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AFC East

Jets Week 1 Reactions

Sam Darnold by slgckc via Flickr

The Jets are not a great football team. The Jets are not a very good football team. The Jets are not an average football team. The Jets are a really, really, really bad football team.

They got embarrassed by the Buffalo Bills 27-17, but the score is incredibly deceiving. The offense was inept, with most of their yards and points coming on a 69-yard screen to Crowder and a last-minute garbage-time drive. If not for those two fluke scoring drives, they would have scored three total offensive points.

They’re bad. It’s pretty clear this team won’t be going anywhere while Adam Gase is at the helm. But nothing can be done about that now, so aside from the general ineptitude of the offense, here is the good, the bad and the ugly from Week 1.

The Good
The defense had its standouts. Yes, they got handled pretty easily in the first half, but they held the Bills to just six points in the entire second half (Josh Allen may have missed a wide-open touchdown or four, but hey, you take what you can get). Marcus Maye was the unquestioned star, as he stepped into the Jamal Adams role in the defense and played it wonderfully, leading the team in tackles with 10, sacks with two and passes defended with two. He was simply all over the field. If he can stay healthy this offseason, he should be due for a nice contract extension.

Bless Austin also looked pretty good, which considering how weak the Jets cornerback group has been the past couple of years, is a great sign. If the former sixth-round pick can turn into a legitimately good cornerback it could seriously impact the direction of the franchise. What can I say, Maccagnan knew. 

Fellow defensive backs Brian Poole and Bradley McDougald also had good weeks, so overall the DB core is looking very solid. There are a few holes *cough cough* Nate Hairston *cough cough*, but overall it’s a plus.

Oh, and how could I forget, but Mekhi Becton had a very good debut at left tackle. Sure, he got beat a few times, but for a rookie in his first game, he was better than expected.

The Bad
The pass rush is still horrible. The Jets as a team had three sacks on Sunday. Maye had two and Poole had the other. In terms of the people who are paid just to rush the passer, they were virtually non-existent. Tarell Basham had one QB hit, Quinnen Williams had one and that’s it. Jordan Jenkins didn’t do anything. Henry Anderson didn’t do anything. No one could get to Josh Allen.

That’s not even an exaggeration. Per Next Gen Stats, Josh Allen had the longest time to throw in Week 1. The Jets pass rush just let him do whatever he wanted. No wonder he looked competent. 

The Ugly
I know I touched on this before, but the offense has to be here. Particularly, Sam Darnold. The offensive line wasn’t great, but it wasn’t horrible. It was better than last season. He was even No. 13 in the NFL in time to throw, so there’s no reason for him to have looked as bad as he did. He was missing wide-open receivers. He was making poor decisions. He was just simply ineffective.

Some of that can be put on Adam Gase and the playcalling — it’s atrocious. But there were still too many plays to be made for Darnold to be as ineffective as he was. Like I said before, the majority of his yards came from the fluky screen pass touchdown to Crowder and the garbage-time drive when they were down 17 with a couple of minutes left.

IF Darnold is the guy, IF the Jets are going to pick up his fifth-year option, he needs to start making things happen. Yes, his receiving corps are probably the worst in the NFL and they had a couple of drops on Sunday, but you just can’t be missing the easy throws. Especially in your third year in the league. This week versus the 49ers isn’t going to be pretty either. They have an elite defense, and yes, it is a little injury-stricken right now, but it’s still a top unit in the league. So brace yourselves, Jets fans.

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