I am well aware that the old saying goes: “Hindsight is 20/20.” It is always easier to arrive at a correct decision after the one that is actually consequential has already been made. However, life does not grant the courtesy of that reality. We all make decisions, professional and otherwise, without knowing what the result will be.
Some decisions are made with fingers crossed and others require much less anxiety because they are the logical move based on the best-case scenario. The New York Jets have seen enough of Zach Wilson at quarterback to know that they have better odds of making the playoffs without him behind center. Joshua Dobbs was available at the trade deadline, and with two seasons of data showing the ineffectiveness of Wilson as a starter, the Jets still allowed the deadline to pass without making a move at quarterback.
Currently, if they decide to bench Wilson, then their starting quarterback will be Trevor Siemian. For those not familiar with his work, the first backup quarterback from your favorite NFL team that comes to mind, imagine him starting for an entire season. That is the level of play that the Denver Broncos got the two seasons following Peyton Manning’s retirement.
With Wilson and Siemian as their starting quarterback options the Jets stood pat at the trade deadline — a team that entered the season with Super Bowl aspirations until Aaron Rodgers blew out his ACL on his first drive of the season.
At 4-3, the Jets entered Week 9 on a three-game winning streak. During those three wins Wilson threw for a grand total of one touchdown. When the Jets defeated the Philadelphia Eagles, Jalen Hurts threw three interceptions. The Broncos lost three fumbles during the Jets’ Week 5, 31-21 victory.
Those three wins in no way proved the Jets’ offense to be competent. While their wide receiver corps is far from the deepest in the NFL, there is enough talent with Garrett Wilson and Allen Lazard, along with tight ends Tyler Conklin and C.J. Uzomah, for the Jets to total 25 points more than one time in eight games. At running back, Breece Hall is averaging 5.7 yards per carry off of ACL surgery, and has also caught 19 passes. His backup is Dalvin Cook who at 28, has rushed for greater than 1,100 yards his previous three seasons.
Yet, the Jets’ offense still struggles. On Monday night, they lost to the Los Angeles Chargers, 27-6. A loss merely days after the Minnesota Vikings traded a sixth-round draft pick for Dobbs. After last season’s disappointing wild-card loss to the New York Giants, it would have been reasonable for the Vikings to throw in the towel even before Kirk Cousins’ season-ending Achilles injury. They began the season 0-3, and Justin Jefferson is still on injured reserve.
Instead, they took a flier on the veteran who kept the Arizona Cardinals respectable through the first half of the 2023 season, despite that franchise being in flux. For the cost of a sixth-round pick, Minnesota will enter Week 10 with a record that will have them in the playoffs if the tournament started this upcoming weekend.
For a sixth-round, or at worse a fifth-round pick, the Jets could have saved their season. Troy Aikman made it clear in his commentary just how much Wilson is lacking in basic quarterback play.
Not only could Dobbs have salvaged this season for the Jets, but the door would still be open for Rodgers to return to the team in 2024. Betting on a near 40-year-old to play in the NFL after an Achilles injury is risky, but if they went on to keep Dobbs behind him next season they would not be entirely dependent on the aging Ivermectin spokesperson.
Instead, the Jets were throttled by the Chargers and are now stuck with a quarterback who has shown no growth in three seasons. Maybe Rodgers does recover and play most of next season, but he was nowhere near MVP level in 2022. The Jets are risking some roster turnover, especially on that dominant defense, for a quarterback who will turn 41 in 2024. If they had made the move for Dobbs, maybe they could have snuck into this season’s playoffs and sent their defense out with NFL-level quarterback play to back them up.
They chose to ignore an obvious deficiency. Through nine weeks, it is clear they do not have the quarterback play necessary to put up a reasonable postseason fight. The player who could have best helped was out there for the taking. Now that the trade deadline has passed, another 7-10 season appears likely for the Jets.
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