You wanted to believe it, didn’t you? The Jets had turned a corner over the past three weeks. Early season missteps aside, they found their stride. The Jets just might have found the exception to the rule when it came to giving a Head Coach a second chance with zero years in between jobs leading a team. Sam Darnold was on a trajectory to a monster finish to the season and found the perfect pairing with this staff. The locker room was different after weathering early season problems. Gregg Williams could do no wrong on defense. The streak, the real streak was ready to happen. 5-7. 6-7. Five wins in a row. A meaningful game in primetime against Baltimore. A potential .500 or better finish? You started looking up long shot playoff scenarios…
….You forgot a few unpleasant realities, which you had your faced rubbed into today when the 0-11 Cincinnati Bengals throttled the New York Jets 22-6 to drop their record to 4-8.
This is who Adam Gase is. The sample size is there. He is 27-34 over 61 games as a NFL Head Coach with 25 double digit losses. He is 1-9 in his past 10 AFC games. You come to a record like that by being wildly inconsistent and regularly crafting stubborn game plans, like dropping Sam Darnold back over 50 times against one of the league’s worst run defenses and when you do choose to run, throwing your back right into the strength of the opposing team’s defense. You somehow have your team show up lifeless, sluggish and unprepared despite riding a three game winning streak. You lose to a 0-7 and 0-11 team in a single season, wiping away whatever good will you built up by beating a .500 team the week before.
While he was not helped by his coaching staff or offensive line, it was far from Sam Darnold’s best effort today as he finished 28/48, 239 yards (5.0 YPA) and was sacked four times. The Jets offense struggled to get in rhythm and they narrowly missed on a few big play opportunities down the field. Darnold got beat up today and appeared hobbled in the final minutes. He has generally been a better quarterback at home then the road and that trend continued today, as this joins Jacksonville and Miami as ugly losses away from MetLife in 2019 with Darnold under center.
It was a quiet day for the Jets running the football. Le’Veon Bell finished with 10 carries for 32 yards. Bilal Powell had 4 carries for 14 yards and Ty Montgomery had 7 yards on his only carry of the game. Tom Compton was dragged back to reality by Carlos Dunlap and Geno Atkins, regularly getting beat for sacks and penalties.
Defensively, this was a rare ugly outing against one of the league’s worst offenses. The Jets only sacked Andy Dalton once and did not forced any turnovers. The Bengals regularly picked on Arthur Maulet outside the numbers and Neville Hewitt down the middle of the field. Injury was added to insult as Jamal Adams left the game in a walking boot, after a quiet afternoon (1 total tackle). It was also another quiet day from third overall pick Quinnen Williams who finished with 2 total tackles. The Jets seemed a step behind Zac Taylor’s offense all day…which is troubling to say the least against the team who will be picking first overall in the NFL Draft.
It is December 1st and the Jets season is officially over. They won’t be having a winning record…again. They won’t be playing meaningful December games…again. We will spend more time looking at their draft positioning than their playoff positioning…again. Three of the Jets four remaining games are against teams with a winning record and the fourth is against a Miami team who already beat them this season. Things very well may get much uglier than they were today but Adam Gase has nothing to worry about, he can go 4-12 and Chris Johnson won’t lay a finger on his job security or dare ask him to compete for the playoffs next year.