On Sunday afternoon, Sam Darnold and Le’Veon Bell made this play to give the New York Jets a 16-0 lead in the third quarter at home against the Buffalo Bills.
Life was good. Look at that improvisation. Look at that arm strength. Look at our All-Pro running back making a WR1 catch to open up a healthy two score lead over a division rival, who had a quarterback with four turnovers.
- CJ Mosley gets hurt.
- Josh Allen leads three second half scoring drives.
- Sam Darnold and Robby Anderson fail to convert on back to back home run deep balls to win the game late.
- The Jets lose 17-16.
- Adam Gase has a very Adam Gase press conference. “BECAUSE I AM THE HEAD COACH, THAT IS WHY!“
- Quincy Enunwa was ruled out for the year with a neck injury.
- The Jets traded a 6th round pick to New England for Demaryius Thomas, who has a hamstring injury and won’t practice this week.
- The Jets signed SAM FICKEN to be their kicker of the week.
- Both CJ Mosley and Quinnen Williams status is in question for Monday Night.
- Sam Darnold will be out multiple games with mono.
The most important person in the Jets organization has a serious illness at the age of 22 years old and is pragmatically going to be out for at least 3-4 games, if not a bit more. When is the last time you have heard of a quarterback missing a game for this reason? It is a new one. It is a scary one (seriously, mono is no joke and Darnold needs to be cautious in recovery). It is a shocking one and that is from someone who remembers IK Enemkpali breaking Geno Smith’s jaw in the locker room over a few hundred bucks.
Trevor Siemian will take over in the interim, who is a middle of the road veteran backup who will remind Jets fans of 2017 Josh McCown with less deep ball accuracy. Expect a high completion percentage, many short throws, many throws short of the sticks on third down, limited attacking down the field and limited improvisation. The quintessential JAG.
The Jets were already 3 point underdogs at home to a Cleveland team who was whooped week one…that line will continue to move further away from them now. Ironically, at least on paper, this is the most “winnable” of the Jets next five games.
Here is your glass half full analysis: After losing to Buffalo, the Jets were probably starting the season 2-4 or 1-5, even with Darnold. Their record may only swing one game worse with Siemian now in the lineup. Most people who looked at the Jets schedule, saw the following seven games as a chance to “make a run.” Darnold *should* be back for those games, hopefully with an offensive line that has gelled better and a coaching staff that has figured out what they are doing. There is a world where Darnold comes back to a 1-5 team, wins 5 of 7 games, shows progress and this becomes far from a lost season.
Here is your sobering analysis: This flat out sucks. If the Jets lose on Monday, 0-6 is very much on the table and any missed games for Darnold slows his development in the ticking time bomb of his rookie contract. If you were skeptical of the Adam Gase hiring (HI!), this may be a crutch if the team is bad this season and he could get a second year handed to him, even if he doesn’t show any tangible progress from the mediocre coach he was in Miami. It is also going to be much, much more boring watching Siemian than Darnold and likely have a large negative impact on Robby Anderson and Chris Herndon’s production (if Darnold isn’t ready by week 6). Micropasses from Siemian to 31 year old Demaryius Thomas ain’t doing much for long term growth here.
Let’s hope for a speedy Darnold recovery. Let’s hope for a Monday night upset. Let’s hope we aren’t back to looking at reverse standings in October as we plot out what corner or receiver the Jets can take in the top five next year…