I honestly had meager expectations for the season this year. Easy excuses of current pandemic plus lack of training and practices would lead to 7–9. I fully expect Gase to be back barring a humongous collapse. However, after what I saw this past Sunday the collapse might actually happen.
Offense is a hot topic, but I’ll start with defense. Honestly, the issue with the defense wasn’t so much yards given up and points, it was the inopportune penalties. Josh Allen isn’t a good quarterback at all. A better QB would have erased the Jets from existence throughout the game. But when you bail someone out over and over with foolish penalties, eventually they’ll cash in. And that’s what Allen did to start off the game. Offsides call on third down, multiple holds on third down, holds near the endzone, not closing in on sacks…all of these things contributed to 21 points to start off the games. The only reason they did not score more is because of two turnovers (one which was the most laughable fumble I’ve seen in quite a while), a wide open missed throw, and two chip shot FG misses. I also wasn’t a fan of how far off they played off of the receivers, but I’m willing to bet it was to protect against the deep ball due to lack of adequate personnel.
I’m going to touch on ST quickly here. Mann’s punts to me were good, but not good at the same time. They were good in large part due to the extreme distance he gets on them. They were bad because of the fact that there was virtually no hang time on them. Return unit can’t get to Andre Roberts quick enough so instead of starting at the 15 or 20 they’re starting at the 35 to 50 yard line. Almost all of the Bills scoring drives were due to the absurdly short field position. It’s something to watch out for in the future.
As for the offense, it was once again unspeakably bad past the OL. Not a scout, so maybe others can speak on this better than me, but the offensive line wasn’t a liability as it was in past years. Yes, there was pressure, but shockingly the other guys get paid too. What’s important is that Darnold has 2 to 3 seconds to make a decision. There weren’t many (if any) snaps to my recollection that he had no chance from the jump. The play calling was unsurprisingly predictable. An unsuccessful first down pass leads to a second down run leads to a third down screen. Any defense that watches film can see where this is going. It doesn’t give your offense a chance to succeed where the defense doesn’t have to think.
To continue, part of the reason the Jets used so many screens is likely because of lack of faith of WRs deep. That doesn’t speak well to Perriman early, especially since he replaced fan favorite Robby to do just that. There were also some bad first down drops by Crowder and Hogan, but Darnold also had some misfires. One of my well documented issues with Darnold is really the fact that he is never consistently good for long stretches of game/season. He’ll forget to get the team lined up after a kickoff, but have an excellent two minute drill. He’ll run out of bounds to create a sack and have second and 15 but then throw a perfect pass that is dropped. I’ve said this many times, but the Jets and their fanbase should consider a future where neither Darnold nor Gase will be around. The Jets have done a poor job around him, and he has done a poor job minimizing mistakes or elevating the talent he has. It’s hard to see him improving going forward with teams we will play.
As a last side note, if I’m a Bills fan I’m concerned. As mentioned earlier, the Jets should have been put away quarters ago. It somehow was a 10 point margin of defeat. The Jets are not a good team. The Bills will play more good teams than bad teams. Allen is not taking the Bills where they deserve to go (the Superbowl or at least a conference championship game). He’s too erratic both throwing the ball and running with it. It will be the Pats division to lose again.