The Jets are going down in a blaze of indifferent agony


Marianne O’Leary | Flickr

Isaiah Hinton

While there could be a substantial debate as to the best team in the National Football League, there is no debate on who the worst team is. The New York Jets are a dumpster fire that refuses to be extinguished.

At the beginning of the season, there was a dim sense of hope surrounding Gang Green as their biggest rivals, the New England Patriots, no longer had their legendary quarterback Tom Brady under center. With the Patriots and the Miami Dolphins seemingly in a rebuilding stage, the opportunity to progress under second-year head coach Adam Gase and succeed was ripe.

However, the first nail in the coffin came when star defensive back Jamal Adams demanded a new contract extension. The Jets were hesitant to pay him, at least at that moment. After that, his relationship with the front office soured, much like his evaporated relationship with his former coach.

Adams was granted a trade in July after he communicated his desire to leave Gotham. The next nail in the coffin came when their high-priced linebacker C.J. Mosley opted out of the season due to coronavirus concerns.

When the season finally started in September, the Jets were outplayed by every opponent. On offense, the team is worse than inept. The Jets are last in total yards gained, last in total first downs with 147 through nine games and last in total offensive touchdowns with a miniscule 10. To put that in comparison, Patrick Mahomes, quarterback for the defending champion Kansas City Chiefs, scored more than twice the number of touchdowns the Jets have scored.

There are many parties to blame for the level of ineptitude of the offense, the first of which is the head coach. Gase was vaunted as an “offensive genius” by Jets’ management when he was hired in 2018. That reputation was reaffirmed by Jets owner Christopher Johnson this year, as he believes Gase possesses a “brilliant offensive mind.”

However, that offensive mind transformed phenomenal running back Le’Veon Bell from a stud to a dud. Gase would never utilize Bell as an asset in the passing game, only using him for screen passes on third down with a significant number of yards to gain.

Bell was not used as the predominant back and the offensive line was awful enough to not give Bell any room to run. As a result, Bell agreed with some tweets complaining that he was underutilized and was subsequently released.

This season, Gase relies on 37-year old Frank Gore. Gore will be a hall-of-famer when he is eligible, as he is one of the most prolific running backs of all time. However, Gore is wasted on first and second downs when he must run the ball up the middle. The play calling from Gase is extremely unimaginative. Running plays that even the CPU in a Madden game would not call on first down, a short pass on second down and a bad pass or run on third down.

During some games, Gase would be sitting alone with his play sheet on the sideline. With no communication or fight-back from the team, it is evident that the head coach has lost the trust of his team. Under the tutelage of Gase, quarterback Sam Darnold has regressed into a shell of his potential compared to when he was drafted three years ago.

This year, Darnold has the worst passer rating of all qualified starters in the league. His long-range passes exude indecision and timidity, resulting in interceptions and incomplete passes. If Darnold is to be the franchise quarterback for the Jets, then he needs to develop quickly.

Defensive coordinator Gregg Williams creates defense known for being stout and undisciplined. So far, the Jets’ defense has been called for 63 penalties, the most in the NFL. They are the only team in the league to accumulate 600 penalty yards.

On the other hand, the Jets’ defense can stop the run. This is due, in part, to the emergence of second-year defensive lineman Quinnen Williams, who has exceeded his rookie totals for tackles, with 31, and sacks with three. While the Jets are competent in run defense, their pass defense is atrocious.

They have allowed the highest percentage of completed passes in the league, along with the third most passing yards. Without Adams, their secondary is repeatedly exposed. Pierre Desir, who was signed to be the shutdown corner, was so awful that he was benched in Week One. Unfortunately, the defense is not good enough.

When there is a legitimate argument to be made that the punter is the best performing player of the season, while the rest of the team is in hell. Watching this team is equivalent to watching an infant try to walk and failing. Each and every time.

The Jets are in tank mode, no matter what the players and management say. The fanbase is cheering losses as if they are victories as they strive for the number one overall pick, and the opportunity to draft Clemson wunderkind Trevor Lawrence. It is at a point where the fans have given up on the team this season.

There is only one path that the Jets can take this season: a grand and glorious failure.