So much for the new age of the New York Jets.
With all the pomp and circumstance that came with Week 1 at MetLife Stadium — including new jerseys, a new head coach, a new star running back, and a new defensive — the Jets reverted to their usual ways by blowing a 16-point lead to the Buffalo Bills on Sunday.
That’s not the kind of start Adam Gase was looking for at the helm of Gang Green.
While Jets fans are praying that this was just a minor speed bump on their road to future contention — which includes finding a kicker — here are my two big takeaways from Sunday’s collapse:
1) DEFENSE RUNS THROUGH CJ
The Jets defense could not have looked any better during the first three quarters against the Bills.
The unit led by new defensive coordinator Gregg Williams forced four turnovers on Buffalo’s first six possessions.
New free-agent signing and linebacker CJ Mosley winning over every Jets fan in the process.
He intercepted a Josh Allen pass that went through the hands of veteran receiver Cole Beasley and returning it for the Jets’ opening touchdown of the day before recovering a fumble to snuff out a promising Bills drive that meandered down to the Jets’ 37-yard-line.
When he wasn’t making the big play, he was directing the Jets’ defensive front that was dominating for most of the afternoon.
In Buffalo’s first nine series, the Jets defense allowed 214 net yards on 45 plays while allowing just three points.
Then disaster struck as Mosley was forced to leave the game early with a groin injury and the wheels fell off.
Without the All-Pro linebacker, the Jets defense couldn’t secure a 16-3 lead. In three series, they allowed 170 yards on 19 plays and — most importantly — 14 points.
It’s disconcerting to see the Jets defense absolutely fall apart when a single player is forced to the sidelines.
For their sake, Mosley can’t miss too much time or else the pressure will be squarely on the Jets’ misfiring offense.
2) OFFENSE ALL BARK, NO BITE
Gase’s high-flying offense was supposed to be the headliner for the 2019 Jets.
With the new head coach working closely with second-year quarterback Sam Darnold, the addition of All-Pro running back Le’Veon Bell was going to add a new dimension to the attack.
That’s not really how things happened though, at least during Week 1.
Darnold was mediocre at best, completing 28-of-41 passes for 175 yards (4.3 yards per reception) and a touchdown.
The USC product looked shaky against a sneaky-good Bills defense which allowed the second-fewest yards per game in the NFL last season.
He had difficulties hitting his targets downfield, a byproduct of the pressure brought by the Bills defense.
Darnold did, however, show that he and slot receiver Jamison Crowder might be on the verge of a prosperous relationship. The two hooked up 14 times for 99 yards, but it did little to open up things deep for the likes of Robby Anderson or Quincy Enunwa.
In the backfield, Bell had a solid debut for the Jets with 92 total yards and a touchdown. He will be a vital security blanket for Darnold, especially when the deep ball isn’t working like it was on Sunday.