By Brad Carroll
The New York Jets were as bad as expected Sunday afternoon in a season-opening loss to the Buffalo Bills. The Jets had no offense to speak of and the defense was lit up by the Bills offense, especially LeSean McCoy, in a 21-12 loss.
For those Jets fans hoping to tank the season in return for the No. 1 draft pick, this was a good start. For the rest of the fans who don’t want to waste a season of watching their favorite team lose, settle in, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.
Here was our three keys to victory leading up to the game, and how each of those factors turned out to be on the field. It did not go well for the Jets.
Did The Jets Defense Carry The Team?
The Jets defense, supposedly the strong part of the team, was gashed repeatedly by Bills running back LeSean McCoy and quarterback Tyrod Taylor, making this answer a clear no. McCoy, who we said needed to be held under 100 yards rushing for the Jets to have a chance at winning, picked up 110 yards on 22 carries, five yards a pop. In all, the Bills rushed for 190 yards and a touchdown. The Jets defense couldn’t tackle, missed assignments and couldn’t stop the Bills passing offense at all. Taylor had a nice day, passing for 224 yards and two touchdowns, plus another 38 yards on the ground. Somehow the Jets allowed just 21 points and kept the team in the game until the fourth quarter. An interception in the end zone by Juston Burris helped, but it wasn’t nearly enough of an effort to make up for an offense that can’t score. Even on the interception return the Jets managed to do something wrong, as Burris was taken down by his own teammate. He could have scored.
Did The Offensive Line Create Opportunities?
No, they did not. The Jets running game was non-existent, totaling 38 yards on 15 carries, a putrid amount. Matt Forte had 16 yards on six carries and Bilal Powell, who didn’t even touch the ball until well into the second quarter, had 22 yards on seven carries. The offensive line didn’t create enough running room for the backs, while Forte looked old and Powell simply wasn’t given enough of a chance to shine. Powell is the Jets’ biggest playmaker, so it’s shocking to see him not part of the game plan. But there’s no doubt the Bills won the battle up front.
Did Jermaine Kearse Make A Difference?
Yes and no. Kearse actually had a nice game, catching seven passes for 59 yards, but he didn’t open up more opportunities for Robby Anderson, who caught four passes for 22 yards. Anderson was targeted eight times but made zero impact. Another newcomer, Will Tye, had three catches for 34 yards as one of the few bright spots. Josh McCown was as bad as expected, completing 26-of-39 passes for 187 yards and two costly interceptions. The Jets should make a quarterback change sooner rather than later.