The NY Jets have absolutely no excuse for this Week 4 loss

NY Jets
NY Jets /

There are no moral victories, the NY Jets should have beaten the Denver Broncos in Week 4.

There were two ominous storylines before game time, Ian Rapoport’s report that Adam Gase was safe in his job, and the point spread favoring the NY Jets against the beat-up and depleted Denver Broncos in a must-win, can’t-lose game for both franchises.

Maybe this was not the game to fire Gase. But once again, the biggest questions involved the coach’s vanilla game plan and the basic inability to move the ball down the field.

Why the focus on slowly-developing rushes up the middle with a 37-year-old running back? And what’s up with the lateral throws and dump-off passes short of the first-down marker? The Jets are 0-4 and going nowhere.

The head coach’s most devastating call—a long roll-out pass on a fourth-quarter two-point conversion — could’ve been the game-killer in this 38-27 defeat.

In the end, the Jets let this game get away. They are an undignified team that beats itself and fails to respond to adversity.

Sam Darnold (23-of-42, 230 yards) played solid, even after a sprained shoulder. He made some nice throws out of the pocket. But once again, he could not continue.

Why didn’t the front office give their young quarterback some weapons? How can he be properly evaluated before the team needs to make a decision on his fifth-year option this offseason?

Darnold benefitted from the return of the injured Jamison Crowder. Chris Hogan, Braxton Berrios, and Jeff Smith (fresh off IR) made nice plays. Lawrence Cager looked good before his own injury.

General manager Joe Douglas erred letting Robby Anderson walk out the door for Breshad Perriman. We also see that Chris Herndon may be the most overrated tight end in Jets’ history.

We learned that the revamped offensive line is marginally better than last season’s fiasco. It was encouraging to see Connor McGovern and George Fant back out there.

But the shock of Chuma Edoga starting at left tackle was eased by his first-series injury that briefly forced back into action Mekhi Becton, with his shoulder brace. By halftime, Fant and Becton got reinjured and sidelined again.

The Jets defense knew they couldn’t let third-string quarterback Brett Rypien find a rhythm. But the nephew of Washington great Mark Rypien, with his precise throws and command of the offense, was the best QB on the field.

He never got sacked and ran up 37 points on a Gregg Williams defense.

On the Boise State QB’s first-ever drive, Jets cornerback Blessuan Austin — who later left the game with a calf injury — drew a third-down pass interference. The next play, Tarell Basham’s roughing the passer call again moved the chains.

Two plays later, Rypien was in the red zone. Thankfully, undrafted free agent pass rusher Bryce Huff, this team’s top defensive prospect, helped hold Denver to a field goal.

The NY Jets played an undisciplined game of football on Thursday.

The next drive, Quinnen Williams‘ was flagged for roughing the passer — the Jets’ cheap-shot defense committed two roughing the passer penalties and six personal fouls, most after big third-down stops.

That first foul extended another Broncos scoring drive, which ended with “shutdown corner” Pierre Desir (seven tackles, two INTs), transforming a sure interception into Jerry Jeudy’s first NFL touchdown.

Desir then made a nice interception that resulted in a game-tying field goal near halftime. But most of Denver’s big plays showed ’35’ late in coverage.

The game’s most reliable players were kicker Sam Ficken, punter Braden Mann, and long snapper Thomas Hennessy. But none of these special teamers report to the head coach.

Gase must go back to the drawing board before next week’s game against the ascending Arizona Cardinals.  After all, we know that Christopher Johnson’s “genius” is not getting fired any time soon.

Then again, you know that heads will roll when older brother Woody Johnson returns later this year.

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