NEW YORK — These Jets have found unimaginably creative ways to torture their loyal followers and themselves during this train-wreck season.
The latest installment of this Gang Green dumpster fire featured a masked man coaching scared, an awful “revamped” offensive line, an undisciplined defense that committed one annoying, ill-timed penalty after another and a general feeling of ineptitude surrounding the NFL’s undisputed laughingstock.
Somehow, some way, Adam Gase’s team lost to an undrafted quarterback making his first start — on the road in a short week. The Jets’ 37-28 loss to the Broncos Thursday night exposed this cringe-worthy outfit to a national audience.
In a game between two desperate teams, the J-E-T-S revealed themselves to be a special brand of bad. For most of the night, they made Brett Rypien look more like his uncle than a neophyte signal caller with nine career pass attempts.
And even when Rypien began to unravel with interceptions on back-to-back fourth-quarter drives, the Jets coach played like a frightened turtle, refusing to go for it on fourth-and-a-half-yard inside the red-zone with six minutes left in the fourth quarter.
No. Gase, who dropped to 30-39 as a head coach, opted for Sam Ficken’s fifth field goal to take a lead rather than show any belief in Sam Darnold or his offense. Along the way, the Jets couldn’t stop committing dumb penalties, extending drives with self-inflicted wounds on third down. Gang Green committed eight of their 11 penalties (for 118 yards) in the first 15 minutes of the game.
Gase dropped to 0-4 for a second consecutive season, proving to everyone in this solar system that he’s overmatched and unfit to lead an NFL team. With brilliant offensive minds like that, who needs dolts?
On the bright side, for the first time this season the Jets didn’t get throttled. That’s the kind of bread crumb that Gase will surely cling to in the coming days. The truth, of course, is that his team was an undisciplined mess against a winless opponent that rolled into town with their jay-vee squad.
The Broncos had 11 players on injured reserve, including their starting quarterback, best wide receiver, key running back, right tackle, perennial Pro Bowl defensive tackle, starting cornerback and future Hall of Fame pass rusher.
And did we mention that Brett Rypien was the quarterback?
Sam Darnold jolted his struggling offense with a 46-yard touchdown scamper on the opening drive, but little else deserved high praise. The Jets averaged just 4.3 yards per play. Gase’s play-calling was stale yet again. The offensive guru leaned on his 37-year-old running back too often for unofficially the billionth time. Darnold, who played with a sprained shoulder suffered on the second drive, went 23 for 42 for 230 yards, no touchdown passes and a 70.5 passer rating. Although the third-year quarterback was better than last weekend’s three-interception nightmare, he wasn’t nearly good enough.
Joe Douglas’ alleged pet project this offseason — the offensive line — also stunk. Denver had six sacks (and 10 quarterback hits) after entering the game with just four sacks.
Frankly, nobody wearing all black was on Thursday night.
The Jets might have provided much more entertainment than they had in their first three non-competitive losses, but don’t get it twisted: They still emit a malodorous air that isn’t going away anytime soon.
Gase obviously isn’t solving anything even as the powers that be try to spin all the reasons why he should stick around longer. It got so ugly in the waning moments when the game was decided that Broncos coach Vic Fangio told his team to leave the field rather than loiter.
Alec Ogletree was called for offsides with 13 seconds to go before Steve McLendon was flagged for roughing the passer on 4th and 13 with eight seconds to go. So Fangio wanted no parts of shaking Gase’s hand after the game.
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