It was a dismal showing for the Jets today at MetLife Stadium. They were destroyed by the Buffalo Bills 45-17 as their record fell to 2-7. Buffalo led for all but the first 2:45 of the first quarter, and almost the entire second half of the game was garbage time.
Mike White’s magical run came to an emphatic end. The backup quarterback threw four interceptions and averaged only 5.7 yards per attempt. He left the game with an injury after taking a big hit in the fourth quarter, and Joe Flacco finished the game. Despite the rough day at the office, it’s difficult to criticize White too heavily. He already has overperformed expectations, and I think most people knew realistically that the air would eventually come out of the balloon. It was a question of whether there would be a slow leak or a fast pop. We got our answer here. I was hopeful he could sustain the magic for a little bit longer, but this was no great shock. In many ways you could argue White returning to earth was the least disturbing part of the game for the Jets.
This just doesn’t look like a team that is improving in any way. In fact I think there is a strong case to be made the Jets are a worse team than they were at the beginning of the season. This was the third time in four weeks since the bye that the team showed no fight and no competitiveness.
We are at the point of the season where the Jets were supposed to be getting better, but the team looks like a complete mess right now. Perhaps most disturbingly, the Jets have now been embarrassed twice in the last four weeks in a game they had extra time to prepare for.
The basics seem to be beyond the Jets right now, and some of it falls on the coaching staff. The play call for a fourth and short shouldn’t take forever to get in. The team should never take a delay of game penalty on such a play. When a starting cornerback goes out with an injury, it’s obvious to expect the other team to attack the backup coming in. Said backup shouldn’t be repeatedly left one on one as Javelin Guidry was repeatedly against Stefon Diggs.
Beyond that, the execution is miserable. The game began with a penalty on the opening kickoff, and that set the tone. The offensive line again was poor. On the other side of the ball, the defense is a complete mess right now. Players aren’t reading basic keys. The Jets coaching staff has talked about running a simple system so players understand where they need to be, but nobody seems like they know where they are supposed to be. We are at the point of the season where players should be figuring things out, but if anything it feels like things are going in the wrong direction.
The Jets also seem to figure out how to do exactly the wrong thing at just the wrong time like when Corey Davis fumbled away a ball near the end of the first half after a reception which cost the team a chance at a field goal.
We all know the Bills are a much better team than the Jets. They have appreciably more talent. A full strength Jets team would have their hands full. What we have now is a Jets team without several key players and the depth to replace them adequately.
Those might be excuses for the Jets losing, but they aren’t excuses for how pathetic the team has looked over the last month aside from the stunning upset two weeks ago over Cincinnati that looks more and more like an aberration. Some degree of professionalism and competitiveness shouldn’t be too much to ask. Anything can happen, especially at home against a divisional opponent. The Bills left the door open for the Jets to stay in the game throughout the first half making key errors like end zone drops and drive killing penalties. The Jets just refused to take advantage of those opportunities.
The only positive I can see is that the schedule is about to get a lot easier. Five of the next six games will be against teams currently in the top six in Draft positioning (which is where the Jets find themselves). Those opponents won’t be able to exploit Jets failures to the degree Buffalo did today. However, unless the Jets start showing more there might not be many wins coming.