After Some Rust Last Week, Joe Flacco and the New York Jets Offense Look to Build Continuity

It wasn't all doom and gloom as there were some signs for hope from the New York Jets offense in Week 5.
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Last week, the New York Jets offense continued their struggles in what is now become a constant theme so far this season. And just when it seems there might be something to build on, the Jets end up throwing a monkey wrench into things by releasing one of their most explosive players on offense.

Even with a limited offensive output, there was something about the Jets offense in Week 5 that showed promise, despite ultimately falling 30-10 to the Arizona Cardinals. They achieved a season-high 21 first downs and, for a second straight week, didn’t turn the ball over.

It might be grasping to say that the Jets offense showed signs of life and yet, they did look marginally better against the Cardinals than they did the previous four weeks.

Part of that reason might be quarterback Joe Flacco, who got his first start of the season in place of the injured Sam Darnold (shoulder). The veteran Flacco didn’t look rattled despite an understandably rusty start, finishing a ho-hum 18-of-33 for 195 yards and a touchdown. But the offense moved the ball a bit better and more consistently, even if they ultimately made just one trip to the end zone.

“Well you just need to have plays build off of plays. You need to get some chunks here and there. Right now, we are just going the long hard way. Usually when you are having, I probably talked about this after the game a little bit, it’s a good sign to have a long drive, because you know you’re obviously doing a lot of little things right, but it’s hard to do that consistently,” Flacco said on Wednesday in a virtual press conference.

“And right now, that’s what we’re kind of forcing ourselves to do, is just be so perfect and as soon as one little thing gets messed up by us, or it goes wrong because there’s a good defense, we’re off the field. So, I think that, you know, we need to try to get some more first downs in first and second down and then once we get in the red zone we really just have to finish, we have to get points. You know, last game there was opportunities where we missed out on the points completely and obviously we need to start scoring touchdowns.”

For Flacco, it was his first start since Week 8 of the 2019 season.

Wide receiver Breshad Perriman (ankle) was limited in practice on Wednesday but it was a sign of progress that he was out on the field after his Week 2 injury. Rookie wide receiver Denzel Mims (hamstring) is also nearing a full return and possible game time. It is a collective step forward for the offense to add two potential playmakers in Perriman and Mims.

But it wouldn’t be the Jets if there weren’t two steps back.

On Tuesday night, the Jets released the disgruntled Le’Veon Bell. In Bell, the Jets had an All-Pro running back who put up a healthy 60 yards on 13 rushes in Week 5 and was capable of a much greater role in the offense.

Now, it falls to Frank Gore and rookie La’Mical Perine to carry the ground game.

“Well you just need to have plays build off of plays. You need to get some chunks here and there. Right now, we are just going the long hard way,” head coach Adam Gase said on Wednesday.

“Usually when you are having, I probably talked about this after the game a little bit, it’s a good sign to have a long drive, because you know you’re obviously doing a lot of little things right, but it’s hard to do that consistently. And right now, that’s what we’re kind of forcing ourselves to do, is just be so perfect and as soon as one little thing gets messed up by us, or it goes wrong because there’s a good defense, we’re off the field. So, I think that, you know, we need to try to get some more first downs in first and second down and then once we get in the red zone we really just have to finish, we have to get points. You know, last game there was opportunities where we missed out on the points completely and obviously we need to start scoring touchdowns.”