Only two teams in NFL history – the 2008 Lions and 2017 Browns — have finished a regular season at 0-16. Will the New York Jets be the third this year? Odds still favor Gang Green avoiding that fate.
Jets Finish 0-16 This Season? | 2020 NFL Expert Analysis
The Jets fell to 0-11 with Sunday’s 20-3 home loss to Miami. New York got its starting quarterback back as Sam Darnold played after missing the last two games with a shoulder injury. But the offense was unable to get much going. Darnold was intercepted by Nik Needham and Xavien Howard, and the Jets twice couldn’t take advantage of takeaways by the defense.
“I feel like there were different times when they were doubling different guys on the field,” Darnold said of the Miami defense. “I felt like when those three guys had the chance to create separation, they did that. I missed a couple of throws out there and made two bad decisions which led to those two picks.”
Darnold failed to throw a touchdown pass in his fourth straight game — the team’s longest drought since Geno Smith (five games) in 2013. The offense had two scoring opportunities in the first half, both ending in field-goal tries. The first capped the 9-play, 65-yard opening drive and put the Jets in front, 3-0; but Sergio Castillo missed the second as time expired in the first half. In the fourth quarter, the Jets had an opportunity to cut into Miami’s 13-3 lead, but RB Frank Gore was stopped on fourth-and-1 on the Dolphins‘ 17-yard line.
“We had opportunities,” coach Adam Gase said. “We just didn’t make the plays we needed to make.”
Another poor offensive showing had speculation swirling again over whether New York could part ways with Gase, who was outscored 44-3 in two losses this season to his former team. The 11-game skid is the second-longest in team history, one game short of the losing streak by the 1995-96 teams under Rich Kotite.
Gase is a lock to be fired after the season – it’s rather strange the team is even waiting this long. In 27 games, the offense — his offense — has shown no improvement. The Jets have been held under 20 points in 18 of those 27 games.
“It’s frustrating because I feel like we’re right there,” said Gase. “We’ve got to make one or two plays, especially this last game. It’s right there for us. There’s been multiple games like that.”
Darnold has the second lowest adjusted completion rate this season, according to Pro Football Focus. Denver’s Drew Lock, who also has missed a few games, is the only quarterback with a lower adjusted completion rate through 11 weeks. The adjusted rate accounts for dropped passes, throwaways, spiked balls, batted passes, and passes where the quarterback is hit while throwing.
Darnold’s 69.7 percent adjusted completion rate is about five percent lower than it was in 2019. Darnold’s adjusted yards per attempt has taken a big hit too, dropping from 6.9 A/YA in 2018 and 2019 to 5.7 this season.
Darnold has as many games with multiple touchdowns – 11 – in his career as he does games with at least two turnovers with an overall record of 11-22. Unsurprisingly, the Jets have lost every game Darnold turned the ball over more than once. In seven starts in 2020, Darnold has thrown for just 1,242 yards with three touchdowns and eight interceptions.
In two matchups this season, the Dolphins outscored the Jets, 44-3. That’s the fewest combined points they’ve allowed against the Jets in a single season. The previous low was seven points in both 1975 and 1976.
New York has opened as a 9.5-point underdog this week at home vs. the Raiders, who looked terrible on Sunday in a loss at Atlanta. To make matter worse, star running back Josh Jacobs injured his ankle and probably misses some time – although it appears he avoided major injury. Jacobs had seven carries for 27 yards before the injury. Devontae Booker led the team in carries from there, generating six yards on five rushing attempts.
After facing the Raiders, the Jets visit Seattle and the LA Rams and probably aren’t winning those. Their best chance, then, for a win is likely Week 16 at home vs. Cleveland. New York closes Week 17 at New England.
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