The NFL is running rampant with great offenses, and the New York Jets aren’t one of them, but it goes beyond the numbers — they’re just plain boring, but why?
There’s an old cliché: Once is an accident and twice is a trend. Well, for the second straight year New York Jets fans are complaining about the offensive coordinator and it’s the same complaint. So we are in the territory of this becoming a trend now.
Many thought, with the change in coordinators, there would be a change in the offense. But all season long, fans have been complaining about the boring and predictable nature of the offense.
Here’s the problem. None of us know what is and isn’t working at practice. Since practice isn’t completely open to the media, the beat writers don’t know either, nor does anyone for certain.
We shouldn’t expect the Jets to try things for the sake of trying things if they didn’t work in practice. That’s not the way it works. Also, the comparisons to other coaches is unfair to Jeremy Bates, because I highly doubt any other coach could turn water into wine with this group of players.
Let’s examine why the Jets are where they are in terms of predictable offense.
The first thing is the offensive line. Fans love the long bombs. When a pass sails and is caught deep, it’s very pleasing to the eye. There’s one necessity for those to happen — deep drops in the pocket. In order for that to happen the offensive line needs to sustain blocks, and the Jets offensive line is incapable of sustaining blocks consistently for five or seven step drops. That means Bates can’t call them, because of the Jekyll and Hyde nature of the line.
The second major factor is that Robby Anderson hasn’t developed a full complement of routes. Anderson doesn’t create separation except when he uses his elite speed. According to NFL.com’s Next Gen Stats, he is one of the five fastest receivers in the NFL.
There’s one problem; Anderson isn’t the route runner Hill, Ridley, Cooks and Jackson (the others on that list of the top five fastest) are. That means he won’t be a threat on the short/intermediate routes, and that means defenses can focus squarely on the deep routes.
John Morton got the same complaints last season, and it was for much of the same reasons. In the end, Bates is probably going to lose his job through no fault of his own. The Jets don’t have the talent to run the plays people want to see, and it’s going to cost Bates. The Jets simply don’t have the players to run the offense people want to see.