EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - A week ago the Jets threw away their playoff hopes with a loss in Miami, but at least they showed some fight in that game.
This week, against the horrible Buffalo Bills, the Jets didn't show up at all.
In what has to be one of the worst losses in a franchise history filled with terrible losses, the Jets absolutely embarrassed themselves in their 41-10 loss to the Bills on Sunday. They were down 31-0 in the first half to a team that had totaled 20 points in its last three games. They were outgained 186 yards to 1 -- one! -- in the first quarter and 313-68 by halftime.
They were down 7-0 just two plays into the game to a team that hadn't had a lead since Week 6.
It's hard to believe that any team could come out looking so completely unprepared and so inexcusably flat.
That's on head coach Todd Bowles, of course. It's fair to wonder if his team just quit on him in this game. Or maybe it was overconfidence. After all, their defense had been playing well and they were facing a Bills team that averaged 10.7 points and 248.3 yards per game -- averages that were destroyed by halftime. Either way, Bowles clearly didn't have the pulse of his team this week.
And his team looked like it didn't have much of a pulse at all.
Here are some of the ugly takeaways from the loss that dropped the Jets to 3-7 heading into their bye week …
- There are going to be a lot of calls for an immediate coaching change after this disaster, but it seems unlikely the Jets would do that, even heading into a bye week. The truth is they don't really have a candidate on staff to step in and replace Bowles at the moment, which makes an in-season change even more pointless than it usually is. The wild-card in this, though, is anger. A lot of people will be very, very angry after a loss like this. If Christopher Johnson is one of them …
- The way this game started was absolutely stunning. The Buffalo Bills, with a quarterback who has been on their roster for two weeks, needed two plays to open the scoring. Two. A 47-yard pass from Matt Barkley to Robert Foster, followed by a 28-yard run by LeSean McCoy. That gave the Bills their first lead since Week 6 and only their second touchdown in the last four games.
- Veteran Josh McCown, making his first start of the season for injured rookie QB Sam Darnold, didn't provide the boost to the offense that many expected. In fact, he was terrible. He completed just 17 of 34 passes for 135 yards and two interceptions. He also didn't have much help. He was under siege behind the offensive line and often couldn't find any receivers open down field. The offense was so out of synch it was honestly hard to tell if he was rusty or just a victim of bad circumstances and lack of support. Probably both.
- The Jets' offensive line looked like the Giants' offensive line at times. McCown only dropped back to pass 16 times in the first half, but he seemed to be pressured on nearly every one. And forget about generating holes for the running game. They only rushed for 83 yards and 21 of those came on an end around to Trent Cannon. It's no wonder they opened the game with four straight three-and-outs.
- Granted, Jets offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates doesn't have a lot to work with at the moment, but his game plans sometimes don't make any sense. One of the great things the Bills did was they recognized they had nothing to lose and they let their quarterback air it out from the start. And on his first pass, he went right after Trumaine Johnson, who had to be rusty after missing the last five weeks. So why didn't the Jets try the same thing and maybe go after undrafted rookie CB Levin Wallace, who was promoted from the practice squad just last week?
- The Jets got no pass rush on Barkley. None. It's why he was able to keep standing in the pocket and firing deep and ended up 15 of 25 for 232 yards and two touchdowns. Keep in mind Barkley was signed by the Bills 12 days ago and he hadn't played since Jan. 1, 2017.
- The one time in the first half when the Jets were driving, Elijah McGuire ripped off an 18-yard run to get the Jets into the red zone. Or so it seemed. It turned out the Jets were called for three holding penalties on the same play. The refs got WR Jermaine Kearse, LT Kelvin Beachum and TE Jordan Leggett. That's got to be some sort of record, right? Regardless, the drive ended on the next play when McCown was intercepted.
- The Jets should find ways to use Cannon more. His speed is obvious. They tried to go to him on a deep pass early in the second half and he probably should've caught it, though the pass was thrown a little behind him. Then he took off for a 21 yard run on an end around. Both times, the defense barely kept up with him.
- The Jets have six games left -- two against the Patriots, one each against the Packers, Texans and Titans, and one in Buffalo against this Bills team that destroyed them on Sunday. They'd have to split them to do better than the 5-11 record they had last season, and that seems improbable. Honestly, the way they're playing, would anyone bet against them losing them all and finishing 3-13?