Josh McCown was better but still not good enough to win for the Jets.
McCown was terrible in a 41-10 loss to the Bills on Nov. 11, his first start of the season. The quarterback did better Sunday in the 27-13 loss to the Patriots but threw a costly interception near the end of the first half that stopped any momentum the Jets’ boring offense was trying to muster.
Against the Bills, the veteran was 17-for-34 with zero touchdowns and two interceptions. In the matchup of old QBs against the legend known as Tom Brady, McCown, 39, threw the ball 45 times, completing 26 for 276 yards with one touchdown, a 16-yarder to Jermaine Kearse that actually gave the Jets a 7-0 lead.
The good times did not last as the Jets fell to 3-8, their fifth straight loss as the season continues to crumble under Todd Bowles.
“It sucks,’’ McCown said of the Jets’ losing streak. “I think, individually, it’s a test — it tests who you are and what you’re about and your ability to get back up [and] come back to work, work hard, be a professional.”
Admirable approach but the bottom line is McCown and the offense could not keep pace with the Patriots, and with a first-and-10 on the New England 41, McCown threw a pass down the middle that was intended for Robby Anderson.
There was not enough arm in the throw. The pocket collapsed as McCown released the ball and Stephon Gilmore went up and grabbed his second interception of the season at the 2-yard line. The Patriots’ 10-7 lead was safe for the rest of the day.
“They gave us quarters coverage,’’ McCown said, explaining how the interception happened. “We wanted to try to get a big one down there to Robby. We had some pressure up the middle and I didn’t quite get as much on it as I would have liked and really to have a chance to kind of see it a little bit better, but there’s times when you just have to trust what you see in coverage to try to get one down there and let Robby get up and make a play on it, and just didn’t get that done, and it’s on me.”
Sam Darnold (foot) should be back starting next week, and McCown can return to his mentoring ways.
“Every man competed,” McCown said of the Jets. “Up until the last tick on the clock, we competed hard and I think that was much better than last week. … When you are not scoring, you are always searching to try to figure that out. … We had some shots there toward the end of this last drive and didn’t get it in, so we have to execute better, and that is just part of the growth that has to take place for this team.”
Good teams win. Bad teams find ways to lose. The Jets and McCown came up short once again.