NY Jets: From longshots to laughing stock after Week 3

NY Jets (Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images)
NY Jets (Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images) /

In Week 3, the NY Jets were once again overmatched, overwhelmed, and embarrassed.

The NY Jets, led by Sam Darnold, played competitively for the first 10 minutes of this game, tied 7-7. Then Adam Gase’s troops allowed 29 straight points in a 36-7 blowout road loss.

To quote former New York Knicks flameout Micheal Ray Richardson: “The ship be sinking.”

The most devastating news going into this game was not on the injury front. It came from NFL vets Bradley McDougald, Jordan Jenkins, and Avery Williamson criticizing the team’s practice habits — a most damning indictment of the Adam Gase error.

Gase, of course, was hired to develop Darnold. The young QB endured one of his worst games (17-29, 169 yards), allowing three interceptions and one safety, accounting for 16 Colts points.

Once again, the USC product had to run for his life around the field, yet his control-freak teacher will not allow the third-year pro to audible at the line of scrimmage.

On offense, the Jets knew that they needed their battered offensive line to neutralize a Colts’ stout defensive line buoyed by Justin Houston and DeForest Buckner. That did not happen.

In this game, the scariest moment was when promising rookie left tackle Mekhi Becton got rushed to the locker room with shoulder issues.

NFL insider Brian Baldinger called Becton “the league’s best rookie, and the Jets’ best football player — my favorite player in the league.” Luckily, he will be okay.

On defense, these Jets cannot create a pass rush and they cannot tackle. None of this game’s top six tacklers were linemen at the point of attack.

Last week, second-year Quinnen Williams got feted for his career’s best game, with seven tackles and two sacks, one that wrecked Jimmy Garoppollo’s season.

Against the Colts, the 2019 NFL Draft’s No. 3 overall pick was back to his troubling ineffectiveness (three tackles, no sacks).

The NY Jets’ offense was once again inept in Week 3.

With Le’Veon Bell on injured reserve and 37-year-old Frank Gore bound for Canton, NFL insiders expected explosive rookie La’Mical Perine to carry the load. But he received just seven carries for 24 yards.

The game’s top receiver was Dolphins castoff running back Kalen Ballage with five catches for 44 yards.

As for the supposed roster strength at tight end, Gase’s “unicorn” Chris Herndon accumulated less yardage than undrafted receiver Lawrence Gager in his first-ever game (playing 45 percent of the snaps!), while richly-renumerated Ryan Griffin whiffed again (zero receptions in 2020).

As for the return game, any kickoff touchback places the ball on the 25-yard line — in four returns, Josh Malone averaged 18.8 yards per.

Sam Ficken still can’t stick a kickoff in the end zone, yet sixth-round punter Braden Mann, a Ray Guy Award winner hailed for his booming kickoffs, gets no play.

After three games, there are eight winless NFL teams. If the draft got held today, the Falcons would have the top overall pick based on the schedule’s strength. The NY Jets would pick fifth.

The only logical explanation for not restocking this injury-ravaged roster (nine players on IR plus the injured Joe Flacco, Jamison Crowder, Brashad Perriman, Connor McGovern, George Fant, etc.) is that these Jets are tanking it.

And if they are tanking it, one must conclude Sam Darnold does not convince Joe Douglas.

Speaking of the general manager, fans cannot evaluate his first draft due to its injuries — second-round wide receiver Denzel Mims, third-round defensive Jabari Zuniga, and fifth-round offensive lineman Cameron Clark hardly partook in training camp.

At the same time, third-round hurdler-turned-safety Ashtyn Davis looks woefully overmatched and he also missed this Sunday’s game with an injury.

If Gase cannot compete against these winless yet heavily-favored Denver Broncos — playing on the road without Drew Lock, Courtland Sutton, Von Miller, or Jurrell Casey, and naming third-stringer Brett Rypien as starting quarterback — he deserves to lose his job.

Next. NY Jets: Multiple reports indicate Adam Gase could be fired on Friday

Not that such a move would make a significant difference. But it would undoubtedly mollify an angry and humiliated Jets fanbase.