Injuries, pick-sixes, zero pressure on the quarterback.
That's the New York Jets.
Sunday's 36-7 loss to the Colts was more of what we've seen from Gang Green in 2020. The Jets' offense never got going, aside from one 14-play drive. And the Colts' defense outscored the Jets.
Beware reading the rest -- it wasn't pretty. Here's a look at the takeaways of the Jets' third-straight loss to open up the year:
- Sam Darnold had his wow moments, both positively and negatively, throughout the ballgame. Darnold almost immediately put the Jets in a hole, as he threw a pick six to Xavier Rhodes on the fifth snap of the ball game. It was more-so a great play by Rhodes, as the three-time Pro Bowler has the skill advantage over intended target Lawrence Cager, who would be on the practice squad if the team were healthy, and Darnold had to try to keep the chains moving, but the throw definitely could have been better.
- But Darnold moved the chains on the second drive. On a 3rd and 6, he scampered for six yards and the first down. On another 3rd and 6, he found Braxton Berrios to keep it rolling. On the 14th play of the drive, Darnold scrambled around the pocket and found Berrios again for a 16-yard touchdown in the front-left corner of the end zone. Sam Ficken’s field goal tied the game up at seven. It was simply an awesome drive by the third-year quarterback.
- Darnold’s first interception was a great play by Rhodes. His second, and third, however, were inexcusable. After finding Berrios for 28 yards, and an effecient Frank Gore having three carries for 15 yards, Darnold threw a line drive into double coverage intended for Cager, who was in the back corner of the end zone. A throw over the top was necessary - instead, it looked like a slant route intended for Rhodes, who grabbed his second interception of the day. His third pick, which T.J. Carrie brought all the way to the end zone, was either a bad overthrow of Berrios or a miscommunication between him and Chris Hogan, who was along the sideline. Either way, it was a bad throw.
- The defense did not do any favors. Phillip Rivers dink-and-dunked his way down the field on the Colts' first drive of the game, while the Jets allowed two rushes of at least 11 yards. A defensive pass interference by Pierre Desir put the Colts on the one-yard line, and Rivers found Mo Alie-Cox for the score.
- The Jets defense had no solution on the Colts' next drive. Cox had a gain of 45, catching a pass with no one within seven yards of him. Rod Blankenship gave the Colts a 17-7 lead with a 42-yard field goal. They got bailed out as the half ended, as Blankenship hit the uprights in an effort to give the Colts a 13-point lead.
- But in the first half, the Colts still averaged 8.2 points per play. The Jets defense had just two pressures on Rivers in his 12 first-half dropbacks.
- That continued in the second half, Rivers had all day to throw, and receivers had plenty of room to make easy catches to open up the second half. The Colts had three plays of a dozen yards or more en route to a Jonathan Taylor touchdown, giving the Colts a 24-7 lead.
Well, at least no one got hurt, right?
- Mekhi Becton left the game prior to the two-minute warning, forcing the Jets to plug Conor McDermott at left tackle. In his third snap since replacing Becton, McDermott was called for a holding penalty in the midst of a two-minute drill.
- The Jets’ offensive line looked like a totally different unit with Becton out. In the second half, the Jets punted three times, had a pick-six, a safety, and amassed just 72 yards on 24 plays.
Was there any bright side?
- The running game was pretty efficient for a second-consecutive week. It was forced into non-existence in the second half, considering they were trailing, but Gore averaged an efficient 3.7 yards per carry (57 yards on 15 rushes), while La'Mical Perine rushed for 24 yards on his seven carries.