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Adam Gase’s first season with Jets: Alarming…

7 min read
Adam Gase's first season with Jets: Alarming...

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — A look at what’s happening around the New York Jets:

1. Miami Twice? Adam Gase doesn’t show emotion in public, but he gets fired up behind closed doors. Which of the eight defeats made him the angriest? One veteran player said it was the Week 9 loss to the previously winless Miami Dolphins. Why?

“Because he just came from Miami and he got beat,” the player said.

Which brings us to Sunday — the rematch at MetLife Stadium (1 p.m. ET, CBS).

Gase, facing the team he coached from 2016 to 2018, doesn’t want to be on the wrong side of history for the second week in a row. If he loses again to Miami, he’ll be the first coach in NFL history to go 0-2 in a season against a team he coached the previous year, according to research by Elias Sports Bureau.

A week ago, Gase became the first coach in history to have two losses in a single season against teams that entered 0-7 or worse — the 0-11 Cincinnati Bengals and the 0-7 Dolphins.

The Jets (4-8) haven’t struggled this much under a first-year coach since Rich Kotite (3-13 in 1995), and you never want to be mentioned in the same sentence as Kotite.

Gase received a public vote of confidence from Jets CEO Christopher Johnson, so he will be back in 2020 unless Johnson flips. While he might not be coaching for his job, per se, Gase can help his popularity (what’s left of it) by keeping the Jets competitive in the final quarter of the season. It won’t be easy, with games against the Baltimore Ravens, Pittsburgh Steelers and Buffalo Bills (combined record: 26-10), but the alarming trend of blowout losses has to stop.

The Jets have lost six games by 14 or more points, tied with the Dolphins and New York Giants for the most in the league. Gase has been undermined by injuries and, to be fair, he suffered three blowout losses with Luke Falk at quarterback. But, sorry, you can’t blame injuries for the Cincinnati and Miami losses.

Gase’s career record is 27-33, with 23 of the defeats by 14 or more points — a disproportionate amount of bad. This points to a lack of consistency — good one week, lousy the next. There was bound to be some turbulence this season, because it’s a transition year for the entire organization — new coaching staff, new front office — so Gase gets a pass in that respect.

But there’s no excuse for another poor performance against the Dolphins. None.

2. Poised for payback? The “revenge” drums don’t sound as loud when 4-8 and 3-9 teams are facing each other, but that didn’t stop linebacker Jordan Jenkins from bringing that up in an interview with ESPN.

Recalling the 26-18 loss to Miami, Jenkins said, “Some of their guys sort of laughed, and they were cutting up a little bit [after the game]. Some of us haven’t forgotten that. It’s a revenge game. You have to call it like it is. … It’s a get-back game. You got the first lick, now we have to get the second lick.”

Jenkins declined to identify which Miami player (or players) were laughing at the Jets. A lot of people were laughing at the Jets that day.

3. Highway (Jersey Turnpike) robbery: The Leonard Williams trade is getting better for the Jets by the week. The third-round draft choice they received from the Giants currently is the second pick in the round, No. 66 overall. That’s a nice take for the Jets, who had no intention of re-signing him before he became a free agent in March. The Jets also get a 2021 fifth-round pick, which jumps to the fourth round if he re-signs with the Giants before free agency.

Oh, by the way, Williams still is looking for his first sack of the season.



Despite Sam Darnold’s tough game vs. the Bengals, Matthew Berry and Field Yates still have the Jets QB as roughly a top 14-15 play in Week 14.

4. Feet first: Quarterback Sam Darnold has made modest improvements in every major statistical category from his rookie season, but one area where he needs work is his decision-making on whether to throw or run. Instead of trying to make a high-risk, high-reward throw under pressure, he must learn to pull it down and take a few safe yards by running. That’s what the coaches are preaching to him. That said, Darnold has played well over the past four games. His Total QBR in that span is 58.1, which ranks 12th in the league.

5. Jets are Bless-ed: To me, the most intriguing player on the team is rookie cornerback Blessuan Austin, who came out of injury limbo a month ago and has played well in four games. Is he just a hold-the-fort player or can the Jets count on him to play a major role next season? He hasn’t faced any of the top passing attacks, so it’s a jury-still-out situation. Interestingly, Austin hasn’t been tested that much — only 21 targets as the closest defender, per NFL Next Gen Stats data.

“I was expecting teams to come at me a little bit more,” he said. “My mindset actually is, I hope they come at me, so I can make a play and help the team out.”

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