Bob Wischusen has been the radio play-by-play voice of the New York Jets for 19 years. Lasting all season, Wischusen will share thoughts about the Green & White in a weekly column.
Red Zone Issues
The Jets' red zone problems are undeniable. Nothing in the NFL will get you beat faster than constantly getting in position to score seven, and only managing three. That happened over and over again in Thursday's loss to Denver. This is a team, however, that was counting on players like Breshad Perriman and Le'Veon Bell to be big factors in the red zone. Include rookie Denzel Mims as well. You never like to use injuries as an excuse, but I would expect the Jets to be a much better red zone team once they start to get some of those players back. Penalties, turnovers by Sam Darnold, and drops in the end zone are certainly factors as well. But the Jets deserve to be judged by their entire offense intact, and at some point we will see that on the field, and we will see their red zone production increase dramatically along with it.
Spending years watching, listening,and learning football from Bill Parcells, one of his favorite topics was always talking about hidden yardage in football games. If I start 10 drives from my 20-yard line, and you start 10 drives from your 30-yard line, you have a 7-0 advantage over me before we snap the ball because hidden in that field position difference is 100 yards before either team runs a play. He always talked about penalty yards the same way. If you commit 100 yards worth of penalties in a game, you have de facto handed the opposition 7 points. The Jets are a team that has such a small margin of error to begin with, committing penalty after penalty -- especially the personal foul variety -- 15 yarders will be more harmful to the Jets than most other teams in the NFL. This is something they and the coaching staff know has to be cleaned up, and it better start on Sunday against Arizona.
Tight Ends Contribution
If there's one thing that continues to baffle me about the Jets' offense, it's the inability of the tight ends to be more involved. Last season, Ryan Griffin caught five touchdown passes, and in the second half of the year, arguably became Sam Darnold's favorite target and received a contract extension as a result. Chris Herndon was supposed to be a matchup nightmare in the red zone and a player the Jets could be dynamic with, and he is the only top-of-the-depth-chart skill player that hasn't been injured this year. And yet, Herndon seems to be playing in a fog and has not been a major factor in any game so far. Ryan Griffin seems to have disappeared as well. In my opinion, especially as the Jets wait to get some of these skill-position players back, they desperately need those two tight ends to play at their maximum ability and start to become a factor and weapons for Darnold. This Jets offense is looking for production wherever it can be found, and those two tight ends will hopefully start to provide some of that.