“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.”
— Attributed to Albert Einstein
Welcome to the mad, mad world of the Jets floundering offense featuring Zach Wilson, Nathaniel Hackett and Robert Saleh (and maybe even Joe Douglas).
We’ve reached the point in the Jets’ season, at 4-5 and teetering on the edge of contention for a playoff run, that the videos of Aaron Rodgers’ pregame tosses at whatever stadium the Jets are playing in each week are the most dynamic quarterback plays they run that given week.
We’ve also reached the point where it’s time to stop making excuses for Wilson, who’s in his third season and still is not showing enough signs to prove that he can be a successful NFL starting quarterback.
How many times do Jets fans need to watch Wilson squander games with a crushing turnover?
Better yet: How long does Saleh need to watch this before he finds himself inclined to make some sort of change?
Yes, we understand that the Jets’ offensive woes are not all Wilson’s fault. But many of them are. And good quarterbacks mask deficiencies and overcome some of these issues.
How long do we have to wait until the Jets’ next offensive touchdown?
When they play the Bills in Buffalo on Sunday, the Jets’ offense will enter the game having gone 36 possessions without scoring a touchdown, a span that has reached a mind-numbing 11 quarters of football — nearly three full games.
The great head coach and football philosopher Bill Parcells always stated that one of the primary things quarterbacks are judged by is how often they get their teams into the end zone.
Wilson has five TD passes in 308 passing attempts in eight starts this season, and Giants undrafted rookie Tommy DeVito, who made his first NFL start Sunday at Dallas, has three TD passes in 56 attempts.
This is not to say that DeVito is Joe Montana but to illustrate that Wilson continues to be not good enough as a starting NFL quarterback.
While there’s no question his arm talent seduces Saleh into giving him chance after chance — perhaps led by Douglas, the Jets’ general manager who may be hellbent on justifying his decision to draft Wilson No. 2 overall three years ago.
The answer to alleviate this mess and allow the Jets to avoid letting their playoff-level defense sit at home on the couch and watch the postseason for a second consecutive season is not an easy one.
The end-all answers don’t appear to be on the bench in Tim Boyle (0-3 in his career as a starter with three touchdowns and eight interceptions) or Trevor Siemian (13-17 as a starter with 42 TDs and 28 INTs.). But I don’t agree with Saleh’s notion, stated on Monday, that he doesn’t “adhere’’ to making a change at quarterback — even if temporary — as “reasoning just to give a spark’’ to his offense.
“I’ve never felt like making one guy the fall guy is going to make everyone around the better,’’ Saleh said.
This is not about a blame game, though. It’s not about hurting someone’s feelings. It’s about survival. There are only eight games remaining for the Jets to get themselves into the playoffs for the first time in 13 years.
This, too, is not about benching Wilson for the rest of the season. Shake things up. What’s been done for the better part of nine games hasn’t been working. Try Boyle and/or Siemian and see how it looks. If it’s no good, then go back to Wilson, who needs to be adult enough to understand that something needs to be done.
It’s time for Saleh, who does so many things well as a head coach (he’s one of the best player motivators and team unifiers in the game), to take the kid gloves off and shake things up.
The telegraphed pass Wilson tried to force into Allen Lazard late in the 16-12 loss Sunday in Las Vegas that was picked off by Raiders linebacker Robert Spillane and doomed the Jets was as gut-wrenching as it was predictable.
It was Wilson’s seventh fourth-quarter turnover of the season — more than any player in the league.
Saleh needs to rule more with an iron fist here and shake up his offense — even at the risk of bending Wilson’s nose out of joint a bit. He owes it to the rest of the team, most particularly his defense, which is keeping the Jets in every game without a lot of help from the other side of the ball.
“It is hard to make changes just to make changes just to pacify something, especially when someone’s not deserving,” Saleh said.
Wilson has thrown one TD pass over his last 21 quarters played, dating to Week 4 against the Chiefs. In that span, he’s thrown 186 passes in 64 possessions with eight of them ending in a turnover, including that disgusting INT by Spillane.
Not good enough.