More than anything, the Jets couldn’t get out of their own way in a 49-19 loss to the Patriots on Thursday night. Literally, in the case of a second-quarter play that typified the Jets season.
Mark Sanchez, on a snap where he later admitted he ran the wrong play, ran into right guard Brandon Moore, fell back on the ground and fumbled.
Patriots safety Steve Gregory picked up the ball and ran 32 yards to take a 21-0 lead. Making matters worse, nine seconds later the ball popped loose on Joe McKnight’s kickoff return and fell into Julian Edelman’s hands who ran in for a 23-yard touchdown.
Miscues typified the Jets’ effort against the Patriots and are a major reason why they fell to 4-7 and very likely won’t make the playoffs.
“Obviously that was a nightmare of a game to say the least. You turn the ball over five times and then you blow coverages. We just got beat. I know physically we’re much better than that on defense than how we played and then obviously the five turnovers,” head coach Rex Ryan said. “That team is a good enough team you don’t have to help and we did both. They outplayed us and outcoached us without question.”
No amount of crying in the locker room from Ryan — as he did two weeks ago in Seattle — could stop the flow of errors from his team. The Jets beat themselves in a myriad of ways — from Sanchez’s ghastly fumble and McKnight’s sloppiness in returning the kickoff to cornerback Ellis Lankster completely losing Wes Welker on New England’s first touchdown of the game.
The Jets lost the turnover battle to the Patriots which led to them scoring 35 points in a span of 11:36 in the second quarter. Gaffes paved the way for a game that was scoreless at the end of the first quarter. Then there was the complete breakdown of the offensive line midway thru the third quarter with the ball on the 3-yard line where three runs and one pass failed to produce a touchdown.
“You eliminate some of those turnovers and we’re right in this game,” Sanchez said.
Ryan isn’t concerned this team will fall apart like last year when they checked out the final three weeks and then turned on each other.
“Not a concern at all. Right now obviously the results aren’t what we wanted but this team is a close team and that’s why I know we’re going to stay the course,” Ryan said. “We’re going to keep fighting, but no, I’m not concerned with that.”
Follow Jets beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer.