What began as a scheduling anomaly is now a godsend for the 0-3 New York Jets, as a Week 4 bye week provides a reset they need.
FOXBORO, MA—Despite the pomp and circumstance it brings each spring, the yearly release of the NFL schedule yields little surprises. We know 14 of the 16 matchups infinite years in advance thanks to the scheduling formula. The two outliers are known by the end of the preceding regular season.
The only true surprises come through the reveals of the national television schedule and when each team takes their bye. This year’s off-week reveal provided a new surprise for the New York Jets. Their in-season sabbatical came in the fourth week of the year, much to their surprise.
Now, it’s perhaps the one circumstance that has fallen in their favor. Beset by injuries to the most influential names in their lineup, the Jets are 0-3 after a brutal visit to New England. Such games are never easy, but this game was particularly sluggish in the wake of missing Sam Darnold, C.J. Mosley and Quinnen Williams, among others.
Instead of reasking the question that followed the reveal, the Jets instead are going to search for answers, answers they hope can right the ship in a hopeful season gone wrong.
“Never thought I’d say, Week 4 bye week, I’m glad it’s here, but we’ve got to address some things,” head coach Adam Gase said. “We got to figure out what’s going on. We’re not in sync. We’re not doing a good job of working together.
“Looking back at it, I thought it was too early, but we need it,” safety Jamal Adams added. “We need it to just get away, everybody can look at themselves in the mirror, players, coaches, everybody.”
If Sunday’s 30-14 loss at the hands of the New England Patriots proved anything, it’s that the Jets are not a Sam Darnold reinsertion away from being contenders again. Gase remarked how he was pleased with the way the defense and special teams, providers of the Jets’ lone points of the day, but bluntly called the offense “atrocious.”
“We would’ve been all right if we executed some of the stuff. There’s a few things in the run game that we got to clean up, that we got to give our guys a better chance on,” he said. “We can’t go 3rd and 10. When we go 3rd and 10, we’re not going to convert.”
To Gase’s point, the Jets were a dismal 0-for-12 on third down. There’s no guarantee that the injured Darnold would’ve been able to improve on what Luke Falk put out on Sunday. Gase harped on communications issues and his players concurred.
“We had a lack of communication as a defense. There were some plays that (New England) self-scouted and they capitalized,” Adams said. We got to execute better as a defense and we got to communicate better early on.
“We got to get together and figure it out as a group,” guard Kelechi Osemele added. “(The starting offensive linemen) have not come together and put solid games together … I think that’s what we need to figure out.”
Thus, the bye week will be anything but a rest period for the reeling Jets. It will be one full of film, analysis, and discussion, as the opposition will continue to be relentless. A prime time showdown with the same Patriots goes down in four weeks’ time. NFC East contenders from Dallas and Philadelphia will likewise show zero mercy.
Unanimity does seem to flow in the locker room. In addition on insisting on the need to look at what went wrong, countless members of the Jets stressed that this season, ill-fated as it may seem at 0-3, is by no means over.
“We see what we have, we see the talent in this room, we see the big plays that occur from time to time,” defensive lineman Leonard Williams said. “It’s just being able to be consistent with it. Making those plays when it counts and not doing it too late when it’s the second half. Not doing it too early and not finishing. Just playing a complete full game.”
With 13 full days away from a game field, something has finally gone right for the 2019 New York Jets. It’s up to them to take advantage of this rare gift.