The New York Jets were embarrassed by the Buffalo Bills on Sunday. With Sam Darnold out, Jets fans were hopeful that Josh McCown would pick up where he left off last season. Instead, we saw the most impressive performance by the Bills in the recent memory. Here’s what we learned about the Jets:
McCown Magic Is Gone
The resurgent Josh McCown we saw in 2017 was nowhere to be found. McCown finished the day completing only 50% of his passes for 135 yards. Games like this one are the reason the Jets traded up in the draft to be able to get their choice of quarterback.
Third Down Is a Major Issue
The Jets were 1 for 12 on third down attempts on Sunday. The offensive game plan was both bland and stale. Third down has been an issue for the offense this entire season. The Jets coaching staff has to come up with some answers in this area to remain competitive this year.
Jeremy Bates Is Not the Answer
Jeremy Bates was only able to manufacture one touchdown drive, and two scoring drives in total, against a team that isn’t exactly the 1985 Bears. Darnold and Robby Anderson both missed the game, but that is no excuse for such a lackluster performance. How the Jets ended the day with only 18 rushing attempts is beyond comprehension. The Jets were down early, requiring them to throw, but the play calling never set them up for success.
The Defense Still Has Room to Grow
Despite the score, the Jets defense probably played better than the final stat line showed. However, Matt Barkley looked like the USC quarterback the Jets thought they were getting. The Bills allowed Barkley to throw it deep early and often, something the Jets have rarely done this season. Morris Claiborne and Marcus Maye both allowed throws to pass right in front of their facemask on multiple occasions. Throughout the day, Jamal Adams looked like the only cornerstone piece to build upon.
The Jets have a lot to fix over the course of their bye week. The road ahead doesn’t get much easier, although at this point the opponent is immaterial. The Jets need to get back to basics, run the ball, and convert some third downs. If they can’t do that, they will not compete in any game the rest of the way.