In some ways you could argue this game was a microcosm of what is wrong with the franchise. We had glimpses of missteps that have occurred over the short and long runs.
We saw how Sam Darnold’s continued failure to launch is holding the franchise back. Darnold led the Jets offense to only 3 points, which came on the first drive of the game. He registered only 132 passing yards, averaging only 5 attempts. While Darnold didn’t have any turnovers, that was only because he was lucky the Seahawks dropped a pair of interceptions, both of which would have been brutal picks.
We saw Darnold and the rest of the team not being helped out at all by their coaching. This game was a continuation of many of Adam Gase’s greatest hits, including his overreliance on Frank Gore. Gore got 8 touches before one of last week’s standouts, Josh Adams got his first. One of those Gore touches was a fumble that resulted in points.
We saw some of the personnel mistakes of the front office come into view once again. Breshad Perriman dropped a pair of drive extending passes that hit him in the hands. This season Perriman has looked like nothing more than a fourth receiver. He can help stretch the field and help you hit the occasional big play. He might even have the occasional big game, but this isn’t a guy you want to rely upon. Over a few million dollars, the Jets chose Perriman over Robby Anderson, a credible starter during his time with the Jets who is having the best year of his career with superior coaching.
We saw examples of how this franchise fails to execute even the simplest tasks. Finding a competent kicker is one of the easiest things on the agenda for most NFL teams. Every year kickers are signed off the scrap heap for pennies and perform well. The Jets can’t find a kicker. Sergio Castillo missed three first half field goal attempts that could have made the game somewhat competitive early.
We saw an uncompetitive roster take the field in this game. The roster was shaped by years of bad Draft picks. The current front office’s ability to build has also been limited by $50 million in dead money primarily left over by the errors of the previous general manager. Make no mistake about it. Joe Douglas is responsible for some of the personnel errors I mentioned above, but the team’s inability to compete mainly comes from the bill Mike Maccagnan left. The Jets are still paying dearly. It has left the team thin at some spots and forced young players like Bryce Hall into the lineup before they are ready.
Mainly we saw a team that didn’t seem like it had much intention of competing. There was minimal attention to detail. The defensive coordinator change of the past week didn’t breathe much life into the defense. Players seemed confused by their assignments, unwilling to put in the requisite effort to execute them, or both.
When you combine these things, you get a 40-3 loss. The Seahawks became the rare team to feel comfortable enough to pull their starters in the third quarter of an NFL game. Based on their playcalling, it didn’t even feel like they were making a genuine effort to score in the final quarter of the game. That’s how bleak things were for the Jets.
It took all of the factors I mentioned above to get the Jets to this spot.
In the end, none of this really matters much. For all intents and purposes the season has been over for a long time. The vast majority of the organization will be replaced, especially those in key positions such as quarterback and head coach. That would have been true even had the Jets somehow won today.
Still, every NFL game is a chance to prove what you are capable of doing and display some pride.
I don’t think anybody can be proud of the effort we saw on the field on this Sunday.