After a promising 30 minutes gave way to an all-too-familiar second half of silliness, New York Jets safety Jamal Adams vowed to find a solution to the team’s increasing woes.
EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY—Jamal Adams frustration has become an increasingly familiar sight and sound on Sunday afternoons in East Rutherford. The trend carried on this weekend with his New York Jets dropping a 27-13 decision to the New England Patriots at MetLife Stadium, their fifth loss in a row.
Even the optimists in the Jets fan community probably had reservations about a visit from thePatriots, unchallenged leaders of the AFC East for the umpteenth year in a row, but a surprisingly spirited first half of football perhaps instilled cautious hope in the hearts of a fanbase starving for any kind of gratification in a season gone horribly awry.
Thanks to a strong defensive effort, the Jets played the Patriots to a 10-10 tie after the first 30 minutes, one headlined from four tackles from Adams. But, as Adams met with the media after the loss, his weekly outpour of frustration was mixed with a feeling of hope and a potentially fateful promise.
“We’re going to figure it out,” Adams vowed in the Jets locker room. “Do I know when? Do I know the timetable? No, but all I can continue to do is do my part as a leader on this football team, just do my job and help those around do better.”
Asked what gives him faith in change after increasingly scary performances, ones that have seen the Jets give up at least 400 yards in five of their past eight games, Adams cited a belief in teammates and his personal faith and football philosophy.
“My faith is strong. If you never know how to fix a problem, you lean on the man upstairs,” Adams said. “Every time I start something in life, period, I don’t lose. You can get knocked down 20 times, but at the end of the day, you got to get back up, it doesn’t matter.”
He later added, “We’re flying around the ball. We just got to play fundamentally sound at all times”.
In just his second year in New York, Adams has become a fan favorite with his propensity for big hits and crowd-pleasing antics. As the Jets continued on a surprisingly strong upset pace in the early going, Adams was easily the most animated player on the field, encouraging the East Rutherford crowd to get louder while witnessing the improbable.
The safety seemingly set the one for the afternoon with a booming hit on Rob Gronkowski, thePatriots’ notoriously dominant tight end making his return from a two-game injury absence. OnNew England’s first drive, a Gronkowski third-down conversion was stripped from the stat book by an Adams hit, one that pried the ball loose to force a punt. The Jets would embark on an 80-yard drive in response, capped off by a Josh McCown touchdown pass to Jermain Kearse for a 7-0 lead.
Jamal Adams HIT STICK on Gronk ? pic.twitter.com/7RetYjTuMr
— uSTADIUM (@uSTADIUM) November 25, 2018
Unfortunately, the pace proved unsustainable. Gronkowski would enact his revenge with a 34-yard score before the quarter let out, and the New England offense truly awoke in the second half. The backbreaker was a quick four-play, 75-yard drive that saw the Patriots earn three plays of at least 20 yards, including a 21-yard Julian Edelman touchdown reception to make it a 20-13 score in the third quarter.
The trek lasted just over two minutes and allowed the Patriots to claim the lead for good.
“The first two quarters we played really well, (but) toward the end, we just weren’t playing sound football on defense,” Adams said. “We have to do a better job of finishing the ball game.”
With the Jets at 3-8 and the playoffs long forgotten, Adams knows how important the remaining games can be in terms of team morale and determining statuses for next season. The quest for an elusive win continues next Sunday against the Tennessee Titans (4:05 p.m. ET, CBS). In a year of rebuilding that has given way to countless collapses, Adams knows his unit is capable of rising up to a challenge like the one the Titans present. He expects a full effort leading into the week.
“We have to do more,” he said. “We have to figure out that niche for us to get over this hump and go back to work next week, (then) go to Tennessee and pull that one out.”