The New York Jets losing to Buffalo exposed myriad issues this team will have all season – and, unfortunately, there is no clear reason to believe any of them are going to be fixed anytime soon.
The big issue: You can’t get control of a game when you can’t stop the run and can’t run the ball yourself. Such is the case when it comes to the offensive efforts of the New York Jets in their Week 1 loss to the Buffalo Bills.
When your defense can’t stop the run, you need to bring the linebackers closer to the line to prevent 4-yard gains from stretching to 7 or 9 yards. Your safeties have to help, too, leaving them vulnerable to play action passes. That’s how your defense surrenders 19 plays of 10 yards or more nine plays of 20 yards or more.
How about generating a pass rush from anyone? We were playing against the Buffalo offensive line on Sunday, not Dallas or Oakland. (Sorry, the Raiders are next on the board.)
Operating an offense without a quarterback who possesses arm strength and sufficient preseason game reps – not to mention experienced receivers who know how to get open – you can’t challenge the opponent’s defense, which has been stacked to stop your running game and is daring you to throw the ball.
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With an offensive line which can’t open holes for running backs to run through and which can’t block down long enough to allow a 38-year-old quarterback to do more than dink-and-dunk, you can’t stretch the defense to back off even a little bit.
Without speed in at least one running back, the defense doesn’t need to worry about anyone breaking a long gainer.
We knew it was going to be a long, trying season. I’m spending my Saturday evenings scouting Sam Darnold and Josh Rosen. Darnold looked so good against Stanford, that, sad to say, when a Jets’ cornerback intercepted a pass in the end zone in the first quarter yesterday and looked like he had clear sailing for a 102-yard touchdown return, my reaction was “stop him.”
One thing I am not concerned about is Todd Bowles‘ clock management; it’s bad, but it won’t be a difference maker this year. A successful Hail Mary here or there won’t hide reality. There’s no doubt that some of the Jets’ young talent will begin to blossom this year, but there are so many holes that fans and coaches both need one thing above all: patience.