How Can They Improve the Return Game?
The Jets haven't had a real return man since the days of Joe McKnight and Brad Smith. Now you expect a knee on every kickoff and a fair catch on every punt. The Jets started with Chris Owusu as the kick-returner, but now the duties have been given to Zac Stacy due to injury. Stacy does not scare opponents. He does not have the speed you would want in your kick-returner. The Jets punt returner for the last couple of years has been Jeremy Kerley. Kerley is good because he never really muffs punts, but he calls for a fair-catch most of the time. Having a good punt returner can swing a game in your favor. The Jets rank 21st in kick return yardage thus far, and are near the bottom with an 8.8 yard punt return average. How can they fix this issue? If the team is willing to look outside the organization, I would offer the Vikings a 6th or a 7th for Cordarrelle Patterson. Once a first round pick and a future stud, Patterson has fizzled out as a wide receiver. He has always been a dynamic return man. The 24 year old has 2 career return touchdowns as he plays in his third season. The Jets don't have much internally to fix the issues, but they must have somebody better than Zac Stacy.
How Serious Are the Injuries on Defense?
The bye could not of come at a better time for the Jets. Going into the game in Miami, the team had a lot of injury issues. It all worked out. Chris Ivory was on the injury report, he dominated. Eric Decker was on the injury report, he had a touchdown. Darrelle Revis was on the injury report, he had an interception. Willie Colon missed the game, and Brian Winters filled in an was very solid. The team left London with a lot of new injuries, especially on defense. Leonard Williams, David Harris, Calvin Pryor, and Bilal Powell all were injured during the game. All are guys that are big parts of the team. None of the injuries sound very serious, but we do not know if any of them will miss time. With Sheldon Richardson back, Leonard Williams is not as concerning. However, the Jets really need Pyror and Harris to be 100%.
Can Fitzpatrick Develop a Connection with Devin Smith?
When you use a second round pick on a wide receiver, you expect that player to make an immediate impact. Due to injuries, Smith did not play until week three. The dynamic deep threat has yet to get anything going in his two games with the Jets. In two games, Smith has already gotten 15 targets, but only has 5 catches. We have seen on numerous occasions, Fitzpatrick miss an open Smith by under-throwing him or throwing wide. Smith has also been at fault at times, with some miscommunication. The Jets have Marshall and Decker, but they do not have a true deep threat. They need Smith to be that guy. Fitzpatrick will never have the best arm-strength, but the bye week should help him and Smith get on the same page.