East Rutherford, N.J. Sunday, December 8, 2019. Sam Darnold looking to pass. NY Jets vs. Miami Dolphins at MetLife Stadium. (Photo by David L. Pokress)
By Jeff Moeller, The New York Extra/thenyextra.com
The Jets were a pick six away from their first win Sunday in Los Angeles.
Yea, I know, it wasn’t that easy, but they played a second half against the Chargers that made the 34-28 final within striking distance in the final three minutes.
Maybe these Jets aren’t an 0-16 team afterall. They face some long odds trying to pick up a win over the final weeks, maybe catching the Patriots in New England in the finale.
They are in a deep transition toward 2021, but they may have more pieces than they realize.
The end result against the Chargers reinforced the thought about it not being about wins, but it is instead about auditions for 2021. Remember how many Jets are on the current roster and not on the future one.
This shouldn’t be an agonizing six weeks.There are growing tendencies arising that would indicate this team isn’t in total futility.
They still play a tease just long enough before that they remind us that they aren’t a good football team on many fronts.
They had a fast start against the Chargers with a blocked punt and then rolled with momentum with rookie running back La’Mical Perine’s touchdown.
Rising rookie safety Ashtyn Davis then recovered a fumble, and a win was ready to set in the shadows of SoFi Stadium.
Wait.. reality check time.
Joe Flacco tosses the untimely pick six and the Chargers regain momentum and build a 24-6 halftime lead.
From there, Chargers rookie quarterback Justin Herbert began to slice and and dice them apart like a pre-Thanksgiving Day turkey most of the afternoon with his 366-yard, three touchdown performance against the Jets’ band aid secondary that allowed Keenan Allen 16 catches for 145 yards
A yawn and a lifeless corpse of a second half apparently loomed ahead.
Wait..there was a beating pulse after all.
The Jets’ defense kept Herbert in check allowing 10 second half points, and Flacco looked like his prime Raven Days with a pair of touchdowns, one a smooth 49-yarder to Denzel Mims. They were within arm’s length with just under three minutes, but they couldn’t finish.
The Jets showed there is some fight left in them over the final six weeks of the season, and they looked like a better team with their wide receiver trio intact. Watch Mims, Davis, and top pick Mekhi Becton continue to develop.
If Perine can stay healthy, he will give us a glimpse if he is the real deal or a wasted pick. Do you still wish Bilal Powell was on this team?
The Jets return home to face an interesting challenge with upstart Miami Sunday at MetLife to face either Ryan Fitzpartrick or Tua Tagovailoa, who likely will be the starter.
Ironically, both quarterbacks are a reminder of what the Jets had and what they could have.
Sam Darnold should be back, but we’ll be watching his audition to a new home next year. At this point, Darnold can look good in Philadelphia green as a soaring candidate.
More importantly, though, we’ll also get another audition for the supporting cast around Trevor Lawrence next season.