New York Jets 1st & 10 – The (Previously) Winless Bengals?

Stephen Russo goes 1st and 10 on the New York Jets loss to the Cincinnati Bengals


They certainly have a way, don’t they? They build you up. They give you hope. They make you think it’s possible. Then it all comes crashing down before your eyes as Andy Dalton and Carlos Dunlap of the 0-11 Bengals tear them to shreds and ruin any last bit of promise this awful season had. It takes a true masochist to be a Jets fan. And this season has tested everyone’s pain threshold.

Following the season’s undoubted best performance against Oakland last Sunday, every single problem the Jets were somehow able to mask the last three games came back in an ugly way. Adam Gase forgot how to call plays and refused to make any adjustments. The offensive line was unable to block and seemed to be flagged every other play. The Jets defensive line that has played well in recent weeks couldn’t so much as sniff Andy Dalton.

The ineptitude in all three phases led to a 22-6 defeat at the hands of the winless Bengals in which the same Jets who scored 34 points in three consecutive weeks couldn’t even reach the red zone. A brief three game stint that led fans down the path of wondering if this team was a true contender, removed all doubt and reverted back to their pretender status.

Any sliver of hope for one meaningful December has been squashed. It’s time once again to look forward to March and April.


1. The drop by Braxton Berrios on the first drive seemed to be more debilitating than it should have ever been. The Jets were unable to get anything right on offense following that.

2. The above point is the exact reason why an Adam Gase coached team is frustrating. When things go perfectly, he can coach well and call a great game. If anything goes off the rails, he shows an inability and unwillingness to adjust, and therefore can’t be competitive or claw his way back.

3. The Jets have lost 8 games this year. The first game was lost by one point. Every other loss has been by double digits. Excluding the Patriots, all of those double-digit losses came against teams that are currently 5-7 or worse.

4. Two game altering plays were the block in the back penalty on Beachum to negate the screen to Powell and the penalty on Compton on Le’Veon Bell’s third down conversion run. Both penalties were behind the plays and unnecessary. The course of the game could have been changed if those didn’t happen. Again, the offensive line was unable to get out of its own way.

5. I don’t understand why Adam Gase didn’t give assistance to blocking Carlos Dunlap.

6. I also don’t understand why Adam Gase didn’t run the ball outside against the 31st ranked run defense with Le’Veon Bell as your running back.

7. Aside from a drop on a difficult play in the end zone on the first drive of the game, Robby Anderson was the one receiver who showed up in this game.

8. I understand that Quinnen Williams is doing what he’s being asked to do and “eat blocks.” But as the third pick in the NFL Draft and touted by many as the best overall prospect, he should be asked to get to the quarterback. The lack of impact plays is worrisome. While he is very young, with a lot of time to develop, it is a very real possibility that he becomes Leonard Williams 2.0.

9. If you think Sam Darnold played poorly on Sunday you weren’t watching.

10. There is a lot of speculation here, but it’s something that bears watching. Adam Gase made decisions in Miami to let go of talented players (Ajayi, Landry). We have heard the same thing about players on the Jets like Le’Veon Bell and Robby Anderson, among others. Plenty of focus has been on Bell since the offseason, whether it was that Gase preferred Tevin Coleman to Bell or that Bell’s style doesn’t fit his system.

These little things are indicative of the bigger picture and problem. All signs point toward the thought that Gase thinks his system is bigger than the quality players that make it. If you’re a good leader, you coach around the talent you have a make it work with the game-breaking players you have. This season should provide every reason imaginable Gase needs to comprehend that you need talent to win football games.

Bill Belichick has become the greatest head coach in history and his Patriots teams have had numerous different “identities” during their 20-year domination of the league. He doesn’t run one system that is greater than everyone else’s. He coaches to the talents around his teams.

Adam Gase has ridden his “system” to a 27-33 record.