The Jets got beat up by the Patriots on Sunday, losing 30-14 to fall to 0-3 this season. Here are some thoughts and observations from the game:
1. Here is what I find odd about the reaction to Sunday’s game.
This was the pregame context: No one gave the Jets a chance in this game. They were historic underdogs in Vegas. They were starting a third-string quarterback in Luke Falk who should be on the practice squad right now. They were missing eight players projected as starters in the summer from a roster that could not afford any injuries. They were facing the NFL’s best defense, which has not allowed a touchdown this season. They were facing Bill Belichick, widely recognized as the greatest coach in the present NFL, maybe ever. They were facing Tom Brady, widely thought to be the best quarterback to ever play the game. They were playing in Gillette Stadium, where the Patriots have not lost since 2017.
All of a sudden, when the ball gets kicked off, it feels like everyone forgets all of that and they want the coach fired, they want the defensive coordinator fired, they want this player benched and can’t believe what they are seeing.
The Jets had no chance of winning this game. None.
Could Adam Gase have called a few more creative plays? Sure. I would have liked to have seen a flea flicker or a reverse or some kind of trick play. But that would not have made much of a difference in this game.
The coaches are not blameless in this loss, but pinning this all on them is silly.
The Jets offense was embarrassing, but what was Gase supposed to do? It is easy to say on Twitter he should be more aggressive. He was handcuffed by several things, including Falk making his first NFL start.
A few other impediments:
— The Jets had 12 second and third downs on which they needed more than 10 yards to gain the first down. It is hard to get creative on third-and-19. He does not have Brady back there to fling it to Josh Gordon.
— The offensive line could not sustain blocks. Rich Gannon suggested on the broadcast throwing a go route to Robby Anderson. You need protection to throw deep. Gase had to resort to quick passes like screens and passes at or behind the line of scrimmage because he could not trust the line.
— The wide receivers were not getting open. The Patriots secondary is great. The Jets receving corps is not. Pretty simple.
— You did not have to be Buddy Ryan to come up with a plan to stop the Jets. Take away Le’Veon Bell and the Jets are screwed. That is what Belichick did.
As far as Gregg Williams, you think it was coaching that left those receivers running open early in the game? It was execution.
Too often we point the finger at coaches and excuse the players. This Jets team needs more talent. They will get some as players get healthy in the upcoming weeks and suspensions end. Even then, though, this is not a very talented team. People need to realize that.
2. The most glaring deficiency to me outside of the offensive line was the lack of a pass rush. The Jets barely touched Brady. They had one sack in the game, but that came during Jarrett Stidham’s brief appearance. They had four quarterback hits total.
The defensive line was supposed to be a strength of this team. Leonard Williams was invisible outside of a penalty that gave the Patriots a first down when they should have been off the field. He had three tackles and did not hit the quarterback.
Williams gets all the attention, but Henry Anderson also had a poor game. He had a tackle for loss, but did not touch the quarterback either. He had three total tackles.
Kyle Phillips, an undrafted free agent, led the team with two quarterback hits. Williams is making $14.2 million this season. Anderson signed a $25.2 million deal this offseason. They need more production from those two pricey players.
3. Among the many things ailing the Jets, one area that has been ignored is the lack of production the Jets are getting at tight end. They really miss Chris Herndon, who has one more game to serve on his suspension. A tight end should be a young quarterback’s best friend, but Ryan Griffin only had one catch on one target Sunday. Griffin has four catches in three games.
4. One theme in the postgame locker room was how well timed this bye week is. It is odd to say in Week 4, but the Jets desperately need the week off to regroup and get healthy. The Jets hope to have Sam Darnold, C.J. Mosley and Quinnen Williams back after the break. Jordan Jenkins also may be able to return. The team needs the reinforcements.
Revealing stat: Le’Veon Bell averaged 1.94 yards per rushing attempt. That is the second-lowest average of his career. He averaged 1.85 yards per attempt on Oct. 27, 2013, against the Raiders. That was his fourth NFL game.
Surprising snap count: Braxton Berrios had 30 snaps on offense. It was surprising to see him as the No. 3 receiver over Josh Bellamy.
Game ball: Brian Poole was a tackling machine. The slot corner had 12 tackles and also nearly picked off Brady, one of the few Jets to disrupt the Patriots quarterback.