It was only 12 months ago when the Jets were en route to a promising 10-6 campaign with high hopes entering this season. But those warm feelings dissipated within the first month of the season.
And much like Saturday night’s prime-time debacle, a 34-13 waxing at the hands of the Miami Dolphins, the season’s narrative has been uneven throughout. The Jets (4-10) had the look of an upset-minded squad when they raced out to an early 7-0 lead. But the wheels quickly fell off after that and the Dolphins (9-5) ran away with it behind backup quarterback Matt Moore. The career reserve torched New York (12-of-18 for 236 yards and four touchdowns), which was a microcosm of Gang Green’s campaign.
Just when it seems like the Jets can get something going, the bottom falls out and they spiral deeper into despair. And Saturday night’s massacre mirrored this season. New York had a tough one-point loss in the opener to the Bengals, despite garnering seven sacks. They then went to Buffalo in a Thursday night prime-time affair and hung 37 points on old friend Rex Ryan, but followed up that promise with a four-game slide. The next two games were wins, but that, too, was overshadowed by another four-game losing streak.
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It’s been a consistently inconsistent season for the Jets, and it has head coach Todd Bowles at wits' end.
“Special teams has been disappointing. The defense has been disappointing. The offense has been disappointing,” Bowles said via today’s conference call. “There isn't one area.”
Bowles is right, as breakdowns and lapses have happened in every phase. The Dolphins scored on an 11-yard blocked punt return by Walt Aiken. Wideout Brandon Marshall only hauled in one of his 11 targets, and had his case of the dropsies flare up again. And the defense got shredded by a career backup.
Players play and coaches coach, but for Bowles, he accepts everything that has happened to his team this season.
“It’s all on me. It’s all a reflection of me, so I take full responsibility,” Bowles said, sounding as if he’s run out of answers. “When you play like this, it all falls on me. It starts at the top. I got to do a better job and they got to do a better job.”
Bowles is right, neither the players nor coaches have done a good job this season. And with the Patriots and Bills on tap to close out the season, it doesn’t look like the Jets will earn another win this season. There aren’t many bright spots at this stage for a Jets squad that’ll be battling the other also-rans for a high draft pick. And judging by the lofty cap prices of some of the more valued veterans, things will look considerably different next season and could get a lot worse before they get better for Gang Green.
Gang Green notes:
- As if the Jets needed any more distractions, defensive end Sheldon Richardson may be disciplined by the team due to a profanity-laced Snapchat video hours before kickoff. Bowles said he’s aware of the video, which was posted on teammate Rontez Miles's account, but hasn't seen it. He noted that he and Richardson “will have a conversation. … We don’t condone any of that. We’ll have a discussion to take care of that. It was disturbing that it was said at all.”
- Bowles noted that he still doesn’t have an update on Bryce Petty’s chest. He added that he and the coaches will discuss the quarterback situation and later determine who will get the start next week against New England.