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Bills vs. Jets: Week 10 offensive grades

EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY - NOVEMBER 11: Andre Roberts #19 of the New York Jets reacts during the third quarter against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium on November 11, 2018 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY - NOVEMBER 11: Andre Roberts #19 of the New York Jets reacts during the third quarter against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium on November 11, 2018 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images)
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The New York Jets offense put forth another embarrassing showing with the team’s 41-10 loss to the Buffalo Bills. What meager grade did the unit earn this time?

There are no words, no comments, and no remarks that can do justice to the absolute humiliation of a performance from the New York Jets on Sunday.

The Jets put forth an embarrassment of an effort as the team was shellacked by the woeful Buffalo Bills on their home turf in a game even the most pessimistic of fans likely didn’t see coming. They were outplayed and outcoached in every conceivable fashion as the team looked like they didn’t belong anywhere near an NFL field.

While little was expected of the offense coming into the week, especially after the lackluster showings in the previous few weeks, the reintroduction of quarterback Josh McCown to the starting lineup carried with it a little bit of optimism. After all, the poor play of rookie Sam Darnold had been a major part of the offense’s struggles as of late so a quarterback change, albeit a temporary one, shouldn’t have been the worst thing.

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Evidently, Darnold wasn’t the problem.

McCown threw for a measly 135 yards, completing just 50 percent of his passes and throwing two interceptions to compliment zero total touchdowns. Not exactly inspiring numbers.

Still, it’s hard to place the blame solely on McCown’s shoulders. The Jets offense showed no energy, no fire, and put forth no creativity and the final stat line is indicative of such.

The Jets were held without a first down on seven drives throughout the game and converted just one of their twelve third-down attempts. That’s just as much an issue of coach play design as it is player execution.

This isn’t an isolated incident either. The Jets are dead last in the NFL on third-down conversions converting on just 28.8 percent of their attempts. That’s not exactly a recipe for success. In fact, only one of the twelve worst teams at converting third downs has a winning record, that being the Los Angeles Chargers.

After a while, the blame eventually has to fall on the play calling, more specifically offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates.

The Jets can only run three-step drop passes to the flats so many times before defenses start to read them and knock passes down at the line of scrimmage. They can only run simple dives up the middle on first down before teams begin to stack the box and win at the point of attack.

We’ve seemingly already reached that point, and it’s not a stretch of the imagination to say we reached it weeks ago. You could blame the Jets lack of offensive talent all you want but at the end of the day, the job of an offensive coordinator is to maximize his talent on offense and put his players in the best positions to succeed.

Bates, by all accounts, has failed at doing so.

Even the dreadful Bills offense with journeyman backup Matt Barkley starting at quarterback took shots down the field. They opened up the intermediate passing game. And they even ran a play that saw offensive tackle Dion Dawkins line up as an eligible receiver and haul in a touchdown pass.

The Bills arguably have worse offensive talent than the Jets do but that didn’t stop them from opening up the playbook and spicing things up with a bit of creativity.

No more excuses for Bates. If he wants to save his job and continue to work with Darnold past this season the offense is going to have to make some serious adjustments, regardless of who’s under center.

There are very few positives to take away from the Jets offense on any given Sunday but one continues to be the effectiveness of running back Elijah McGuire. McGuire only received nine touches with the Jets steering away from the running game for much of the afternoon but the second year man made the most of his playing time.

McGuire averaged five yards per carry on his six carries and hauled in three passes for 27 yards. The Louisana-Lafayette product continues to reward the team for his increased playing time as he appears quicker and more agile than he did last season.

If all goes according to plan, McGuire might be able to work himself into a significant role with the team heading into 2019. Consider these final six games an audition tape of sorts as he’ll likely pace the backfield in snap count from here on out.

Apart than McGuire, Quincy Enunwa and Chris Herndon continue to be the only other real bright spots on an otherwise unwatchable Jets offense.

Enunwa is likely the most talented player on the offense as he put together another strong showing despite fighting through obvious discomfort stemming from an ankle injury. Herndon, on the other hand, hauled in three catches for a team-leading 34 yards as he continued his development as the Jets hopeful tight end of the future.

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Unfortunately, not even the play of McGuire, Enunwa, and Herndon could save the Jets offense from a second consecutive week with a failing grade.

Final Grade: F

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