QB carousel keeps spinning for struggling Jets and their inept offense
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — The New York Jets can’t get anything going on offense no matter who’s at quarterback.
Zach Wilson, Tim Boyle and now even Trevor Siemian have taken turns since Aaron Rodgers went down four plays into his debut with the Jets — and the same ineffective and, at times, inept offense keeps showing up.
Or, more accurately, not showing up at all.
Siemian replaced a benched Boyle in the fourth quarter of the Jets’ latest lousy loss, dropping a 13-8 decision to the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday.
“As an offense, we work our tail off during practice,” running back Dalvin Cook said. "You get looks, we do things in practice and you expect for it to translate to the game, and we’re just not having that translation right now.
“So, it’s frustrating.”
And the Jets aren’t sure who'll start at quarterback next Sunday against the Houston Texans.
“I’m not there yet,” coach Robert Saleh said shortly after the game.
Wilson started the first nine games after the opener, but struggled mightily and was demoted to the emergency No. 3 quarterback.
“He's always in consideration," Saleh said when asked if Wilson could start next week. “To what level, I'm not there yet.”
The Jets turned to Boyle to start the past two games, but he was in some ways worse — and was benched Sunday after throwing an interception at the end of the third quarter.
“Just trying to spark the offense,” Saleh said.
It didn’t work. Boyle was 14 of 25 for 148 yards and the pick, and Siemian went 5 of 13 for 66 yards and lost one of his three fumbles.
“You can’t put the ball on the ground,” Siemian acknowledged. “I think the last one was fourth down and I’m trying to do something ridiculous and get the ball up the field, but I had the ball on the ground too many times.”
It marked the eighth straight game the Jets have scored fewer than two touchdowns on offense, the longest drought since the Rams in 2011. They have just two touchdowns total on offense in their past five games.
“We need to expect more from ourselves when we’re in those positions to go score,” Saleh said.
New York actually outgained Atlanta 259-194 — another example of the defense keeping things close — but the Jets went 2 for 15 on third down and 0 for 1 in their only trip inside the red zone.
“Yeah, it’s frustrating,” Siemian said. “It’s frustrating for everybody. You realize the margin for error in this league is so razor thin that you could have it and it could be so close, and then it could look totally the other way.”
The Jets’ offense was supposed to look a whole lot different, of course, with Rodgers running things along with offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett.
Without the four-time MVP, Hackett and the offense have struggled. Many frustrated fans and critical media have pointed the blame at Hackett. Yet, Saleh insists on sticking with Hackett as the primary play caller.
“It’s a fair question,” Saleh said. “I guess you guys will have a better idea when you see the all-22 (game video) from this one.”
In other words, it’s not all on Hackett. Or the quarterback. Or the constantly changing cast on the offensive line.
“We’ve got to find a way to get the guys that we do have better, for sure,” Saleh said.
There’s plenty of blame, and it has not only seriously jeopardized the Jets’ postseason hopes but also the potential of seeing Rodgers somehow getting back this season from a torn Achilles tendon.
The 40-year-old quarterback reiterated during the week he intends to be back, as long as doctors clear him and the Jets remain in the hunt for a playoff spot.
That all looks less likely now, even if Saleh wouldn’t say the loss Sunday affected those plans.
“No, our plan for Aaron is consistent,” the coach said. “He’s in rehab. That’s all he’s doing.”
And if the Jets can't wrangle a win over the Texans, all that hard work by Rodgers might be for a return — next season.
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