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Jets not ready to panic about red zone issues just yet – Boston Herald

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This year, the Jets have had some issues scoring touchdowns inside the red zone.

But last Sunday, Gang Green only found the end zone once in its 27-22 loss to the Vikings.

“We didn’t execute at the level that we were getting to that point, particularly in the second half,” Jets offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur said. “I was proud of the way the guys responded.

“We obviously dug ourselves in a hole, there were numerous reasons for that. Going into halftime, making some adjustments. Each position coach and position group talking what they needed to do as we were a little off in the first half.

“We got ourselves in position to win that game and battled every series. We gotta get that fixed as coaches and the execution was off. Not crazy off but, but if you’re 1 for 2 in the red zone let alone 1 for 6 and kick field goals, you’re going to lose ballgames in this league.”

The Jets fell into a 20-3 hole in the first half against the Vikings and it appeared like the game was going to get away from them on the road. However, they have three consecutive trips inside the 20-yard-line in the second half, but the Jets couldn’t find paydirt and settled for three field goals.

In the fourth quarter, the Jets also had two trips to the red zone with opportunities to win the game, but they turned the ball over on downs and on their final drive, quarterback Mike White threw an interception to Camryn Bynum at the one-yard-line.

Through 12 games, the Jets rank 26th in the NFL in red zone scoring percentage (touchdowns only) as they have converted 48.7% of their opportunities. But Jets coach Robert Saleh doesn’t appear to be concerned about the team’s ability to score touchdowns close to the end zone.

“At the bye week, we were 13th in the NFL in red zone, which isn’t, you know you always striving to be top five and all that stuff, but it wasn’t a problem,” Saleh said. “Unfortunately, with red zone, there’s so few opportunities from week to week that it’s the most volatile stat, in terms of just one bad game can just derail all your statistical rankings.

“So, you got to stick to your fundamentals, stick to your process, stick to your practice habits. Can you practice it more? Sure, but it was close, we were close to having a four-of-six day, you could look at it the other way, but it just didn’t work out and you got to give that team credit too.

“Minnesota did a really nice job in the red zone, but I don’t think it’s something to hit the panic button on yet.”

The Jets, in particular their red zone offense, will be tested this weekend as they will face one of the best defenses in the league on the road. Buffalo is allowing opponents to score touchdowns 47.2% of the time, which is third in the NFL only to the Broncos and the Rams.

In their 20-17 victory against the Bills last month, the Jets converted on 2 of 5 red zone trips. At 7-5 and holding on to the seventh spot in the AFC, a win against the Bills would increase the Jets’ playoff chance exponentially. For the Bills, they’re at the top of the AFC East and currently hold the No. 1 seed in the conference, which means they would have a first-round bye and the ability to rest players a week should they continue to win out.

“Every game is a big game,” Jets left guard Laken Tomlinson said. “Now we have to switch our focus to the Bills and winning this divisional game.

“We are going to study the film, make our corrections and make our 100% focus on beating the Bills.”

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