FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Well, at least the Jets can’t lose next week.
The Jets fell to 0-3 on Sunday with an embarrassing 30-14 loss to the Patriots at Gillette Stadium. Now, they get a bye to try to get healthy and figure out what is wrong with this team, which looks lost.
No team has ever needed the early bye as badly as these Jets.
“It’s a new season when we get back — 0-3, so what, now what?” safety Jamal Adams said. “We’ll be all right.”
The Jets looked far from all right Sunday. They did not look like they belonged on the same field as the Patriots. The final score was deceiving and did not indicate how lopsided this game actually was.
Tom Brady had open receivers to throw to, the Jets’ offense crossed midfield twice and this game was never in doubt.
The Jets are 0-3 for the first time since 2003 and in desperate need of getting some key players back. Third-stringer Luke Falk
made his first start at quarterback with Sam Darnold (mononucleosis) and Trevor Siemian (ankle) sidelined.
The 24-year-old looked overmatched against a strong Patriots defense, which has not allowed a touchdown this season, but it was not all his fault. The offensive line had another brutal day and Falk was sacked five times. He finished 12-of-22 for 98 yards and had one interception.
The offense was anemic. The Jets gained 105 yards, went 0-for-12 on third downs and averaged just 2.2 yards per play in the game. They had more punts (10) than first downs (six).
The Jets hired Adam Gase because of his ability as an offensive coach. So far, his offense has produced one touchdown in three games. He called the offensive performance “atrocious.”
“It’s brutal,” Gase said. “It’s one of those things where it’s infuriating because you’re watching the defense and special teams play as hard as they can and executing what they’re being asked to do and they’re doing it well for the majority of the game and then we’re not holding up our end on offense.”
On Sunday, the defense was terrible early, but then played better. The Patriots scored touchdowns on their first three possessions and they finished the game with 381 total yards. Brady went 28-of-42 for 306 yards with two touchdowns.
The Jets avoided the shutout with a special teams touchdown in the third quarter. Patriots punt returner Gunner Olszewski muffed the punt inside his own 10 and Jets cornerback Arthur Maulet recovered it in the end zone to cut the score to 30-7.
It was the first touchdown for the Jets since the third quarter of Week 1 against the Bills, a stretch of seven quarters.
While some of the offensive issues can be attributed to missing Darnold, it goes deeper than that. The offensive line looks like it can’t block anyone right now. Le’Veon Bell was consistently hit as soon as he touched the ball. He had 18 carries for 35 yards. The Jets’ wide receivers had seven combined catches.
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“We didn’t give ourselves a chance,” Gase said.
The Jets continually operated out of second-and-long and third-and long because of negative plays and penalties.
Gase will be criticized for being too conservative, but it is tough to open up the offense when you are constantly in situations in which you need more than 10 yards.
“I don’t feel like we’ve been conservative,” Bell said. “We just haven’t been playing smart. We’ve been hurting ourselves and getting behind the chains. There’s not a lot of plays for third-and-18 or third-and-20. We’ve got to not hurt ourselves and we’ll be better.”
Adams scored his first career touchdown in the fourth quarter when he intercepted Patriots backup quarterback Jarrett Stidham and returned it 61 yards to make the final score more respectable.
Through three games, the Jets’ defense has outscored the offense 15-11 and special teams is not far behind with seven points.
As bad as the score was, it looked like it was going to be worse early in the game. The Patriots scored touchdowns on their first three possessions. Gregg Williams’ defense allowed open wide receivers all over the field.
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Brady moved the Patriots down the field with a 41-yard pass to a wide open Ryan Izzo at the start of the game. Sony Michel scored a 5-yard touchdown four plays later. On the next drive, Brady got the Jets’ linebackers to bite on a play-fake and hit Phillip Dorsett for a 25-yard touchdown. The Patriots pushed it to 20-0 with 13:34 left in the second quarter on a 3-yard touchdown pass from Brady to Julian Edelman.
The Jets get a week off and then play at Philadelphia. The Jets are hopeful Darnold will be back for that game. They also desperately need linebacker C.J. Mosley, who has a groin injury, to return.
On Sunday, the Jets said they will take the bye week to reflect and figure out how to fix this. A team that had high hopes
this summer is now 0-3 with games against the Eagles, Cowboys and Patriots (combined 7-2 record) coming after the bye.
Adams said no one is panicking.
“It’s just three games, man. We’ll be fine,” Adams said. “It’s just three games.”
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