New York Jets 1st & 10: Painful Season Opening Loss in Buffalo

Stephen Russo goes 1st and 10 on the New York Jets week one loss to the Buffalo Bills…

1st…

Allow me to preface everything I will write from here with this: it is just one game. I will not look to fill the air (or the page) with excuses, because we really don’t care, we just want results. However, the facts are the facts. This was a season opener after the strangest offseason in history with a completely new offensive line and basically a new receiving corps against a very good opponent. So, I will not be hitting the panic button just yet… but damnit I am close.

The Jets came into this season with a general understanding that this year will be about evaluation. This roster needed an overhaul from years and years of neglect and that is hard to do in one offseason. So, everyone is under a microscope: players, coaches, everyone. However, in my mind, there was one piece that didn’t need evaluation: that was Sam Darnold. After Sunday, it makes me question that. Darnold was bad. He missed open receivers, he made stupid mistakes, he seemed hesitant, the pressure from the defensive line seemed to rattle him, his footwork was sloppy, and he never seemed to settle in. Other than that he was pretty good (sarcasm). This was a bad game from Darnold. Plain and simple. But it was just that. One game. Let’s see how he bounces back from this.

The other piece of this is Adam Gase. Gase, never a fan favorite, had a chance to start winning some of us over with a good showing and growth from 2019. Neither happened on Sunday. While some of the play calls may have been there when execution wasn’t, the imagination and creativity were still missing. Gase again refused to do things to switch it up. He rarely used motion, he didn’t call a single designed rollout for Darnold, nor did he move to an up-tempo offense even when we all know Darnold can excel in that – and showed it at the end of the half.

The fanbase and media seem to be split when it comes to this. Many of them put a lot of the blame on Darnold and feel he has a lot to prove. The other side wonders how can we expect Darnold to improve with a bottom-feeding coach in Adam Gase and a talent-deficient supporting cast? The question marks remain on both after this pitiful performance on Sunday… and I’m scared of what the answers are.

& 10

1. Unprepared. Flat. Stupid turnovers. Costly penalties. Lack of situational awareness. Wash. Rinse. Repeat. We have seen this way too many times.

2. Marcus Maye filled into Jamal Adams role very nicely on Sunday and verified what we have heard all camp – he is a playmaker. With 2 sacks and a forced fumble, he was all over the field.

3. I still can’t understand why Darnold didn’t throw the deep ball to Crowder late in the 3rd quarter and compounded it by taking the sack out of bounds for a 5 yard loss.

4. Quinnen Williams is Leonard Williams 2.0. I know I sound like I am talking out both sides of my mouth here as I just preached that it is one game. However, make an impact.

5. It hurts to see Robby Anderson perform so well in his first game in Carolina.

6. The Jets may have found something in Bless Austin. A potential, and rare, Maccagnan win.

7. The Jets lack of pass rush is going to be a real problem all season. As good as Maye was, they can’t continue to rely on their safeties to generate impact plays on the quarterback.

8. I find myself becoming increasingly jealous of how the Bills have built around Josh Allen.

9. Mekhi Becton and George Fant had quality games on Sunday.

10. Adam Gase can talk all he wants about putting his offense in better position by getting into 3rd and manageable distances, but until he stops calling middle runs on 2nd and long, those words mean nothing.  That is the very definition of crazy. His lack of adjustment and unwillingness to change continues to be alarming.