If there was any hope that the old gunslinger in Joe Flacco would come in and revitalize the Jets’ offense while Sam Darnold nurses an injured shoulder, it was quickly dispelled on Sunday as New York was blown out by the Arizona Cardinals, 30-10, to fall to 0-5 on their miserable season.
While the Jets could only muster one touchdown on the day, the Cardinals’ offense behind Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins ran roughshod over the hapless hosts. Murray threw for 380 yards and a touchdown while Hopkins racked up 131 yards on six receptions.
Meanwhile, the Jets’ offense put up a measly 285 total yards while Flacco completed 18-of-33 passes for 195 yards and a score.
It was rather clear early on that the veteran wouldn’t provide a spark for the ineffective offense. Since the stat was being kept in 1994, the Jets became the first team ever to punt twice on 4th-&-1 situations within the first five minutes of a game.
The last time Cardinals running back Chase Edmonds was playing in MetLife Stadium, he hung up 126 yards and three touchdowns on the Giants.
On Sunday, he got the Cardinals on the board with a 29-yard rush in which he was largely untouched midway through the first quarter — sparking a day in which he posted 92 all-purpose yards.
As the Cardinals took flight, the Jets couldn’t get off the ground.
New York head coach Adam Gase got in his own way — once again this season — with questionable playcalling that stymied a Jets drive that got into the red zone.
On a 3rd-&-1 from the 13-yard-line, Gase called a fullback dive with third-string tight end Trey Wesco before Le’Veon Bell was stuffed on a similar play call on fourth down to turn it over without points.
It didn’t seem like anyone wanted to take advantage of momentum, however, as Murray was intercepted on the ensuing Cardinals drive. His pass was tipped at the line and intercepted by Avery Williamson, who returned it down to the Cardinals’ 10-yard-line.
Flacco and the Jets couldn’t take full advantage though, going three-and-out and settling for a field goal.
Murray and the Cardinals quickly responded, though, answering New York’s field goal with a 10-play, 75-yard touchdown drive that ended with the quarterback scrambling to paydirt from two yards out with 2:41 to go in the half.
After forcing a punt with 1:06 to go, Arizona extended their lead by three to 17-3 heading into halftime thanks to a Zane Gonzalez 46-yard field goal. Through five games this season, the Jets have been outscored 93-29.
The Jets finally found paydirt in the third quarter when Jamison Crowder — just moments after hauling in a rare 52-yard deep ball from Flacco — broke the goal line on an 11-yard reception to cut the deficit to momentarily cut the deficit to seven.
Arizona yet again responded with a long touchdown drive, going 70 yards on 10 plays. The final 16 were picked up by Kenyan Drake on three rushes, the last finding the end zone from one yard out.
They put it out of reach with 8:47 to go when Murray hit DeAndre Hopkins for a 37-yard touchdown in tight coverage to put the Cardinals up 20. It came nearly two minutes after the two hooked up for a 45-yard reception to get their drive going.
Race to the bottom
Through five weeks of the 2020 season, there’s no denying that this is one of the worst Jets teams we have ever seen.
But how bad can they be? Can they be as bad as the 1996 team that went 1-15 under Rich Kotite?
Heading into the season, not many thought so, but this team is a proverbial trainwreck that can’t get out of its own way.
For that, we’ll start comparing their week-by-week results to that of the 1996 team, which is the only team in Jets franchise history to win just a single game in a season.
Twenty-four years ago in Week 5 action, the Jets were dropped 31-16 by Washington to fall to 0-4 on the season.
This despite the Jets outgaining the visitors 443-396.
Adrian Murrell posted 134 rushing yards and a touchdown for the Jets in a losing effort while quarterback Neil O’Donnell added 292 yards with an interception.
In a 17-16 game entering the fourth quarter, Washington reeled off two-straight touchdowns to make it a comfortable win behind a Leslie Shepherd 52-yard touchdown reception and a Terry Allen 28-yard rush.