There was very little fun to be had watching yesterday’s game if you’re stuck rooting for the Jets. It was the type of game we’re all so used to seeing and the type of game we’ve been hoping was officially behind us as a franchise, at least maybe for a few years. It was the type of game that makes you wonder how the Jets could possibly be so much more inept than 95% of the other franchises in the NFL, year after year. The Jaguars are contenders to win the AFC, so no one can really complain about the Jets not pulling out a win on the road. But after rewatching a lot of it today, it all became a lot more frustrating.
I honestly don’t think the Jets game plan on offense was that bad yesterday. Darnold left some points on the field with near-misses and it is what it is. We had opportunities to score points created by solid play calling and couldn’t execute. The running game never got rolling and that falls on the mediocre offensive line, but at least Jeremy Bates gave Darnold some chances to make plays. A day will come when he makes more of them. But Sunday, against one of the best defenses in the NFL and in his 4th career start, was not that day.
I cut up some GIFs of plays that I think sum up how and why this game was somehow more frustrating than the box score shows because making GIFs about the Jets even when they stink makes me feel a little bit better things about forget about how inadequate Todd Bowles is proving to be so far in 2018. The Jets defense has way too much talent to look this bad against an average NFL offense like the one in Jacksonville.
I’m getting myself pissed off all over again, so let’s look at some god damn GIFs.
Has Todd Bowles Ever Watched A Football Game Before? Part 1
We saw it against Tannehill and the Dolphins, and then again against the Browns with Tyrod and Baker Mayfield. Every time a QB leaves the pocket and runs against our defense, it looks like they didn’t know QBs were allowed to do it. It’s one thing when a 5-man rush can’t get any pressure on Bortles, but it’s a whole different issue when the defense spends another game letting a guy with average speed run around like he’s Mike Vick.
Everyone knows Bortles is capable of taking off and we’ve been getting killed on plays like this all year. At some point, Todd Bowles needs to figure out a way to get his defense better prepared for QBs leaving the pocket and picking up 1st downs with their feet. It’s inexcusable.
One Kinda Positive Thing: Henry Anderson Had Another Sack
He now has 2.5 sacks in 4 games on the year. He’s no Khalil Mack. But at this point he’s undoubtedly been our best pass rusher, so that’s exciting I guess.
Has Todd Bowles Ever Watched A Football Game Before? Part 2
What is this defense called? Buster Skrine was lined up across from Dede Westbrook like he was supposed to be covering him, but I guess he wasn’t? We can’t even be mad at Skrine here because it looks like he was supposed to be in a zone. So who was supposed to be covering Dede Westbrook, on 3rd and 5 and 34 yards from the Jets’ endzone?
You can chalk it up to a miscommunication, but given how often plays like this have been happening this season, the blame ultimately falls on Todd Bowles. It’s hard to win games when it’s this easy to convert on 3rd down against the Jets defense.
Jaguars Invented A Crazy New Blitz Scheme To Sack Darnold
Wow! A 4-man rush with a simple stunt inside from a DT and once again the offensive line looks like they’re seeing something for the first time. That’s literally a high school football scheme from the Jaguars D-line and it works to perfection against the Jets on 3rd and long.
With 12 yards to gain, Sam Darnold needs to have that extra second to make his reads and let his WRs get downfield in their routes, but a DT in a 5-technique is able to blow up the pocket almost immediately because Spencer Long couldn’t get off his double team to pick up the defensive end coming the line on a stunt. Another inexcusable lack of execution and preparation for the New York Jets.
Has Todd Bowles Ever Watched A Football Game Before? Part 3
The more I watch the play, the more I think most of the blame falls on Darron Lee for getting distracted by the receiver cutting in front of him, losing track of T.J. Yeldon in the process. It looks like the Jets were in a cover-4 scheme in the secondary, with the 2 inside linebackers responsible for picking up the underneath routes, but no one picks up Yeldon out of the backfield.
Darron Lee gets moved out of position by shallow cross, which is exactly what the offense wants to happen, and it frees up Yeldon to run untouched for a TD. The common theme yet again here is that the Jets looked completely surprised and unprepared for a simple passing concept that the Jaguars have been running successfully for upwards of 2 years.
It’s easy to see how these plays worked so well when you watch the film, but it comes down to the fact that these aren’t groundbreaking schemes and plays from the Jets opponents, it’s the Jets not being prepared with enough consistency to know how opponents are going to attack them and being ready to stop said attacks. Right now, whatever they’re doing in practice isn’t working.
If Sam Darnold Made 1 Of These Throws, The Whole Halftime Narrative Would Have Been Very Different
These plays happened one after the other, and both of them were a few inches away from being TDs to make the game 13-7 before the half. Both of them were good play calls, with Darnold being given enough time to make his reads and deliver the ball, but he was unable to connect on both occasions.
I wanted to show these because of what I said at the beginning of this article. It was easy to complain about Jeremy Bates’ play calling after the Cleveland loss, but the lack of offensive production vs. Jacksonville was not his fault. Darnold was not able to make all the throws he needed to yesterday, and that’s okay. It’s only his 4th game and he will keep getting better. It was not his fault that the Jets ended up losing by 19.
If either of those balls connect, the Jets likely go into halftime with a 6-point deficit and at least a tiny bit of momentum to come out in the 2nd half with energy and focus. Just something to think about.
New Jack City Has Officially Declared A State Of Emergency
Growing up, one of my favorite phrases I’d ever heard screamed at a TV during an NFL game came from an uncle of mine who played college football at Colgate. Usually after a star receiver dropped an easy catch, he’d berate them with a “YOU GET PAID TOO MUCH MONEY TO DROP THE FOOTBALL!”
With this play, I found myself screaming the same shit at Trumaine Johnson. He’s getting paid way too much money to get toasted like that by Donte Moncrief. That play took all the life out of this game. I hope Trumaine Johnson watches that play every night before he goes to sleep this week, because he should be absolutely embarrassed.
This one just sums up the state of the defense right now. Buster Skrine gets embarrassed, Claiborne and Tru are around the play but don’t wanna get dirty, Jamal Adams is the only who shows any heart and anger at the fact that they’re getting smacked around, and even Leonard Williams arrives in the picture about a second too late to get his hands on the ball-carrier. Fuck.
Dede Westbrook is running around all day like he’s Jerry Rice, and Todd Bowles is talking about it postgame saying he doesn’t know why the team isn’t executing.
I really want to believe that this team isn’t this bad. I’ve spent way too much time thinking about the positive outcomes we have a chance of experiencing this season for them to stink it up week after week and not get any better. That being said, it’s starting to become more and more evident that this team can only grow as much as their coaches enable them to, and Todd Bowles might not even understand basic math, let alone how to manage both sides of the football at the NFL level and try to win a
Super Bowl AFC Championship d ivision football game.
Stay tuned for more New York Jets talk. It’s time to focus on Denver. Maybe the coaches will watch some film this week.