Three Up, Three Down From Jets' Loss to Jaguars
It has taken a while, but Ryan Griffin has finally started to emerge as a legitimate receiving option in Chris Herndon’s absence.
Griffin had the most productive receiving performance of his Jets career against the Jaguars. He hauled in all four of his targets for a total of 64 yards, scoring twice and picking up first downs on the other two receptions. He also grabbed a two-point conversion following his second touchdown catch.
Blocking is an issue with Griffin, especially in the run game. He is a willing blocker, but he simply does not possess the technique or power to consistently move defenders on the ground.
Of course, the Jets knew that about Griffin when they brought him in. He was added for his receiving talents, which he showed with solid consistency as a member of the Houston Texans. Over six seasons in Houston, Griffin caught 136 passes for 1,491 yards and seven touchdowns.
It’s anybody’s guess as to when Herndon will return. His return has constantly seemed to be near, but his absence has extended longer and longer with each passing week.
If Griffin can continue producing as a pass-catcher the way he did against Jacksonville, he should hold the fort down as well as he can until Herndon comes back.
It was far from a perfect game from Roberts, but he fought hard throughout the afternoon and came up with some big plays.
Roberts engaged in some tough battles with D.J. Chark and Chris Conley throughout the game. Both Chark and Conley got him for a few first down receptions, but Roberts came up on the winning side of a few reps as well.
Most notably, Roberts made a crucial pass deflection on a third & 4 play in the fourth quarter. Lined up against D.J. Chark, Roberts did an excellent job getting physical and beating Chark to the spot, landing a well-timed jab to knock the ball out. The win by Roberts forced the Jaguars to punt the ball back to the Jets and give them a chance to tie the game.
Roberts has been the same player he has been for the Jets in years’ past. Most often, he has struggled, but there have been fleeting moments of greatness. The Jets got a few of those against Jacksonville, keeping them in the game, but they were unable to take advantage.
Poole played stingy coverage throughout the game in Jacksonville. He only seemed to beaten one time, sticking to his matchups all afternoon and making some big-time tackles in space.
All year, Poole has been one of the lone bright spots for the Jets. He has consistently provided high quality coverage out of the slot – one of the toughest positions in football to excel at with consistency.
The Jets only signed Poole to a one-year deal, so he is clearly playing with a new contract on his mind. It will be a tough decision for Joe Douglas and company – do they take the risk and invest in a breakout season that occurred in a contract year, or do they try to avoid falling victim to an outlier performance?
Darnold was usually sharp against Jacksonville, but he struggled when under pressure and made a trio of bad mistakes. He finished 21 of 30 for 218 yards (7.3 per attempt), two touchdowns, and three interceptions – a 73.3 passer rating.
Without a doubt, Darnold was not nearly as bad as he looked the week prior against New England. That was to be expected though, as the Patriots defense has been historically dominant.
Darnold needed a strong bounceback performance against the Jaguars, and he did not quite get it. It seemed he may have been on his way after a sharp opening touchdown drive, but then the offensive line broke down, and mistakes followed.
Fans should lighten up their criticism of Darnold after this game, since the offensive line was absolutely terrible. For most of the game, he had almost zero chance of succeeding with how fast the pressure was getting home. He was actually remarkably consistent with his accuracy given those protection struggles.
However, it’s on Darnold to do a better job of handling that pressure. The three interceptions he threw just cannot happen. Great quarterbacks know how to mitigate a bad offensive line as best as they can – Darnold is trying to master that ability.
But make no mistake – for the second straight year, the Jets are doing absolutely nothing to help out their young quarterback. And that starts up front with the offensive line.
The Jets offensive line is entering the conversation as one of the worst in team history.
Against Jacksonville, Darnold was sacked eight times for 51 yards. Most, if not all, of those sacks were unavoidable.
The run blocking was abysmal once more. Le’Veon Bell and Bilal Powell combined to gain 34 yards on 13 carries, a minuscule 2.6 average. Their longest run – five yards.
On the year, the Jets have allowed a sack rate of 13.7 percent and run for 3.2 yards per carry, both marks worst in the league.
The Jets are the first team in NFL history to run for less than 500 yards and allow more than 30 sacks over its first seven games.
It is tough to put too much blame on Darnold or Bell when this is the quality of blocking they have to play behind.
I do not like to include coaches in these kinds of lists, but here we are. It is time for Adam Gase to feel the heat under his seat – just seven games into his Jets career.
The Jets have had to deal with a lot, yes. Suspensions. Injuries. Illnesses. And everything in between.
Those things are tough for any coach to deal with. Much of what has gone on with the Jets this season cannot be placed upon the coaching staff.
Regardless, this Jets offense is performing at a historically terrible level. Few teams have ever looked worse than this unit has through seven games.
Teams deal with injuries every year. Plenty of teams have had luck as bad or worse than what the Jets have dealt with in 2019.
But very few of them have been as bad this Jets team has been.
Excuses can only go so far. There is no excuse for the Jets to be as bad as they have been – particularly offensively. Adam Gase is hailed as an offensive savant. He should be able to make the Jets at least respectable regardless of who is on the field.
He hasn’t been able to do that. The Jets are rewriting the history books each week with new peaks of horribleness.
Gase may be coaching for his job less than halfway through his inaugural season in New York.