The first quarter of the New York Jets 2019 season is in the books. Four losses. Five touchdowns (two from the offense). Outscored by opponents 101-39. One game from Sam Darnold. Two quarters from CJ Mosley. Five quarters from Quinnen Williams. Quincy Enunwa out for the year. Brandon Shell benched. Trumaine Johnson benched…then un-benched. Zero Leonard Williams sacks. Zero Robby Anderson touchdowns. Ty Montgomery collecting mothballs. Many, many first down A gap handoffs. A spleen that we are all waiting on to shrink. Where do we go from here?
In many ways the entirety of these first four games was a complete and utter lost cause. The first quarter was a toxic mix of talent deficiency (thanks Mike Maccagnan!), coaching incompetence (thanks Peyton Manning!) and depressingly comedic levels of bad luck (thanks random person in greater tri-state area who transmitted mono to Sam Darnold!). The primary reason the Jets are 0-4 is because Darnold and Mosley have missed significant time. The primary reason the Jets have been a total embarrassment is because their coaching staff is in completely in over their head.
It is something to watch the same people who spent multiple years shilling for Mike Maccagnan’s roster building now decide Adam Gase deserves a full pass for anything that happens this year because of Mike Maccagnan’s roster building. It is the meandering zombie walk of an apologist who is always there to tell you why the Jets have not actually been *that bad* over their recent 14-39 stretch of sewage tank output. There is losing because you are at a clear talent disadvantage and thee is being embarrassed because you “prepare” with no intention to win. Gase gets a pass on the former but not the latter. Regardless, if he can rally this team as it gets healthier and less suspended to stack some wins against the tanking Dolphins, rudderless Redskins and whatever the Bengals are doing, he will probably get a spin at second season.
There haven’t been too many ironclad lessons from the first four games. We learned that any take on the offensive line that contained a shred of optimism was naive. This unit doesn’t need 2-3 new starters. It needs 4-5 new starters. We learned that the Trumaine Johnson contract is just as bad, if not worse, than it looked last year. We learned Leonard Williams should 100% not get a second contract from the Jets. We learned Le’Veon Bell has still got “it” and you can’t overstate Chris Herndon’s value to this offense. We learned Brian Poole is a sizable upgrade over Buster Skrine in the slot and that while the early draft returns on Jachai Polite were disastrous and shaky on Trevon Wesco and Chuma Edoga, they were positive on Blake Cashman. Finally, we learned that Gase, Dowell Loggains and the gang are probably going to coach in a similar way to how they did in Miami.
The Jets are likely to get both Darnold and Mosley back in the next 1-2 games. They already got Herndon back. Their schedule does not get more forgiving for a bit with Dallas, New England and a spunky Jacksonville team on the horizon. Yet, after that there is a stretch that should lend itself to a potential winning streak and maybe some potentially positive things to build on this season.
Can Darnold play like he did against Houston and Green Bay over the course of 6-8 games this year? Can the Jets do more than the bare minimum of squeaking out wins against three teams who will pick in the top five of the NFL Draft? If the answers to the above are affirmative, there is a 7-9 season in here that will be feel better than it should after such a dreadful, unwatchable start. If the answers to the above are negative, there is a 4-12 season in here that merits a gutting of what remains of the Maccagnan era (AKA this entire coaching staff).
Nobody enjoys having to watch this every Sunday. I’d prefer to have Adam Gase on my stoop snorting smelling salts off the steps and cursing in my face on the walk to work every morning about how wrong I was about him than having to watch this brand of lifeless, aimless football every week. The apologists deserve better than this. The pragmatists deserve better than this. The SOJ fans deserve better than this. Give us our damn football back.