By Jeff Moeller/The New York Extra/thenyextra.com
The Jets’ 28-14 loss at New England Sunday was a microcosm of the majority of the Adam Gase era.
They had a lackadaisical effort for the better part of the game, showed some flashes, but lacked a knockout punch when they needed one. The crackling flame from a 6-2 finish last season quickly fizzled into embers.
It was yet another showing that ended in a quiet, submissive fashion. I know a few media members who were tempted to turn the channel.
It was a reversal of destiny from the previous two weeks when the Jets (2-14) looked energized and efficient in a two-game win streak over the Rams and Browns.
But it all fittingly ended in a snow-falling crescendo into the early New England night, where Bill Belichick has taken pleasure in every Jets’ defeat since he had a literal cup of coffee as their head coach over 20 years ago.
The same fate befell former head coach Todd Bowles two years ago. Ironically, Bowles will be working on a defensive gameplan (possibly for the Giants at this writing) toward the playoffs next weekend.
So, Gase was relieved of his duties Sunday night by owner Christopher Johnson after he produced an overall 9-23 mark in two years.
I believed Gase might have had a chance of surviving, but his team’s effort against the Patriots extinguished the thought.
It would have been the perfect way to end this train wreck of a season with a win over New England, and the Jets provided some hope when they went into halftime as well as the tuid quarter both tied.
But, as they have all season, the bottom fell out for the Jets behind a rejuvenated Patriots’ quarterback Cam Newton, who nearly doubled his season total of touchdown passes (five) with a three-score delivery.
In the postgame, Gase again sounded like a defeated man without many answers after he received a two-week reprieve.
So, the questions about another process will begin.
Quarterback Sam Darnold looked like an inconsistent version of himself after he gave Jets’ fans hope with two impressive outings. Darnold threw two bad interceptions and had trouble getting into a rhythm. He openly questioned his future in the postgame.
Yes, there is some young talent to develop — Meki Becton, Quinnen Williams, Denzel Mims, Bryce Hall, Bryce Huff, Ty Johnson, Ashtyn Davis — along with veteran holdovers — Neville Hewitt,, Conner McGovern, Jamison Crowder, Chris Herndon — to cultivate.
The ball will begin rolling Monday for Johnson and GM Joe Douglas, who both will be faced with major decisions ahead, ones that can shape the franchise for the next five to 10 years.
Jets’ fans can hope they don’t have that same sunken feeling on a cold, late New England afternoon.