The question for Nathaniel Hackett was simple: What would he consider the strength of the Jets’ offense – the Jets’ faltering and historically weak offense – as they are more than halfway through the season and still have nine weeks to decide their fate to determine the season?
He didn’t say it was the running game, with budding star Breece Hall.
He also didn’t mention quarterback Zach Wilson and the passing game, which would have been questionable, but at least something concrete.
Instead, Hackett’s wording suggested that the Jets are still trying to figure out their strongest attribute and looking for answers as to why early game drives, red zone, third downs and just about everything else have been intractable this season.
“Right now, I think we’re all trying to figure out what we can do best and consistently,” Hackett said. “There are some great opportunities showing some explosive plays. We’re always looking for those things and we love them, but we have to be consistent about certain things and that’s what we’re looking for.”
Hackett said it was “incredibly frustrating” that the Jets posted some of the worst numbers in NFL history.
He claimed the blame doesn’t lie solely with Wilson, adding that the Jets are trying anything and everything – including more no-huddle Monday – to spark their offense.
The only offenses worse than the Jets are the Patriots and Giants, and they haven’t scored a touchdown in seven quarters and overtime.
“I wasn’t here last year, so I don’t know what that meant,” Hackett said when asked if the reemergence of Wilson’s struggles in 2022 mattered to the offense’s ceiling. “For us, again, it’s not just him. This is who we are as a group. It starts with me. It’s all boys. So we all just have to be more consistent for Zach.”
The Jets have the third-worst offense in the league at 16.5 points per game.
All of their problems — third down, red zone, first drive — are well-documented and on the verge of becoming historically bad, and Wilson’s five touchdowns and five interceptions have done nothing to hide Aaron Rodgers’ void in Gang Green.
Against the Chargers, the Jets lost three fumbles, and Hackett said overcoming those turnovers was the “hump” the Jets haven’t gotten over yet.
He reiterated head coach Robert Saleh’s statement that players were pushing too hard while trying to change the game and save the offense, which may have led to Hall dropping Wilson’s throw on Monday that resulted in a fumble led.
“You always want guys to have an urgency and attack mentality, but you have to do it in a controlled environment, even if it’s a wild environment where we put them out there,” Hackett said.