One of the major stories of the New York Jets‘ first quarter of the season has been the absurd amount of penalties they have drawn. The Jets lead the NFL in penalties called, penalties accepted and penalty yardage. They also lead the league in pre-snap penalties, accounting for just about half of their total penalties (all of this according to nflpenalties.com).
The Jets have had 44 penalties accepted against them this season, putting them easily on pace to break the all-time record of 163, set by the 2011 Oakland Raiders. Making this amount of mental mistakes at the professional level is shocking, but the Jets are showing no signs of fixing the problem.
The Jets have had a ton of problems with execution offensively, and they were penalized several times for foolish errors such as false starts and illegal shifts. Defensively, there have been numerous calls against the secondary for various violations, giving opposing offenses free yardage and first downs.
Rex Ryan and the coaching staff have been trying to discipline the team and ensure that the penalties stop. However, Sunday’s performance indicates their words have fallen on deaf ears. Making mistakes in the run of play is one thing, but it is the pre-snap penalties that are unacceptable.
Getting flagged before the snap is simply a lack of focus and discipline. It is a sign that players are not paying attention to detail, and such situations are completely avoidable. Professional football players should not have an issue getting set before the snap, and these types of errors cannot continue for the Jets.
The fact is the Jets are simply not good enough to overcome the amount of penalties they are drawing. They do not have the offensive personnel necessary to consistently convert on third and long, and the defense can’t hold up if they keep giving away first downs.
The Jets cannot afford to keep shooting themselves in the foot if they want to win games. The penalties and mental mistakes have to stop, or it will cost the team their season and Rex Ryan his job.