The New York Jets put on a lifeless display of football this afternoon in Jacksonville, en route to a 31-12 loss to the Jaguars. They were overmatched from the opening whistle and coached a passive, conservative game that seemed geared to lose by as few points as possible instead of actually winning. Nobody thought this was a playoff team in 2018 but this team should be more competitive than this, especially for all the chest bumping they do about changing the culture.
Let’s mention the handful of positives from today before ripping into everything else: Avery Williamson forced a fumble and tipped a pass that led to an interception. He has been consistent and good value as a free agent signing so far. Leonard Williams had his most active game of the year with 5 tackles, 2 TFLs and 1 sack. Quincy Enunwa remains the Jets best player on offense pacing the team with 66 receiving yards and having a massive catch and run called back. Henry Anderson recorded another sack and knocked down multiple passes at the line of scrimmage. He has been a steal for a 7th round pick.
Outside of that?
The Jets defense did force three turnovers in the second half, allowing the Jets to “hang around” but allowed 500 yards of offense to Jacksonville and were repeatedly beat on the exact same crossing route. They were punched in the mouth repeatedly and had no answer for it. For all the New Jack City and Culture Change talk, this is a unit that is too inconsistent. Trumaine Johnson has been one of the most overpaid players in the NFL through one quarter of the season as he was cooked by Donte Moncrief (WHO?) for a 60+ yard touchdown that blew the game wide open. Jamal Adams missed multiple tackles and did not make any impact plays.
All that being said, the offense did the defense no favors today. They were completely inept, always behind on the play block (can somebody fix the headsets?) and bullied upfront. Kelvin Beachum in particular stood out for allowing a safety, having a 50+ yard gain called back on a penalty and repeatedly being pushed back into Sam Darnold’s lap. The Jets run game was completely non existent with 14 carries for 34 yards. Isaiah Crowell had 4 carries for 0 yards and was tackled for a safety.
Darnold finished 17/34 for 167 yards with 1 touchdown. The numbers do not tell the whole story, in a negative way. Darnold had multiple dropped interceptions and narrowly missed a downfield home run to Robby Anderson, along with another potential third down conversion to Bilal Powell. He was generally inaccurate throughout the day. He is not getting much help from Jeremy Bates, who appears overmatched as a play caller and a mediocre offensive line but you have to call a spade, a spade and he did not play well today. Ideally, he is going to learn from and benefit from these mistakes in the long haul.
Finally, this website has been fairly patient with Todd Bowles because he gets too much blame comparatively to Mike Maccagnan (who is also below average at his job) but he was atrocious today. The Jets play with a defeatist attitude. Don’t kick field goals when you are down 25-3. Don’t punt when you are down 25-12. Stop playing not to lose and start playing to win. The passive, loser mentality trickles down to the rest of the team. He is doing himself no favors and is coaching himself out of a job.
The good news is the Jets are now home for three straight games but with how they are playing now, does it really matter?