes they need to fill on the line and elsewhere, or they have to move up, which will be expensive.

– I think Dalvin Cook has fooled people into thinking he is healthy. Cook ran for 1,173 yards and eight touchdowns for the Vikings in 2022. Cook also caught 39 passes and scored two touchdowns through the air. The Jets have not blocked for either the run or the pass as well as the Vikings did in 2022. The Jets also have Breece Hall in their backfield. When we consider all that as well as the trend toward running backs slowing down as they finish their fifth and sixth years in the league, it still doesn’t explain what we saw and didn’t see on the field from Dalvin Cook this season.

– We don’t know if Zach Wilson will be on the field in Sunday’s game against the Patriots. If Wilson doesn’t play, and if the team moves on from him in the offseason as is expected, Wilson finishes his Jet career having completed 57% of his passes with 23 touchdowns and 25 interceptions. I don’t know if Wilson can resurrect his career in another town. I do know of all the failures there have been for Wilson on and off the field, none can compare to the Jets bringing him here in the first place. There had to be something in the interactions the Jets had with Wison before they selected him second overall in the 2021 draft that should have told them that he was ill-suited to play in New York. His play, his demeanor, and his interactions with the media all scream for an escape from the big city lights. It had to be there before the draft. I can’t see how the Jets missed that.

– I am for playing all the kids this week in New England. Let’s get Israel Abanikanda at running back. I love Jason Brownlee continuing to get reps. Let’s also get a full dose of Will McDonald on defense. Let’s see Jarrick Bernard-Converse out there and let’s get a few targets for Zack Kuntz. This is the first pre-season game of the 2024 season. I am not saying we don’t play to win. I am saying we play to win with the rookies leading the way.

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Nick Ferraro

This Article Was Written By Nick Ferraro

Nick Ferraro


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