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December 15, 2018

Mehta: 5 takeaways from Jets ugly loss to Jaguars, including analysis on Sam Darnold, Todd Bowles and more

October 1, 2018

The Jets suffered an ugly 31-12 loss to the Jaguars on Sunday.

Here are five takeaways

1) DEFENSIVE WOES

Defensive players have to take ownership of their ineptitude. Gang Green was gauged by Blake Bortles on underneath routes all day, especially in the first half. Linebackers/slot corners either miscommunicated (failing to pass off receivers) or made bone-headed plays after preparing precisely for shallow crossers and short-intermediate routes.




2) DARNOLD REVIEW

Sam Darnold played like a rookie making his fourth career start against an elite defense. The young signal caller missed some golden opportunities with misfires to open receivers. The silver lining: Darnold made progress by letting it rip to the deep areas of the field after predominantly shutting of that part of the field for the first three games. He still needs to hang in the pocket a little longer before bolting to open spaces that he’s comfortable in, but there were some encouraging moments for the rookie in this loss.

3) BOWLES AND THE OFFENSE

Todd Bowles should keep the faith in his offense even during hard times. Bowles’ decision to kick a field goal early in the fourth quarter to cut a 22-point deficit to 19 and his choice to punt with 4 ½ minutes to go despite trailing by 13 was an indictment on his belief in his offense. His natural inclination is to place more faith in the defense, but he would have been better served telling his rookie quarterback that he was going to trust him to make key fourth-down conversions. Even if Darnold failed, it would have sent a good message to his young signal caller and his offense.

Sam Darnold looked a rookie against the Jaguars. (Scott Halleran / Getty Images)

4) SERIOUSLY, MARRONE?

Doug Marrone needs to grow up. Going for a two-point conversion with 25 seconds left was a bush-league move defensible only by his most devout supporters. The truth, of course, is that it was a classless act by a guy evidently still bitter that the Jets passed up on him for a job four years ago. Give the guy credit though: His excuse for trying the two-point conversion was hilarious. Perhaps stand-up is in his future.

If Marrone was upset at Jamal Adams’ unnecessary roughness penalty (body slamming Dede Westbrook), it would be understandable to continue to run it down the Jets throats for that final touchdown. That would have made a statement. The two-point try was gratuitous and childish.

Marrone, frankly, should be overjoyed about where the Jags are headed. (They’re my Super Bowl pick from the AFC, by the way). He’s in a great situation with a star-studded defense (six Pro Bowlers/All-Pros) and a young beast of a running back. If he could bring Jalen Ramsey, AJ Bouye, Malik Jackson, Calais Campbell, Telvin Smith, Yannick Ngakoue, Leonard Fournette and a couple of the other difference makers on his current roster to New York, sign me up. Alas, the NFL doesn’t allow that.

5) BETTER EXECUTION

The Jets are 1-3, not 1-13. The gameplan was fine for the most part, but there were opportunities that Gang Green didn’t capitalize on Sunday. It’s easy to criticize play-calling when you don’t actually understand what you’re critiquing. The more pertinent issue: There needs to be better execution… and energy on the road.




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