A large component of the Jets' 0-5 record to start the season is largely because they talent level is simply just not up to par with the rest of the NFL. Their -110 point differential is by far the worst in the league.
But the injury bug has also hit the Jets since training camp. More recently, Sam Darnold sprained his AC joint a couple of weeks ago against the Denver Broncos and has missed the last two games.
The injuries have messed around with the Jets' overall expectations of themselves.
"I think we all have those expectations... Any time you get the guys that you expect to play out there in the beginning of training camp, you expect to be the best possible version of yourself," Joe Flacco said.
Flacco has been under center for the Jets in Darnold's absence, and he has been throwing to an injury-depleted receiving core. Second-round receiver Denzel Mims has not played a snap in the NFL.
"We need to get him in playing shape," Flacco said of the rookie out of Baylor. "He can obviously run, he can go up and get the ball. My reps have been limited until the last couple weeks. Obviously his have, too. I haven't gotten a ton of reps with him, but you can see the athleticism."
A healthy Mims, Darnold, and now Breshad Perriman may still be a far cry from "elite," but it's an improvement. And while the Super Bowl XLVII champion knows how important his position is, contrary to popular belief, there are plenty of other factors.
"Everybody likes to act like the quarterback's the guy that drives the ship and he does it all by himself, but every single position on the field is just as reliant on the guy next to him as the other guy is, and the quarterback's no different from that standpoint," said Flacco. "You have to play together as a unit no matter who's out there, and you gotta try to make it work as best you can. But this is a true team sport, and that requires all 11 guys on each side of the ball playing together."
Flacco said he is unsure if he is starting on Sunday, and the decision is "ultimately" up to Darnold, who was taking first team reps on Wednesday.