It was groundhog day for the Jets again Sunday.
Same old predictable offense, same old eventual loss.
Same old quarterback, same old coach.
Sundays’ 20-3 loss to the Dolphins at MetLife wasn’t as close as the final score. The Jets’ bend-but -not-break defense kept 38-year-old Ryan Fitzpatrick in check for the most part, but they made him look like his Jets’ days with a 24-for-39, 257 yard, two touchdown afternoon.
It was supposed to be the triumph return of quarterback Sam Darnold, who had his full complement of receivers with him for the first time.
And it did look like it was through the first quarter as he connected on five of six passes for 84 yards, hitting Brett Perriman and Denzel Mims on big plays.
Unfortunately, that was it for your 0-11 Jets.
It also could have marked the end of the Darnold-head coach Adam Gase relationship that once was supposed to be a mystical communion between the two.
Darnold couldn’t get in sync with his receivers and threw two miserable interceptions. He finished 16 of 27 for 197, sacked three times (the first one likely cost them a touchdown), and netted a quarterback rating of 51.
Gase sounds entirely bored at this point with his long pauses searching for answers.
The highlight of the rest of the game after the first quarter was Gase trying to convince the media that offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains was calling the plays and he wasn’t. Then Gase did admit that he did call some down the stretch.
Like the game and the season, it was another convoluted mess.
Now it will get interesting to see if Darnold can find his mark with a date with the Raiders next Sunday at MetLife before games against the Seahawks, Rams, and Browns.
It won’t get any easier.
Darnold appears to have hit his ceiling with the Jets, and it isn’t totally his fault.
He never had a consistent core of receivers around and the offensive line always was a work in progress (Alex Lewis was first sidelined with an injury and then a coach’s decision not to play?)
Aside from last year’s 6-2 finish, Darnold and Gase never really connected.
Against Miami, Darnold was still making too many mistakes third-year starters shouldn’t make even if he missed a few games.
He may still show some flash over the next five weeks, but it’s time to go.
As for Gase, he’ll survive the season and be issued the proverbial pink slip minutes after the final in New England, just like predecessor Todd Bowles did two years ago.
There once was promise between the two, but there should be a new combo in 2021.
Photo by Brooks Von Arx/Zuma Press/Icon Sportswire