In a stunning display of offensive ineptitude the New York Jets lost to the Miami Dolphins 13-6 in Miami. This was a game reminiscent of many offensive atrocities of years past in the Sanchez and Geno eras.
The Jets offense converted on third down twice all game. The center couldn’t snap the ball and the coaches didn’t understand he had to be replaced. The quarterback threw four interceptions and should have had two more. The best Jets drive of the day was the result of 30 yards in back to back Dolphins face mask penalties. The Jets offense couldn’t get manageable down and distance situations and couldn’t convert on third down. The Jets offense somehow managed to outscore itself, 7-6, for the game. It was that kind of day.
This was a squandered opportunity, as the defense came to play, holding the Dolphins to six points and pitching a shutout in the second half.
For the fifth time this year the Jets offense failed to muster 100 yards rushing, and in every one of those games the Jets lost. For the fifth time this year the Jets asked Sam Darnold to throw more than 30 passes, and the Jets have gone 0-5 in those games. By now the lesson is clear - the Jets cannot win without a strong running game taking much of the load off their rookie quarterback, and so far the Jets have had anything but a strong running game all too often.
Let’s take a look at what went right and what went wrong in this game.
The entire Jets defense came to play today. Special recognition goes to the following players:
Jamal Adams. Good in coverage, two batted passes on blitzes, Adams continues to burnish his Pro Bowl credentials for 2018.
Jordan Jenkins. With two sacks Jenkins led an effective Jets pass rush that put pressure on Brock Osweiler all game.
Avery Williamson. Eleven tackles and a sack. Williamson was making plays in this game.
Leonard Williams. Consistently won his matchups and had a couple of run stuffs.
The offense was atrocious, but one guy came to play.
Chris Herndon. With four catches on four targets for 62 yards, Herndon was the lone bright spot on a miserable day for the offense.
It is tempting to just say everybody but Herndon on the offense was bad. They were. But there are levels of bad. Some guys earned special recognition today.
Spencer Long. The man can’t snap the ball. This is a subtle point that few who aren’t familiar with the intricacies of the game might recognize, but snapping the ball is kind of an important thing to be able to do for a center. He’s injured, so it’s not entirely his fault, but as long as he’s out there playing he takes the blame for his extraordinarily horrific snaps.
Jets Coaches. Long has been hurt for weeks, and has continually hurt the Jets with his wayward snaps. Every Jets fan can see he shouldn’t be out there, but the Jets coaches just keep sending him to the arena like the Christians to slaughter in Ancient Rome.
Brandon Shell. He gave up a couple of sacks. A rare bad day for perhaps the best of the Jets offensive linemen.
Brian Winters. Gave up at least one sack. Lost his matchups all day. Another poor performance by a Jets offensive lineman.
Jermaine Kearse. Kearse has been brutal all year and today was no exception. Multiple dropped passes, an inexplicable drift out of bounds on the Jets last gasp drive to tie the game, three catches on eight targets for a measly 20 yards - Kearse was really bad this game, as he has been all year.
Sam Darnold. This was Darnold’s worst performance of the season. Four interceptions, another two passes right into defenders’ arms that should have been picked off. 5.9 yards per attempt, a 32 passer rating, two third down conversions all game. Sam had lots of help in this debacle. Dropped passes, poor run blocking, poor pass blocking, lots of pressure. But let’s not mince words. Sam Darnold was awful in this game. Not OK, not mediocre, awful. This was his worst performance of the season, and he gave the Jets little chance to win.
With the loss the Jets go to 3-6 on the year. Any outside chance of a playoff berth has been all but extinguished. The team will of course continue to focus on winning each game, but the primary focus for the remainder of this year for most fans will be the development of Sam Darnold, the Jets 2019 draft position and the issue of whether head coach Todd Bowles and/or general manager Mike Maccagnan will retain their jobs beyond the end of this season. With the team in a tailspin and the offense looking as bad as an offense can look, more bad times seem likely in the near future, barring a miraculous turnaround. The lost decade continues.