Maybe Sam Darnold is right and the Jets offense will be "electric" this season. It just most definitely wasn't on Opening Day.
The Adam Gase Offense, with his franchise quarterback and all their new offensive weapons, went bust in the Jets' season-opener -- a 17-16 loss at home to the Buffalo Bills. They looked out of sync all game, totaling only 234 yards and scoring only one touchdown as they blew a 16-0 lead.
If it hadn't been for a dominant three quarters by the Jets' defense, they wouldn't have been in the game at all.
What went wrong? Pretty much everything. The offensive line looked like they hadn't played together much all summer -- which, of course, they haven't. Darnold was on the run much of the game and was sacked four times while having to rush countless other throws.
As a result, half of his completions were basically dump-offs on short routes to Jamison Crowder, who was targeted 17 times and caught a career-high 14 passes for 99 yards. The Bills saw that coming and had Crowder well-covered, which is why he averaged only seven yards per catch.
The other receivers didn't do much to get open. Robby Anderson had just three catches for 23 yards and couldn't hold on to a huge pass late in the fourth quarter. Quincy Enunwa had only one catch for minus-2 yards. And the Jets really couldn't run much either, with Le'Veon Bell gained only 60 yards on his 17 carries.
The Bills, of course, have a pretty good defense and a potentially dominant defensive line. But there was so much excitement about what the Jets would be able to do offensively this season, and the step forward Darnold was expected to take.
Guess it will have to all wait until next week.
Until then, here are some more takeaways from the Jets' first game …
1) The Jets' kicking situation is long past the critical point, and it's not at all surprising that it basically cost them this game. If they don't fix it, this won't be the only one, either.
New kicker Kaare Vedvick missed an extra point and a 45-yard field goal -- his only two kicks in this game. The Jets made up for the extra point by converting a two-point conversion, but the missed field goal proved to be huge. The Jets think they're a playoff team, but they know they're not good enough to give away games like this. They need a reliable kicker. Prior to the game, sources told SNY Vedvick would likely have only a couple of weeks to prove himself before the Jets looked elsewhere. They might need to consider looking elsewhere right now.
2) The first few plays of the game left many wondering where the Gregg Williams' pressure defense was. Well, it didn't take long for him to turn it on. And as a result, his defense forced a bunch of big first-half turnover, including a Jordan Jenkins strip sack that DT Steve McLendon recovered, and more pressure that turned into a pick-six by C.J. Mosley. In all, the Jets forced four turnovers, scored that one touchdown and recorded a safety. But it wasn't all good. They did wear down late, especially after Mosley left the game in the second half with a groin injury.
3) The Jets corners were, not surprisingly, a problem, especially after Mosley and DT Quinnen Williams (ankle) went down and the pressure stopped. Darryl Roberts was beat for the winning touchdown pass from Bills QB Josh Allen to WR John Brown. It was terrible coverage and such a terrible attempt at tackling that he actually got flagged for pass interference on the play, too. The Jets are going to have to think about adding a veteran at that spot this week.
4) Thanks to the Jets' offensive line issues, Darnold's footwork was on display in this game. And it really is such an amazing asset to the Jets. He's got an uncanny ability to get out of trouble and make something happen. He had an unbelievable play on what looked like a run-pass option play near the goal line in the third quarter, where he started to run, avoided a sack, and with two defenders charging him he pulled up and found TE Ryan Griffin wide open in front of the end zone. It was overturned because of a pass interference call on WR Quincy Enunwa.
But the Jets eventually scored and Darnold dazzled again on the two point conversion, where he rolled right, spun back, avoided a sack again and heaved the ball to Bell in the end zone. He's not generally considered a running QB, but he's as mobile and elusive as anyone.
5) Bell had a fantastic debut for the Jets (17-for-60 on the ground, plus six catches for 32 yards and a touchdown). His ability to make the first tackler miss on runs and swing passes is unparalleled. He showed an excellent blocking ability, too. And he made two great receptions. One was his nine-yard touchdown catch, which came on a pass Darnold threw down by his ankles. The next came on the two-point conversion where Darnold floated the ball into the end zone and Bell out-jumped the defender for the ball.
6) Another player who had a spectacular debut for the Jets was Mosley. As if his pick-six wasn't enough, he also recovered a fumble and showed his hustle in the third quarter, racing downfield to cover Bills receiver Josh Brown and breaking up a pass in the end zone. He was all over the field all game long.
7) Also a nice debut for Crowder, but he didn't break out for the big plays the Jets were hoping. He's going to be their No. 1 receiver this year, but they're hoping for a little more yards after the catch. They think he can turn a lot of his short crossing routes into some big gains.
8) The offensive line wasn't good at all, but they weren't alone. The Jets were having trouble all game long picking up the Buffalo blitzes. Bell seemed to do a good job blocking when he was in the backfield, but few others - including the tight ends - offered much help. The offensive line needs to communicate better.