The New York Jets’ nightmare from a 33-0 drubbing on Monday night against the New England Patriots carried over to Week 8 as they fell 29-15 to the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday afternoon.
Gardner Minshew continued his unlikely run as Jaguars starter as he completed 22-of-34 passes for 279 yards and three touchdowns to three-different receivers.
The 29 points was a season-high for the Jaguars, whose defense managed to take care of Sam Darnold a week after his ghost sightings against the Patriots.
New York’s second-year quarterback was considerably better compared to last week, but that doesn’t mean much. While he completed 21-of-30 passes for two touchdowns, he threw for three interceptions, including two in the fourth quarter to snuff out any hopes of a Jets comeback.
They played from behind for a majority of the afternoon as the Jaguars quickly jumped on the Jets defense.
Following a 62-yard Leonard Fournette rush on Jacksonville’s opening drive, Minshew put the hosts ahead with a six-yard touchdown connection just 2:21 into the game.
The Jets would respond with a rare, methodical opening drive that saw Darnold complete all seven of his pass attempts for 88 yards. The 93-yard, 12-play drive was capped off by a 24-yard touchdown reception by tight end Ryan Griffin put the Jets into the lead due to Jacksonville’s missed extra-point attempt.
It was the Jets’ first touchdown on an opening drive in their last 31 games.
Their lead didn’t even last four minutes, however, after Minshew hooked up with Chris Conley on a 70-yard touchdown after squeaking out of the Jets’ pass rush to give the Jaguars a 13-7 lead late in the first quarter.
They would add a pair of field goals toward the end of the half to carry a double-digit lead into the break.
Following their opening drive, the Jets offense ground to a halt for the rest of the half, losing nine total yards over their last four drives of the half and ending any sort of hopeful feeling that came with the promising offensive start.
After three punts began the second half, the Jaguars added another field goal, Josh Lambo’s third of the day to extend Jacksonville’s lead to 15 late in the third.
Darnold and the Jets offense finally woke up early in the fourth when they reeled off a nine-play, 75-yard drive that ended with Griffin hauling in his second touchdown of the game from three yards out. He caught the ensuing two-point conversion to make it a seven-point game with 13 minutes left.
Questionable playcalling and weak protection from the offensive line would do the Jets in as Darnold began pressing and resulting in Adam Gase’s doom.
Darnold was picked off twice in the final 8:54 of the game, the first of the two fourth-quarter picks leading to Minshew’s third touchdown of the game — an eight-yard connection to DJ Chark.
That makes seven interceptions in Darnold’s last two outings as the pressure on Gase to steer his young quarterback in the right direction continues to heap on his shoulders.