By Lenn Robbins
One of the many factors that contributed to Mike Maccagnan getting stabbed in the back by Adam Gase was the feeling that the former GM gave out overly generous contracts to Le’Veon Bell and C.J. Mosley.
The two will earn a combined $33.5 million this season. The rest of the roster, starting with Gase, should earn nothing.
What other conclusion can one draw after the latest Jets debacle, this one epic even by Gang Green’s lowly standards?
The Jets forced four first-half turnovers, led 16-0 midway through the third quarter, and lost, 17-16, to the Buffalo Bills on Sunday.
Gase, making his Jets head coaching debut, put an incomplete team on the MetLife Stadium field. The Jets were putrid in special teams, porous on the offensive line and unable to sustain defensive intensity for 60 minutes.
“When you take a loss like this, it kind of defines you,” Bell told reporters. “We’re going to see how guys respond. When you have that many turnovers and we still don’t win the game, we didn’t deserve to win that game.”
The Jets built their lead largely because they had two NFL-proven stars in Bell and Mosley. And then they got exposed by a Buffalo team that had a solid plan and solid, if not spectacular, roster.
The Jets kicker, Kaare Vedvik, who was signed off waivers last week, missed a PAT and a 45-yard field goal attempt.
“It sucks,’’ Vedvik told reporters. “Everybody wants to do their part in helping the team win. A close game like that, it’s bad.”
The offensive line, which was so suspect the Jets had to woo Ryan Kalil out of retirement in early August, gave up four sacks and never allowed Sam Darnold, who got hit nine other times, to feel comfortable.
“Whenever you have the lead going into the fourth quarter, that’s never the result you want,” Darnold, who was 28-of-41 passing for 175 yards and one touchdown, told reporters.
The defense looked competent until Mosely left the game midway through the third quarter with a groin injury.
“When he went out, it was kind of a game changer as far as they didn’t have somebody that vocal in the middle of the field that was able to make all their calls and all their check,” Buffalo quarterback Josh Allen told reporters after the game.
Bell, who should have gotten the ball more than 23 times, finished with 92 yards from scrimmage, a touchdown reception, a leaping two-point conversion catch and showed that despite a year away from football, he remains a dominant back.
Mosley scored the Jets other touchdown, their first of the season on a 17-yard interception return. Before leaving midway through the third with a groin injury and defense’s heart, he had five tackles, two passes defensed and the Pick Six.
Gase, allegedly a quarterback whisperer, couldn’t protect a 16-point lead at home by calling plays like a coach that was trying to protect a 16-point lead.
“I felt like our energy died, man, and we wasn’t playing team ball,” safety Jamal Adams told reporters. “So any time you do that, a team is going to take advantage of it.”
The way Gase’s team is constructed, don’t be surprised if the Jets get taken advantage of a lot this season.