Is now the time to Just End The Season?
This New York Jets (3-6) loss in Miami was a particular disgrace. How did they not throttle Brock Osweiler and the beat-down Dolphins?
It must’ve been a tough flight home for the New York Jets after such a brutal loss. Sam Darnold faced his toughest day as a pro, with 4 INTs. But he had plenty of help in terms of underperformance.
The entire Jets offense played atrociously. Between penalties and lack of execution, they simply could not move the ball. You also have to put yourself in a position to succeed, and only one of their 14 possessions began inside their own 25, and they did not run one red-zone play all game.
Here’s an encapsulation of another lost Jets season. On their lone highlight drive, late in the game, New York marched down the field, six minutes and 11 plays, abetted by two costly 15-yard face-masking calls on Miami. Then, from inside the Dolphins’ 30, the Jets went backward, between a sack, a penalty, and a dropped gimme pass, that resulted in a 50-yard field goal wide right, and goose eggs on the scoreboard.
Next week, Gang Green return home to face the underwhelming Nathan Peterson and his reeling last-place Bills. Can the Jets even win this game? Here are five musically minded observations about this team moving forward.
Next: 5. Give It Away
5. Give It Away
Sam Darnold (4 INTs, zero TDs) faces way too much on-field pressure. Sure, many of the QB snaps were lousy, but don’t forget the hailstorm of sacks, hurries, hits and passes defended. The young QB could be seen running for his life, against a Dolphins defense ranked 30th in the NFL in sacks, while his teammates proved unable to rush the ball against the league’s 27th-ranked run defense.
Darnold made many mistakes, like too much throwing into double or triple coverage. But how many of those passes were bad drops? For instance, you want Darnold to learn all the reads. But if Quincy Enunwa is his only legit option, how can one blame the QB for focusing on his only good option?
In fairness to Darnold, if he doesn’t have time to throw the ball, and his receivers can’t make plays, how can he possibly succeed? It seems like he never gets a chance to just plant his feet and throw. Playmakers are so few and far between — and that can be squarely blamed on the GM; for instance, imagine how different things would be had not Devin Smith, Chad Hansen, and ArDarius Stewart all been complete NFL busts.
Here’s a sobering thought: Darnold is clearly more comfortable in a hurry-up offense — he plays better when things speed up, there’s a sense of urgency, and he can build a rhythm. However, that rarely happens. So if this non-baller blogger can identify a problem, why can’t this brain trust?
Next: 4. Run To The Hills
4. Run To The Hills
The offensive skill positions need a complete overhaul. Like what happened to Jermaine Kearse (3 receptions/20 yards)? Another game with a costly drop that could’ve altered the outcome — and then late in the game, he incredibly stepped out-of-bounds to stop the clock, with nothing but turf in front of him. The Jets had back Robby Anderson (4/32) and Quincy Enunwa (3/40), but their numbers barely got called. Every time Q gets the ball, he creates exciting yards-after-catch.
And what was behind the Jets’ continued lack of a running game against these Dolphins? It was wonderful to see the return of Elijah McGuire (7 carries, 30 yards). Isaiah Crowell (13/49) did a nice job in the second half between the tackles. But it would’ve been encouraging to see more commitment to their individual skill sets.
The Jets again have serious issues at tight end. Young receivers Chris Herndon and Jordan Leggett, cannot block. “Sixth lineman” Eric Tomlinson can’t catch or block. Neal Sterling has been their best unit performer, but he’s out with his second concussion of the season.
Jason Myers nailed a 56-yarder that kept the Jets within a heartbeat 13-6 — making him the only Jets kicker with three or more 55+ FGs in a season. The ex-Marist booter continues to impress. He was again the team’s leading scorer.
Next: 3. Hold It, Now Hit It
3. Hold It, Now Hit It
The Jets felt that their O-line was finally rounding into shape. So this game was a huge step backwards.
On one hand, it can be argued that the O-line should get a Mulligan, considering the Dolphins knew — like every other opponent this year — that the Jets cannot pass the ball, and kept stacking the box. And even forget for a moment the torrent of pre-snap penalties. Just how many times did you see Darnold writhing on the ground, and right tackle Brandon Shell standing there with his hands on his hips?
One major problem was center Spencer Long’s dislocated middle finger. Not only could he not handle shotgun formation, but he also missed signals, often snapping too low or too high; usually hard and high to Darold’s right, throwing off the QB’s rhythm, and making a nice throw impossible. Dolphin Jerome Baker’s pick-six was the beginning of the end — a perfect storm of terrible snap, poor throw, and bad decision. That deficit would prove insurmountable.
So why did the Jets wait until late 4th quarter to replace Long? Likely because they don’t trust his backup Jonotthan Harrison. One can question why Darnold was not directly under-center more often, but this five-man front had far more fundamental problems than the snap formations.
Next: 2. Beat On The Brat
2. Beat On The Brat
More from The Jet Press
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- NY Jets reportedly non-tendering linebacker Harvey Langi
- NY Jets: Why the team should not cut Jamison Crowder
- NY Jets should try to sign Kenny Golladay in free agency
- NY Jets: Jonnu Smith would be a smart free-agent target
The truth hurts: this Jets defense played well enough to win this contest. They made big stops all afternoon and kept their team in the game.
Despite a near impossible predicament, the “D” bent but did not break. It would not be incorrect to say that the Dolphins, with their pick-six, outscored Gang Green’s defense, 7-6.
The Jets’ most impressive stop was holding the Dolphins three-and-out after a 2nd and 1 with 5 minutes to go. Despite all the offensive woes, the Jets defense got the ball back to Darnold with two minutes remaining, and the game still within reach.
Jamal Adams is developing into one of the game’s best safeties. Rookie Nathan Shepherd is coming on strong and will provide leadership moving forward. It was really nice to witness four defensive sacks, including a pair by Jordan Jenkins and one by Jeremiah Attaochu. It was also cool to hear Leonard Williams name called more than once.
Here’s something terrifying to ponder — this defense is good, but not nearly as good as under Rex Ryan. Ouch!
Next: 1. What It's Like
1. What It’s Like
Does Todd Bowles even understand that he is fighting for his NFL life? Or maybe he doesn’t because he isn’t?
Another week, another Bowles’ head-scratching decision. Not that it would’ve mattered, but this time it was his late-game decision to go for it on 4th and 15 after a punishing sack on Darnold. And while we’re at it, how many valuable timeouts did this team again squander over first and third quarter miscommunication issues?
Bowles’ press conferences are beginning to feel too Rich Kotite-like for comfort. Face it, if he loses the locker room one more time, he must go. In terms of game-day adjustments, seeing Dolphins head coach Adam Gase alone on the bench frantically trying to adjust his gameplan was a stark reminder of something Todd Bowles would never do.
In defense of Coach Bowles and his game plans, you can yell all you want about thinking outside the box. But you can’t expect any wrinkles and gadget plays until the players master the basic fundamentals of the game.
These players are late on plays because they’re mentally unprepared — which is why every great pro lives in the tape room, to be able to identify and adjust to every possible on-field situation as it happens. It’s a “chicken before the egg” question — is the problem motivational coaching or self-motivated players? The remainder of the Jets schedule should provide many stark answers.