After the third play of the game, a third-down incompletion from quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, New York Jets fans started loudly booing. It’s like they knew what was coming and were warming up early.
NFL players and coaches bristle whenever the word “quit” is brought up. But if what we saw on Monday night in a 41-10 loss to the Indianapolis Colts was the Jets actually trying, they’re even worse than we thought.
The first series of the game was a Jets’ three-and-out. Then Colts tight end Dwayne Allen was wide open for a touchdown as the defense watched from afar. The Jets went three-and-out again. Allen scored another touchdown with no Jets defender anywhere close to him. There was no sign of life from the Jets.
The most interesting moment of the loss was when two shirtless fans came on the field, and on ESPN’s broadcast you could hear the crowd cheering for the first time all night.
This was as bad as it can get for an NFL team. At one point T.Y. Hilton dropped a pass, and Jets cornerback Darryl Roberts wildly gestured incomplete like he broke it up. The Jets trailed 31-3 at that point. New York’s embarrassment knew no bounds.
The Jets’ mess was exposed for everyone to see on national television. And if viewers didn’t get enough of them Monday, they’ll be back on prime time for a Saturday night game against the Miami Dolphins on Dec. 17. Last season Todd Bowles was an NFL coach of the year candidate, and a year later it’s fair to wonder if his job is in jeopardy. If this was the type of effort his team will give for him the rest of the way, nobody should be considered safe. Vice president-elect Mike Pence attended the game and watched with Jets owner Woody Johnson. He probably had more fun at “Hamilton.”
In the second half, Bowles finally saw enough of Fitzpatrick’s terrible play and pulled him. Bryce Petty came in and at least threw a touchdown pass, though he was mostly bad as well. But Bowles said Petty will start the final four games, according to Kimberley Martin of Newsday. Bowles said that was the plan no matter what happened on Monday night. That makes 33-year-old Fitzpatrick getting a start on Monday night even more confusing.
The Jets were embarrassed at home by a Colts team that was 5-6 coming in. Their offense was terrible and their defense didn’t put up any fight. And even worse, the implosion happened with a national audience watching. It’s going to be a long rest of the season, Jets fans.
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