The Jets were talking all week about an urgency to turn their season around starting with their matchup with the Seattle Seahawks.
The objective for the Jets was clear, they needed a win this week in every way imaginable. They needed to brush away the stench from their hideous showing against the Kansas City Chiefs a week ago.
Just beat the Seahawks and all will be well again. Right?
Well, the fans and the media got the message. So did Russell Wilson and the Seahawks. Everyone seemed to get the message except for the Jets.
Message deferred. Enter frustration. Time for someone to give the code red.
Wilson, miracusiously playing on a sprained MCL, threw two touchdowns and went 23 of 31 for 309 yards as Seattle rolled to a 27-17 win over the Jets, Sunday afternoon at MetLife Stadium.
The Jets slipped to a 1-3 on the season and frustration is now an understatement for this team. Their season is now spiraling out of control with no signs they can stop the bleeding.
“Sometimes you need to fight more than one battle to win a war,” said head coach Todd Bowles on his postgame message to his team. “We fought two battles two weeks in a row and we lost, but the season is not over.”
“We’re 1-3, but we have to grind,” Bowles continued. “We have to get better and we’re going to do that next week. We’re going to get better.”
The must-win mentality and sense of urgency, much like last week against Kansas City, was nowhere to be found on either side of the football.
This much was evident from the first possession of the game when the Jets’ offense marched down the field for 14 plays on 62 yards only to stall in the red zone and settle for three points.
We all should’ve known then it would be another long day at the office for Gang Green.
Fitzpatrick wasn’t as bad as he was against Kansas City, but he wasn’t good either. There were three more interceptions, two by Richard Sherman, from the $12 million man on this cloudy and damp Sunday. That makes nine total from Fitzpatrick in the last two weeks.
The loss of wide receiver Eric Decker to an injured shoulder last week clearly impacted the Jets’ offense against Seattle. Fitzpatrick locked-in on making sure he got the football to Brandon Marshall as often as possible.
The results for Marshall were mixed. In the first half he repeatedly won his one on one matchups against Sherman, capping it off with a 17-yard touchdown catch in the second quarter.
In the second half, however, it was evident Seattle’s top-ranked defense decided to take Marshall out of the Jets’ game plan. Sherman came away with two interceptions and Seattle’s star-studded secondary turned the Jets offense into a one-dimensional group which made them predictable.
After the game, the tension in the Jets locker room was about as thick as it gets for a team in their current position.
Marshall, when asked a second time about assessing Fitzpatrick and the quarterbacks, visibly made his position clear.
“I am going down in the boat with Ryan Fitzpatrick,” Marshall said. “Okay? You got it? So you cannot ask me anymore questions about that? I am going down in the boat with number 14.”
Wilson, meanwhile, calmly picked up where Alex Smith and the Chiefs left off a week ago. Seattle’s offense operated at times with precision against the Jets defense, with Wilson methodically dismantling whatever defensive game plan Bowles thought would work.
The blown coverages and missed assignments are now problem areas which the defensive line can no longer help cover for.
Despite all of this negativity surrounding the Jets, they still went into the fourth quarter of this game only trailing Seattle 17-10. The Jets had managed to keep the game close, if they could’ve avoided the turnovers and mental errors it might have been a different final result on the scoreboard.
So what’s next for the Jets? If the loss to Kansas City was rock-bottom, then what exactly was this?
All is clearly not well with this team.
After the game, Bowles expressed continued confidence in Fitzpatrick as his quarterback. That could change in the next two weeks.
The Jets go on the road for games against Pittsburgh and Arizona. Four of their next five games will be as the visiting team, the schedule doesn’t get easier and this will be the defining stretch of their season.
“I don’t care where we play,” said Bowles. “We take them one week at a time. We’re going to correct our mistakes from today and get ready for Pittsburgh. We have to show up and play wherever we play.”
The new message for the Jets should be just as simple as the previous one. Their season, high expectations and all, is now at a code red level.
Not only does this team have to show up and play, they have to start winning games.