The Jets' fanbase is furious, if not outright disgusted. The frustration is building inside the Jets organization, too. They are now 1-7 in what they thought would be their first playoff season in nearly a decade, and they just lost to a team that might very well be trying to lose.
Given all those extremes, it's impossible to say for sure that Adam Gase won't be one-and-done as the Jets' head coach. When the losses pile up, fans revolt, and the wheels begin to come off, anything is possible.
It's just hard to see it happening. It seems very unlikely.
And there are a lot of very good reasons why the 41-year-old Gase will probably be back with the Jets in 2020. ... Probably.
Here are a few:
The injuries really hurt -- The injury excuse isn't an excuse as much as it is a real reason why this season has been a disaster. They lost their best linebacker (Avery Williamson) in preseason, the guy who would've been their best linebacker (C.J. Mosley) in the first half of the first game, their quarterback (Sam Darnold) played sick in the opener and then missed three games to mono, his backup (Trevor Siemian) tore his ankle after replacing Darnold for a half leaving the Jets with an unqualified practice squad quarterback. There have been injuries to rookie DT Quinnen Williams, half the offensive line, tight end Chris Herndon, S Marcus Maye, and they lost WR Quincy Enunwa in preseason, too. There were times Gase didn't have enough players to run a practice. He hasn't risen to the challenge, but he hasn't been playing with a full deck either.
Nobody wants to mess with Sam Darnold -- Everything about the Jets future is really about Darnold, and yes if he continues to regress this season alarm bells will go off. But you know what would really be bad for a young quarterback? Saddling him with his third coach, third offensive coordinator and third offensive system in his first three years in the NFL. For proof of how turnover like that can mess with a young quarterback, check out the early years of Alex Smith in San Francisco, before Jim Harbaugh arrived.
This was the boss' first big call -- Jets CEO Christopher Johnson does not want to fire Gase. Period. Firing Todd Bowles and replacing him with Gase was his first significant move as acting owner, filling in for his brother, Woody. He does not want it to fail and as frustrated as he seems to be, he's unlikely to reverse course so quickly, especially given all the surrounding circumstances.
Gase was handed a lot of power -- Johnson gave Gase an enormous amount of power, which is another reason why he won't want to fire Gase and acknowledge that was a big mistake. At least part of the reason the Jets fired GM Mike Maccagnan was because of a rift with Gase and their inability to be on the same page through the offseason and the draft. Johnson could've just told Gase to stay in his lane, but he took the coach's side and fired the GM. Then he let Gase have a big hand in the search for Maccagnan's replacement,eventually hiring Joe Douglas, Gase's close friend from their days in Chicago. He can't show that kind of faith in the man and then pull the plug so soon -- especially when the whole point of firing Maccagnan was to have a coach and GM work together well and saw things the same way.
How many coaches can one team pay? -- When Gase was hired he was given a four-year deal, so by firing him now the Jets would have to eat a ton of money. They're also still paying Bowles, thanks to the contract extension they signed him to just 12 months before they fired him. Same for Maccagnan. So if they fired Gase they'd have three coaches (including the new one) and two GMs on the payroll next year. That seems unlikely.
They know that changing coaches like they're changing socks is not what good organizations do - Desperate times may call for desperate measures, but the best franchise in the NFL are the most patient ones. Who knows if Gase is going to be a good coach or not? But making a knee-jerk judgement after eight games -- even after eight awful games -- and firing him can only be interpreted as a panic move. Yes, maybe it's better to cut your losses if you're sure the hire was bad. But who says the next one is going to be better? At the moment it seems more likely that Johnson will catch his breath, let his anger subside, and give Gase a chance with a healthier team and maybe some better personnel next year.