The NY Jets will be hanging their heads in shame following their 27-17 loss to the Buffalo Bills.
The NY Jets lost a football game by the final score of 27-17. But if you think that tells the whole story — the entire ugly tale — you’d sadly be mistaken.
While the final score of Sunday’s season-opener against the Buffalo Bills might read like a 10-point defeat, in reality, it was far, far worse.
An abysmal offensive display coupled with disappointing play from the defense paved the way for a dominant performance from the Bills and a hapless showing from their division rivals.
In the end, the Jets only lost by 10. Sam Darnold completed 60 percent of his passes and threw for over 200 yards. The Jets had a 100-yard receiver in Jamison Crowder. They even outscored their opponents 13-6 in the second half.
But this is only what the stat sheet shows. Numbers can be deceiving — and in this case, that notion is very true.
The Bills picked up 31 first downs as compared to the Jets’ nine prior to their final garbage-time drive. Take away a fortunate 69-yard catch-and-run from Crowder and some stat-padding on the final drive, and Darnold has 88 passing yards on the day.
The offense was anemic, the defense was underwhelming, and the coaching staff looked completely outmatched.
What could we possibly take away from such an atrocious game? Don’t expect any sort of optimism here because you aren’t going to find it.
Next: 3. Not an ideal start for Sam Darnold
3. Not an ideal start for NY Jets’ quarterback Sam Darnold
Sam Darnold enters the 2020 season facing a make or break year. Unfortunately, he’s off to a rather inauspicious start, to say the least.
While his final numbers might not look too bad on paper, Darnold was a mess for the majority of the game making quite a few mistakes and missing some open targets.
But it wasn’t even those things that were the most concerning. Rather, it was the little things — things that shouldn’t be happening in Year 3 — that were most worrisome.
Not throwing the ball away, taking boneheaded delay of games penalties, and throwing the ball off his back foot and across his body to a covered receiver. Those are things that Darnold can’t be doing in his third NFL season.
Blame his supporting cast all you want. Blame his coaching staff. Hell, blame his former general manager. None of them have helped him to this point.
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But on Sunday, Darnold was bad independent of each of them. He made mistakes that could fall on nobody other than himself. And he did little to make the most of his bad situation.
As much as many fans might not want to admit it, time is running out for the former USC star. With plenty of draft capital over the next two years, the Jets will have every opportunity to replace Darnold if they no longer think he’s the guy.
The damage has been done to his mechanics and his development, and it’s left many wondering if it’s already too late for him to turn things around.
Next: 2. Adam Gase must shoulder the blame
2. NY Jets’ head coach Adam Gase must shoulder some of the blame
While Darnold is obviously at fault, it’s impossible to ignore the obvious at this point. Adam Gase should not be the head coach of the NY Jets. That was true when the organization originally hired him and it’s even truer now.
In what has become a common theme under Gase, the Jets were ill-prepared for their opponents and completely outcoached in every way. A lack of inspiration on offense led to frequent third-and-longs and recurring three-and-outs.
Sure, he isn’t working with a lot. But to their credit, the Jets’ offensive line actually looked improved from last season. Mekhi Becton, Connor McGovern, and George Fant all looked like upgrades over their predecessors.
But that evidently didn’t help the offense move the ball.
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The excuses are aplenty. “The team lacks experience together.” “The receiving corps is abysmal.” “The Bills have a good defense.”
But none of the above accounts for the display of sheer offensive incompetency that we were witness to in Sunday’s game. And that ultimately falls on the man calling the shots.
The Jets have a terrible roster, but that can’t be used as a justification for the state of the organization.
The Jacksonville Jaguars and Washington Football Team upset superior foes in their Week 1 games. The Jets didn’t even look competitive in theirs.
Gase is a problem and unless serious changes are made this season he likely isn’t long for New York.
Next: 1. The Jets are not good
1. The NY Jets are not a good football team
There is no more evident takeaway from Sunday’s game than this simple fact. The Jets are not a good football team — they’re a bad one.
A very bad one.
The roster is among the least talented in the NFL, the coaching staff is right up there with them, and it’s hard to see either of those things improving this season.
There are 15 games to go right now, but it already feels like the season is over. It takes a truly awful Week 1 performance for that sentiment to arrive so quickly but here we are.
The offense is clearly still an issue and will likely fight to retain its claim as the NFL’s worst unit. The defense has taken a step back in the absence of Jamal Adams and C.J. Mosley with the pass-rush struggling mightily.
Overall, this is a bad team.
Any optimism that fans had entering the season quickly faded away when the Bills took a 21-0 lead in the first half. Starters were benched, others were left in to struggles — all the while nothing changed.
And that’s just how it’s going to be this year. The Jets will limp their way through 2020 lucking their way into a few wins against other bad teams before entering the offseason with just as many question marks as a year ago.
That seems to be their destiny at this point. And unless something drastically changes, the season may already be lost.