What’s stopping the Jets from becoming the next Bengals?

Everybody has had that space of highway building close to their house that appears to take without end. 12 months after yr, there are cones and indicators to drive round, leaving you to marvel what the hell they’re truly doing and if they are going to ever end the undertaking.

Sound acquainted, Jets followers?

Sunday’s loss to the Bengals was one other reminder that the Jets are nonetheless very a lot within the early to center phases of a rebuild that appears like that endless highway building undertaking. The Jets have been rebuilding since 2012, and the top isn’t in sight.

There was hope that perhaps the Jets might journey some momentum after the miraculous win in Cleveland and discover a technique to shock the Bengals after which the Steelers, who look beatable, however the Jets got here out and performed one other uninspired sport on Sunday.

The return of Zach Wilson this week will restore some hope, however anybody who thinks Wilson can repair all that ails the Jets is dreaming.

Right here is the harder query for the Jets to reply proper now: Why can different groups flip issues round a lot faster than they’ve?

09/25/22 - Jets quarterback Zach Wilson throws a pass before the Jets and Cincinnati Bengals game in East Rutherford, NJ
Zach Wilson’s return to the huddle might give the Jets an opportunity to evaluate their future, however he isn’t prone to considerably change their current.
Invoice Kostroun

Sunday’s opponent was a reminder of how shortly you possibly can go from the underside to the highest. The Bengals had a five-year playoff drought and had been one of many worst groups in soccer in 2019 (keep in mind when the winless Bengals beat the Jets?) earlier than going to the Tremendous Bowl final season. The crew the Jets performed two weeks in the past, the Browns, has gone from one of many worst groups within the NFL to probably the most proficient. It stays to be seen whether or not they can go on a deep run this yr, however the expertise is there. The 49ers, a crew Robert Saleh is aware of effectively, had 5 straight non-winning seasons earlier than going to the Tremendous Bowl in 2019, they usually have among the finest rosters in soccer.

Then there are the newcomers this yr. The Dolphins are undefeated and proper now are a top-five crew within the NFL. They shocked the Payments (one other crew that not so way back was a doormat), and the questions on Tua Tagovailoa have quieted.

The Jaguars had been the crew drafting No. 1 in 2021 when the Jets had been No. 2. Trevor Lawrence, whom the Jags took, seems to be like the actual deal this yr, and Doug Pederson has Jacksonville believing. The Jaguars are nonetheless far-off from being among the finest groups in soccer, however you possibly can see causes to imagine there.

There are 16 groups which have had top-five picks within the final 5 drafts (2018-22). The Jets are amongst them.

I’d say 5 of these franchises have positively turned the nook: the Browns, Bengals, 49ers, Dolphins and Buccaneers. For those who take a look at it, every crew hit on draft picks and made some sensible strikes in free company or in trades after which discovered a quarterback. I’d argue the quarterback was the ultimate, or close to closing, lacking piece for a lot of of them as a substitute of being a draft choose round which a crew is constructed.

Trevor Lawrence #16 of the Jacksonville Jaguars attempts a pass during the first half against the Los Angeles Chargers at SoFi Stadium on September 25, 2022 in Inglewood, California.
One season after struggling by a 3-14 rookie marketing campaign, Trevor Lawrence has reworked the Jaguars into probably the most stunning groups within the league.
Getty Photos

The Buccaneers are clearly in a barely totally different class with Tom Brady arriving unexpectedly. There may be hardly a blueprint for the best quarterback of all time turning into out there late in his profession. However Jimmy Garoppolo was a part of an inflow of expertise in San Francisco. The crew additionally landed Trent Williams, Deebo Samuel, Fred Warner, Nick Bosa and George Kittle to provide its roster firepower. Who is aware of if Deshaun Watson will dwell as much as his billing, however the Browns traded for him and gave him a ridiculous contract after getting pissed off with Baker Mayfield for not profitable sufficient with the expertise they’ve. Joe Burrow is nice, however so is Ja’Marr Chase. The Dolphins received aggressive and added Tyreek Hill to affix Jaylen Waddle and a proficient protection to assist Tagovailoa.

The lesson is it’s not simply the quarterback. You want expertise everywhere in the roster.

The Jets don’t find out about Wilson but, and their expertise is generally younger and unproven. That’s the reason the Jets once more will likely be asking for persistence to let potential stars resembling Sauce Gardner, Garrett Wilson, Breece Corridor, Elijah Moore and Michael Carter develop.

There’s a second set of groups from that group of 16 that it appears could be turning the nook, however about which there are questions. The Jaguars, Cardinals, Broncos, Raiders and Lions fall into his group.

The Cardinals and Raiders went to the playoffs final season, however they’re a mixed 1-5 this season and are experiencing loads of issues. The Broncos introduced in Russell Wilson and are 2-1, however they haven’t regarded good doing it and there are main questions on coach Nathaniel Hackett.

The Lions have performed robust however are 1-2, and nonetheless could also be a yr or two away. Detroit’s two losses are by a mixed seven factors. Not like the Jets, they’ve been of their losses till the top.

One crew of the 16 will be thrown out as an outlier with one unhealthy season. The Colts, who had the No. 3 choose in 2018, traded it to … the Jets, who used the choose to pick out Sam Darnold.

Detroit Lions wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown, top, leaps over Minnesota Vikings cornerback Patrick Peterson (7) while picking up a first down at the 2-yard line in the first quarter of an NFL football game in Minneapolis, Sunday, Sept. 25, 2022.
Fueled by the acrobatics and 253 receiving yards of Amon-Ra St. Brown, the Lions have misplaced their two video games by a complete of simply seven factors.

Lastly, there are the groups that fall into the identical class because the Jets: the Commanders, Giants, Texans and Falcons. All of them really feel as if they’re early in a rebuild or spinning their tires.

Some might level to teaching as a key piece of the equation, and sure, it may be. Kyle Shanahan clearly modified issues in San Francisco. Pederson appears to have had a serious impact in Jacksonville.

Nonetheless, a few of these proficient groups have proven it’s attainable to beat mediocre teaching. Gifted coaches, although, can’t overcome mediocre gamers — see Belichick, Invoice.

So, till Zach Wilson proves himself or the expertise base expands, Jets followers will proceed to observe different groups fly by them on the contender freeway. It all the time feels as if the Jets are caught in visitors brought on by extra building.

Not shut sufficient

Jets head coach Robert Saleh looks upon at the scoreboard in the second quarter. Jets and Cincinnati Bengals in East Rutherford, NJ.
Of the 15 losses Robert Saleh has overseen in his time with the Jets, 10 of these have come by double digits.
Invoice Kostroun

Sunday’s 27-12 loss to the Bengals was the 43rd time the Jets have misplaced by double digits since 2016. That’s staggering — and an enormous cause the fan base is so uneasy. I feel Jets followers could be OK with losses proper now … if the crew was at the very least aggressive. However they’re uninterested in watching the Jets simply look non-competitive.

Sunday’s sport was not a blowout, however did you ever suppose the Jets might win the sport after they went down 14-6? The sport felt over within the second quarter … once more.

Robert Saleh must discover a technique to get his crew to at the very least keep shut in video games whereas it’s discovering its footing.

Saleh has misplaced 15 video games because the Jets head coach, 10 of them by double digits and 4 of them by 21 or extra factors.

Nobody expects the Jets to win each sport. However when a sport feels over earlier than halftime, that’s an issue.

Stat’s so

Mark Sanchez #6 of the New York Jets is rushed by LaMarr Woodley #56 of the Pittsburgh Steelers during the game on December 19, 2010 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Mark Sanchez holds the excellence of being the only Jets quarterback to beat the Steelers in Pittsburgh, which he did in 2010.
Getty Photos

The Jets are 1-10 all-time in Pittsburgh towards the Steelers. Here’s a listing of all of their video games there:

Nov. 8, 1970: L, 21-17
Successful QB: Terry Hanratty; dropping QB: Al Woodall
Oct. 21, 1973: L, 26-14
Successful QB: Terry Bradshaw; dropping QB: Invoice Demory
Sept. 20, 1981: L, 38-10
Successful QB: Terry Bradshaw; dropping QB: Richard Todd
Sept. 13, 1992: L, 27-10
Successful QB: Neil O’Donnell; dropping QB: Browning Nagle
Dec. 9, 2001: L, 18-7
Successful QB: Kordell Stewart; dropping QB: Vinny Testaverde
Dec. 12, 2004: L, 17-6
Successful QB: Ben Roethlisberger; dropping QB: Chad Pennington
Jan. 15, 2005*: L, 20-17
Successful QB: Ben Roethlisberger; dropping QB: Chad Pennington
Dec. 19, 2010: W, 22-17
Successful QB: Mark Sanchez; dropping QB: Ben Roethlisberger
Jan. 23, 2011*: L, 24-19
Successful QB: Ben Roethlisberger; dropping QB: Mark Sanchez
Sept. 16, 2012: L, 27-10
Successful QB: Ben Roethlisberger; dropping QB: Mark Sanchez
Oct. 9, 2016: L, 31-13
Successful QB: Ben Roethlisberger; dropping QB: Ryan Fitzpatrick

* Playoff sport

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