It’s remarkable how quickly things can go downhill in the NFL.
Entering the 2019 season, the New York Jets were poised to be one of the teams on the rise behind a developing star quarterback, an All-Pro running back, and a defense that has aggregated some promising playmakers.
That notion disappeared rather quickly and disastrously.
Following a Week 1 collapse to the Buffalo Bills, the Jets lost Sam Darnold to mono — prompting Adam Gase and his sputtering offense to go with Trevor Siemian against the Cleveland Browns.
Siemian didn’t last two quarters, suffering a season-ending ankle injury when hit by Myles Garrett. The Jets were forced to finish the game with 2018 sixth-round pick Luke Falk as their starting quarterback.
The results were brutal. The Jets lost 23-3, dropped to 0-2, and are facing a difficult schedule that could very well see them start the season 0-5.
With Darnold still out, Falk is penciled in as the starter for Week 3 while the Jets signed David Fales to back him up.
Fales backed up Ryan Tannehill for two years under Gase while he was the head coach of the Miami Dolphins.
Falk performed well enough for a third-string quarterback — who should be nothing more than a game manager rather than a playmaker under such circumstances.
He completed 20-of-25 passes for 198 yards but his supporting cast could do little to find a way into the end zone.
Now comes his toughest test yet as the Jets are staring 0-3 right in the face.
They are enormous underdogs to the New England Patriots on Sunday at 22.5 points. The defending Super Bowl champions and perennial AFC East powerhouse is off to another dominant start in 2019 while the rest of the NFL waits for their demise.
In their first two games of the season, the Patriots have outscored the Pittsburgh Steelers and Miami Dolphins by a combined score of 76-3.
Brady has already thrown for 605 yards and five touchdowns this season. Six of his receivers already have at least four receptions this season compared to the Jets’ three.
It’s been a turbulent week for the Patriots, however. They released Antonio Brown on Friday amidst sexual assault accusations and running back James White will be unavailable on Sunday as he awaits the birth of his child.
Still, there’s no chance the Jets will be able to keep up with Brady, even if Darnold was healthy and under center.
Gase’s offense has turned out to be a dud so far as his unit has scored just a single touchdown in eight quarters of action.
The Patriots defense leads the league in points allowed (three), total yards allowed (492), first downs yielded (26), and are tied for first with five takeaways.
It’s going to be a long Sunday at Foxborough.