Adam Gase’s brutal assessment of Jets offense is painfully true
PHILADELPHIA — It was fourth-and-1 for the Jets from the Philadelphia 47-yard line on their second offensive possession Sunday and it might as well have been fourth-and-the-season.
Jets coach Adam Gase was going for it — and why not in this season that’s already been wrecked just a quarter of the way in?
Gase had Luke Falk, his third-string quarterback, backpedal to his right and throw a screen pass to the team’s best player, running back Le’Veon Bell, in the right flat. For a moment, it looked like a play that could work … and then all hell broke loose.
Philadelphia defensive end Brandon Graham — who spent most of the day making the Jets offensive line look like five cheesesteaks — was suddenly in the face of Falk, who hurried the pass that ended up nestling ever-too-easily into the arms of Eagles linebacker Nathan Gerry, who returned the look-what-I-found gift 51 yards for a touchdown.
The score gave the Eagles a 14-0 first-quarter lead (despite having had only one offensive possession) that felt like it might as well have been 140-0 with the way the inept Jets offense has been playing.
It’s difficult to imagine a more hopeless cause in the NFL right now than the Jets offense.
For the second consecutive game, the offense was noncompetitive, and that’s inexcusable regardless of who’s playing quarterback.
Sure, Sam Darnold, with his enlarged spleen caused by mononucleosis, missed his third consecutive game.
Sure, the Jets were at a disadvantage with Falk at quarterback considering he started the season on the practice squad for a reason.
And sure, when Falk was knocked into concussion protocol late in the game after being sacked for the ninth time and having his head slam into the turf, David Fales entered the game and became the fourth quarterback to play for the Jets in this season that’s merely four games old.
All of the excuses are in place.
For the head coach, who even after a bye week, failed to come up with any answers to alleviate this mess.
For the offense line, which played with two new starters Sunday in an effort to find the right combination.
And for the skill-position players, who haven’t been able to elevate their respective games enough to make up for the deficiency at quarterback.
“We’re not doing anything right, right now,’’ Gase said of his offense. “The defense is playing good. Special teams is playing good. We all know what group needs to play better. That’s on me. I told these guys in there that I’ll get it fixed. It’s on me, nobody else.’’
The Jets have produced two offensive touchdowns in four games this season, the second of which came Sunday after an Eagles’ bungled punt return gave the Jets the ball at the Philadelphia 19-yard line in the third quarter with the Eagles already leading 24-0.
It was the first time the Jets had possession of the ball in the red zone since the second game of the season, a statistic that is as ridiculous as it is difficult to believe.
The Jets produced 105 yards in total offense two weeks ago in New England. After a bye week of soul-searching and some added reps in practice, they improved on that number Sunday in Philadelphia — by 23 yards — breaking out for 128 yards.
So, the Jets have produced 233 yards of offense in the past two games, which is 32 yards fewer than what the Eagles produced Sunday in a game when their offense wasn’t even very good, held in pretty decent check by the Jets defense.
A quarter of the way through the season, the Jets offense has been outscored by its own defense and special teams, three touchdowns to two.
The Jets signed one of the most dynamic running backs in football in the offseason and they have managed to turn him into a footnote. Bell, who rushed for 43 yards on 15 carries (2.9-yard average) and caught seven passes for 45 yards Sunday, has nowhere to go.
That’s on Gase and his offensive coaches and it’s on an offensive line that has been the team’s greatest disappointment this season.
“It’s very frustrating, but at the end of the day this is what we’re judged on,’’ left tackle Kelvin Beachum said. “The game is our résumé … and our résumé isn’t looking too good right now.’’
That statement was a lot more accurate than that Falk pass that went 51 yards the wrong way about three hours earlier.
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