The New York Jets’ opening performance in Week 1 in Buffalo against the Bills was par for the course at this point.
A lackluster effort, especially on the offensive end, exacerbated the already-pressing issue that the Jets spent their offseason not properly getting the necessary weapons to allow franchise quarterback Sam Darnold to succeed.
Granted, opening weekend provided some more growing pains for the Jets’ quarterback, but there doesn’t seem to be any sort of reason for hope after Week 1.
If you are an optimistic viewer (more power to you), you can chalk it up to the Bills’ stifling defense slowing the Jets’ punchless offense down to a crawl.
But there’s no reprieve in their schedule heading into Week 2 as they meet the defending NFC Champion San Francisco 49ers that is coming off a disappointing loss to the Arizona Cardinals.
No only are the Niners good, but they’re mad, which creates the feeling of the Jets being led to slaughter.
Here are a couple things to watch for on Sunday afternoon (1 p.m. ET, FOX):
“Brilliant offensive mind”? Prove it
For the last 19 months, we’ve constantly had the notion that Jets head coach Adam Gase is this mystical offensive guru that can unlock the true potential of Darnold and New York’s offense.
That hasn’t happened, not even in the slightest.
The Jets offense is bad, they lack the necessary playmakers to cause any sort of threat, and now they’ll be without starting running back Le’Veon Bell for a few weeks as he battles a hamstring issue. Not like Bell would provide much when healthy, either, as Gase has done nothing but mismanage the former All-Pro back.
After being held to just 10 points through the opening three quarters before nabbing a garbage-time consolation prize, this very much looked like the same offense from last year that was ranked 31st in points and 32nd in yards.
Gase responded by saying his offense was “absolutely atrocious,” and in 2020 he would “throw all that out.”
That doesn’t seem to be the case, but don’t tell ownership that. Christopher Johnson called Gase a “brilliant offensive mind” this week, which is quite a way to tell Jets fans that he doesn’t watch the games.
If Gase wants to live up to that expectation, he has to make actual adjustments to an offense that just hasn’t looked like an NFL-caliber unit for two years now.
If Gase’s job to get more out of the Jets defense wasn’t hard enough, playing an aggressive 49ers defense isn’t going to help much.
San Francisco brings a three-headed monster of a pass rush featuring Arik Armstead, Nick Bosa, and Dee Ford that will surely put Darnold under plenty of pressure Sunday afternoon.
Just look at their stats from last season:
Armstead- 10 sacks, 18 QB hits, 2 forced fumbles
Bosa- 9 sacks, 25 QB hits, 1 FF
Ford- 6.5 sacks, 6 QB hits, 2 FF
They couldn’t find a way to get to the versatile and elusive Kyler Murray last week, which means they’ll be keen on getting on the sack board at the Meadowlands.