It was a rough night for New York. Not only did the Yankees allow the rival Red Sox to clinch the AL East on their own turf, the Jets also fell in disheartening fashion to the Cleveland Browns, allowing them to snap their 635-day win-less streak.
This loss stings just a bit more than usual for the Jets. They had nearly everything but the moneyline on their side. Recent history spelled success as the Jets had won their previous five matchups against the lowly Browns. Combine that with the rising anticipation of Sam Darnold and the behemoth of a defense, and most would’ve assumed a victory.
But the Jets will be the Jets.
Oh No, Not Again…
We should’ve known that the Jets were destined to collapse after their hot start on Thursday. Early into the second quarter, New York found themselves up 14-0, with two touchdowns from former Brown Isaiah Crowell. It was somewhat laughable that the all the so-called “experts” were so hung up on Cleveland running away with this game. The Jets weren’t going to let that happen.
Until they did.
— NFL (@NFL) September 21, 2018
Things quickly spun out of control for New York after their fiery start. The defense seemed to disappear after knocking Tyrod Taylor out of the game. And Sam Darnold just couldn’t avoid the pressure, simply due to his poor offensive line.
The highly anticipated Baker Mayfield entered and exposed the Jets secondary, slicing through them like wet paper. He immediately led the Browns down the field for a quick field goal to end the first half. And the second half was no different as he torched New York for 200 yards and three more scoring drives.
The Jets know this situation all too well. Get off to a booming start, grab a significant lead…then collapse late. Ring a bell? Take a look at the majority of the games the Jets’ lost in 2017 and I’m sure you’ll notice.
The #Jets had a 14 point lead against a team that hadn’t won a game in two years and I absolutely knew they were going to lose. That, in a nutshell, is what it is like to root for this team.
— Mike Greenberg (@Espngreeny) September 21, 2018
While Mayfield put on a show, he likely owes a fair share of his successful debut to the Jets’ coaching staff. Head coach Todd Bowles failed to administer any discipline for the boatload of penalties his team was racking up. And offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates played his cards too cautiously after going up 14-0. He continued to push Darnold and company into short passes and runs for little to gain, all while Mayfield was dominating on every level (play action, short and deep).
It was a rough night all around for New York. Once again they found themselves undisciplined and unable to avoid shooting themselves in the foot. A bounce back may seem far fetched.
And that’s not to say the team isn’t capable of it, but their schedule doesn’t exactly favor it. The team will hit the road for Jacksonville next Sunday where they will face what is arguably the best defense in the NFL. Not to mention they are also the team that just stomped over the reigning AFC Champion New England Patriots.
It doesn’t get much prettier beyond that. The Broncos, Colts, Vikings and Bears follow suit after next week. All of those teams have shown much more poise and promise through the first few weeks than the Jets.
We should also avoid applauding Darnold for taking the majority of the blame. It’s really not all his fault. His offensive line isn’t supportive, and his defense can’t last four quarters. Of course rookies will make rookie mistakes, but these other outside factors fall on the coaching staff. They just seem unwilling to alter anything outside of their signal caller. Darnold will help, but he won’t fix all the problems this team has.
On his day-after call, Bowles said, “Penalties are definitely on the players. I mean, coaches can’t play for them. We understand situations and we know what to do and what not to do. Guys have to be calmer in certain situations.” It’s on coaching, too, IMO. #Jets
— Rich Cimini (@RichCimini) September 21, 2018
And I understand this overload of negativity probably has you like, ” Dude, just stop talking.” But in the end, when reality really sets in, you’ll notice this team is far from being perfect.
And that’s okay. Changes will be inevitable if this team hopes to see any success, but it will take time. Just trust the process.