To paraphrase a quote from This Is Spinaltap: “It’s like, how much more bad can the Jets be? And the answer is…none. None more bad.” Thursday Night Football saw the Jets, a smoldering trash fire masquerading as a professional sports team, lose to the Denver Broncos 38-27. The Broncos were 0-3 coming into the game, were suffering from a rash of serious injuries to some of their most important players, and gifted the Jets numerous turnovers and defensive scores. It still was not enough. It felt like the Jets were playing with a handicap for the entire game, and frankly despite losing by multiple scores (again), the game wasn’t even as close as the score indicated. There is not a team in this entire league who the Jets are currently capable of beating.
The defense had virtually no answer for UDFA QB Brett Rypien, a complete unknown making his first NFL start. Sam Darnold continued his putrid start to the season, once again finishing under 6 YPA and missing several important throws late in the game. In typical Darnold fashion, he provided a single play to tantalize fans with visions of what he could be: scrambling for a 40 yard rushing touchdown for the Jets’ lone offensive touchdown of the game. Much like his frantic touchdown pass against the 49ers or the absolute laser he threw early against the Colts, it was a lone flash in what was yet another bad game for the young signal caller. Jets fans would be wise to take these flashes into context with his entire body of work: Sam Darnold isn’t a good quarterback right now and he probably never will be.
Speaking of people the Jets should move on from: let’s talk about whose fault that is! Adam Gase. I can talk about some of the terrible play calls Gase had this game, such as when he dialed up a wheel route for (ahem) FRANK GORE on a crucial 3rd down. Or I could talk about his awful game management, such as when he took a field goal on a 4th and 1 late in the game (when asked about this, Gase blamed the defense for failing to get a stop). However those are all conventional ways to suck as a coach, and as Christopher Johnson pointed out during Gase’s introductory press conference over a year ago: Adam Gase is an innovator. He finds brand new ways to suck that you never thought possible. For instance: he forced rookie LT Mekhi Becton into the game when he was clearly hurt. It got to the point where Becton actually had to check HIMSELF out of the game because he was in so much pain. Becton is the only young building block this team currently has, and Gase threw him out there with just one arm; apparently willing to sacrifice the long term health of his cornerstone LT in a merciless attempt to save his own job. It was difficult to watch, and frankly, it’s disgusting that Becton even dressed.
This was compounded when late in the game, the Jets defensive line apparently decided that they weren’t going to let Rypien leave with his health intact. With mere seconds left on the clock, the Jets defensive line tee’d off on Rypien and drew several personal fouls. It was so bad that Broncos coach Vic Fangio took his team into the locker room without shaking hands with Gase.
As humiliating as it was to lose to the pathetic and hobbled Broncos, the way some Jets players and coaches conducted themselves in this game was infinitely more embarrassing. The coaching staff should all have lost their jobs last season after failing to do anything against the easiest schedule in the league and hampering Sam Darnold’s development. They should have been fired already this year, after being utterly curb stomped and utterly ruining Sam Darnold…finishing what they started in 2019. But now, they should be fired for the way they managed this game. The way Becton’s injury was handled was repulsive…and it’s exactly what Adam Gase did with CJ Mosley in 2019. The Jets defense clearly took some liberties with Brett Rypian with the game already decided…a staple of Gregg Williams defenses. This is the way they’ve always been. They’ve told us all who they are. Now all Jets fans can do is hope Christopher Johnson believes them.