NY Sports Day
Anthony Rushing

Rushing: Jets’ season of hope has quickly turned into disaster

Dave Pokress/NYSD

The Jets, for the second consecutive week, embarrassed themselves in front of their home crowd.

A once-promising season of hope turned into disaster quicker than expected.

The Jets, for the second consecutive week, embarrassed themselves in front of their home crowd. This time it was the Cleveland Browns leaving town on Monday Night Football with a commanding 23-3 victory, at MetLife Stadium.

Last week, the Jets coughed up a 16-0 lead and this week they failed to even score a touchdown. The common denominator for both games has been an inept offense. It’s looked nothing like the potential high-powered offense fans were expecting.

The Jets were outgained, 199-45, in the first half. They were 0-for-6 on third downs. The second half wasn’t much better. The offense, many believed ready to turn the corner this season, has only scored 19 points through two games.

“I mean, it’s not fun,” head coach Adam Gase said afterwards. “It’s not something you want to go through. You have to battle through it. You have to figure out a way to get the ball in the end zone.”

Maybe it was the realization that the only production Gase is getting from his offense is coming from his running back, Le’Veon Bell. Out of the team’s 262 total yards against the Browns, Bell accumulated 129 of them.

“I thought he gave us everything he had,” Gase added. “I don’t know how more he could have done.”

Or maybe that realization hit Gase while watching Odell Beckham Jr. catch a short pass from Baker Mayfield in the third quarter and sprint 89 yards for a touchdown.

The defense, up until that point, had done its part to keep the Browns in check. They were also largely responsible last week for the 16-point lead the Jets eventually squandered to the Buffalo Bills.

A pattern is developing and it’s up to Gase to figure out how to put an end to it. Two weeks in a row the defense has kept or put the team in a position to come away with a win. In both games, the offense has failed to hold up their end.

Their futility on offense has put an extra strain on the defense.

“We are going through a lot of adversity right now, people hurt, things just not going our way,” said safety and co-captain Jamal Adams. “But that is not an excuse. We have to go out there and execute. We didn’t execute on both sides of the ball. We just have to be better.”

The NFL is a no-excuse zone, the coaches and players realize this. Injuries, however, have played a major factor in what’s gone wrong with the Jets. The hand they’ve been dealt arguably can be labeled as cruel and unusual punishment.

Ownership realized this team needed aggressive changes after another year without reaching the playoffs. They hired an offense-oriented head coach to mentor their young franchise quarterback, Sam Darnold.

Free agents Le’Veon Bell and Jamison Crowder were brought in to upgrade the offense. C.J. Mosely was signed to give the defense veteran leadership and stability.

 When it became clear that Mike Maccagnan wasn’t the right fit anymore for their future, moves were made which ultimately led to the hiring of Joe Douglas as general manager.

But adversity has a way of tapping us on the shoulder when we least expect it. Adversity reminds us that there’s no such thing as an easy hand in life or, in this case, professional football.

Cruel and unusual punishment, in this case, would be losing your franchise quarterback to a bout with mononucleosis. It’s losing Mosely to a groin injury while he was leading the defense to a four-turnover game.

Monday night’s game didn’t provide much in empathy for the Jets. They lost backup quarterback Trevor Siemian when his left ankle bent awkwardly from a Myles Garrett hit. An MRI revealed ligament damage for Siemian, he’s done for the season.

The Jets, with Darnold still on the mend, are now down to third-string Luke Falk as their quarterback. They’ll travel to New England for week 3 followed by a much-needed bye week where maybe they’ll get Darnold back. Then it’s a road game in Philadelphia followed by a visit from the Dallas Cowboys. They’re optimistic to have Darnold back by the time New England comes to MetLife, but by then there likely won’t be much of a season to come back to.

The Jets, for all their effort in the offseason to improve, are still finding things just continue to not go their way.

The disaster continues.

 


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