New York Jets: Inside the worst disgrace in modern team history

New York Jets (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)
New York Jets (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images) /

The New York Jets told the nation they were ready for the undefeated New England Patriots. But Monday Night’s 33-0 annihilation was far worse than the score indicated.

What we witnessed was the worst disgrace in modern New York Jets history. The Jets were thoroughly embarrassed, outwitted and outclassed — on many levels beyond the playing field. It was like Rutgers against Ohio State.

What exactly is there to feel good about the future of this franchise moving forward?

The Jets had team leaders Sam Darnold and C.J. Mosley back in the lineup. Mosley was in the middle of all the action, but he looked slow and tentative and got pulled in the fourth quarter. Expect his groin injury to linger throughout the season.

Darnold got hit early and often, and started “seeing ghosts.” He looked like a deer-in-the-headlights; afraid and unprepared. He failed to read blitzes and he heard footsteps all night.

He threw four interceptions off his back foot — including two deep in Patriots territory. Darnold’s 3.6 QBR may have been the worst in Monday Night Football history. Blame the front office for subjecting Darnold to that mic-ed-up moment.

You worry that such beatdowns will become etched in the young QB’s psyche. So that combined with Darnold’s mononucleosis scare, expect general manager Joe Douglas to spend draft capital on another developmental flamethrower.

Far worse than sitting close to the MetLife action and watching the Jets’ miscues as they unfolded, was sitting a home stadium filled with obnoxious Patriots fans. There was an alarming number of egged-on New York beatdowns throughout the stadium, which the guy in front of me called: “just like the old days.”

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You could feel for those brawling NYJ lifers, who give so much and get treated so poorly. This organization shoulders responsibility in creating such a desperate environment.

Here are a few damning indictments moving forward.

How was this team not prepared to play the Patriots?

The New York Jets claimed to be were ready for this game, but they were not. They failed in all aspects of the game.

There were so many self-inflicted wounds, be they dropped passes, blown assignments or devastating penalties. There were no coaching adjustments, particularly to the blitz. Neither the QB or O-line knew what to do, and there was no radical scheming taking place.

But surprisingly, there were no defensive adjustments either. The Jets won the opening toss, deferred to their defense, and allowed the Patriots to 16-play march down the field. In their opening four drives, the Pats scored three TDs: Game, set, match.

Related Story. New York Jets have to prevent ‘ghosts’ from haunting Sam Darnold

The defense rests…

Tom Brady played without offensive weapons wide receiver Josh Gordon and running back Rex Burkhead and they were so thin at tight end that ex-Jet Eric Tomlinson saw playing time. (Just like his New York Jets days, Tomlinson appeared on the MetLife jumbotron after a costly procedural penalty.)

Over the past few games, defensive coordinator Gregg Williams had his secondary surpassing all expectations, led by instinctual tackling by Brian Poole and Marcus Maye. Even the maligned Trumaine Johnson stepped up to retain his No. 1 corner spot.

But against New England, Johnson made Patriots receivers Phillip Dorsett and Jakobi Meyers look like the second coming of Jerry Rice. The one and only time Leonard Williams touched Brady, he threw an interception.

The Jets have squandered Le’Veon Bell’s superstar potential

Week after week, the offensive line fails to perform the most rudimentary of blocking schemes. It’s been ridiculous to watch Le’Veon Bell — the New York Jets’ most lethal weapon since Curtis Martin — getting eaten alive. Going into the Pats game, Bell’s (15 carries for 70 yards) longest run from scrimmage was 13 yards.

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If the Jets can’t maximize Bell’s potential or don’t like his cap space, perhaps it would be wisest to trade the superstar to a contender at the deadline. In his brief time here, Bell has been a committed professional, and team player. Frankly, he deserves better than this.

And speaking of trade-deadline no-brainers, Bill Belichick‘s pre-game fawning praise of Leonard Williams felt like “The Hoodie” stacking another log on the funeral pyre.

The Chris Herndon factor

Chris Herndon — suspended four games, and still MIA after injuring his hamstring his first day at practice, likely due to poor conditioning — will now likely miss half the season. Darnold raised eyebrows recently, saying the tight end’s impending return would make this offense unstoppable.

Everyone knew that 2019 was crucial to Herndon’s development, and he’s blowing it. His New York Jets career arc is beginning to resemble that of the ditched Darron Lee.

Even worse, the timing of his return to the roster caused the cutting of undrafted free agent WR/PR Greg Dortch from the practice squad. Carolina pounced on Dortch, who will come back to haunt the NYJ. For what it’s worth, his replacement Ryan Griffin had one reception for one yard.

This franchise is an ineptly run joke

The New York Jets are once again the league’s laughing-stock. It’s painful to read the post-game analyses and social media commentary.

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Because the Johnsons don’t know how to run a football team, they enlist consultants and others for advice. That’s how they hired people like John Idzik, Mike Maccagnan, and Todd Bowles. That’s how Chris Johnson allowed Adam Gase to sell him a bill of goods.

And now the team must rethink if “the quarterback whisperer” is the best man to develop Darnold.

Moving Forward…

You want to feel good about Joe Douglas. But so far his big acquisitions have been Ryan Kalil and Demaryius Thomas. And unlike the previous general manager, Douglas has limited cap space moving forward.

Gase is now in his fourth season as an NFL head coach and has one Miami Dolphins playoff game to show for it. The anointed offensive genius’ Jets rank dead-last in almost every offensive category.

Even with all the injuries, where are the quick slants and swing passes among Le’Veon Bell, Ty Montgomery, Bilal Powell, and Jamison Crowder? Or not Bell rushing-right on every first down. Unless things turn around fast, how can Gase ever get another pro head coaching position?

The New York Jets’ sixth game was the last of a brutal opening stretch. So if the Jets take five of the next seven — against non-contenders the Jaguars, Giants, Redskins, Raiders, Bengals and twice versus the Dolphins — they’re back in the playoff picture.

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If you really believe that’s gonna happen, I’ve got a Brooklyn Bridge to sell you.