Maybe if the Jets’ commendable efforts of COVID consciousness could translate into their on field play, there would be some improvement on both sides of the ball.
Impressively, the Jets have painstakingly taken extensive measures to host a limited number of guests and media members at MetLife Stadium on game day, implementing detailed pandemic safeguards.
What’s been unimpressive is the team’s play. Two games, two losses since the season has started. Even without a live crowd and the boos that have regularly sounded their displeasure, through social media and other mediums the Jets are cognizant their fan base can sense another bleak season.
Their defense is the pressing issue. Following the opening kickoff of Sunday’s game against the San Francisco 49ers at MetLife and the first play from scrimmage 17 seconds in, the Niners’ running back Raheem Mostert eluded the Jets’ defensive line and ran for an 80-yard touchdown. The game was essentially over at that point. The 49ers took a 21-3 lead into the locker room at halftime and the Jets went on to lose 31-13.
It was the second week in a row the Jets have allowed 21 points in the first two quarters. “We did not play the game we needed to play,” said Jets head coach Adam Gase, stating the obvious. Gase’s assessment echoed what he said the previous week after the Jets were defeated by the Buffalo Bills 27-17. “We just really did not play well,” he noted then.
Jets’ QB Sam Darnold was able to lead a solid 11-play, 55-yard drive in the second quarter that lasted 6 minutes, 11 seconds. However, it stalled at the 49ers’ 20-yard line. The Jets failed to convert on third- and-one and fourth-and-one, coming away with no points and giving the ball back to the Niners on downs.
It was a costly win for the 49ers, who will play at MetLife again this Sunday, Sept. 27, against the Giants. They lost stellar defensive end Nick Bosa and outstanding defensive tackle Solomon Thomas for the season, as both sustained ACL tears. Additionally, Niners QB Jimmy Garoppolo suffered a high ankle sprain and Mostert left the game with a knee injury. Neither played the second half.
The number and severity of the 49ers’ injuries prompted the team’s general manager John Lynch to contact the NFL’s executive vice president of football operations, Troy Vincent, to complain about the conditions of the stadium’s turf.
The 0-2 Jets will face the 1-1 Indianapolis Colts on the road this Sunday. The Colts have a new quarterback this season in veteran Phillip Rivers, an eight-time Pro Bowl selection who previously played 16 seasons for the San Diego/Los Angeles Chargers.