Well, at least we didn’t really expect to win this one. The New York Jets fell to 5-9 and 0-4 against teams currently above .500, as they lost to the Baltimore Ravens, 42-21. One thing we hardly expected though was that the Jets run defense, which was rated best in the NFL before this game, would give up 218 yards on the ground.
It was really a game of two completely different halves. In the first half, the Ravens ran all over the Jets, scoring touchdowns on their first three possessions. Once Gregg Williams’ defense made adjustments in the second half, pretty much neutralizing Baltimore’s ground attack, the Ravens unleashed their air assault. The Gang Green’s injury depleted secondary just could not keep up.
On the offensive side of the football, the Jets surprisingly played better than most had expected. QB Sam Darnold was playing pretty well until he threw an interception late in the second quarter. It all went totally downhill from that point on. The Ravens’ defense made adjustments in the second half, as they forced three punts and one fumble on New York’s first four second half possessions. Once again the so-called offensive guru, Adam Gase, was outcoached and unable to make changes when needed.
Adam Gase’s offense was predictably horrendous in the 3rd quarter. That’s when the opposition makes their halftime adjustments that Gase usually has absolutely nothing to answer with. The Jets have had 33 third quarter possessions this season. They have punted on 20 of them. They have also turned the ball over or allowed a safety on 8 of them. That’s 28 completely wasted drives out of 33.
The Jets were down 21-7 after the first half. But it was much closer and the score should have been much closer as well. First, PK Sam Ficken had his field goal attempt partially blocked (he would later miss an extra point as well). Then, Adam Gase went on fourth down on Baltimore’s 12-yard line, called a questionable play and failed. Finally, it was Darnold’s interception that left more points off the board, as the Jets were well in field goal range.
It took Gase only 14 games to finally start utilizing RB Le’Veon Bell. He had 21 carries for 87 yards (season high). QB Sam Darnold played well for the most part, as he finished 18 of 32, 218 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT. The interception was a costly one and so was the lost fumble that led to an easy Baltimore touchdown two plays later.
Special teams, minus the kicker, was pretty much the only unit that performed well throughout the contest. They averaged over 25 yards on seven kickoff returns. Braxton Barrios averaged 16 yards on three punt returns. They also blocked a punt and returned it for a score in the fourth quarter.
The Jets have two games left, both against teams over .500. Can Gase finally learn how to make adjustments if his game plan does not work? Don’t count on it. He already has next season promised to him by Jets CEO Christopher Johnson and unless Johnson suddenly changes his mind, Gase is here to stay. And we’re here to suffer for at least one more year…