FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — The Jets lost Zach Wilson to a knee injury in the second quarter of Sunday’s hideous 54-13 loss to the Patriots at Gillette Stadium.
And in other news … the Jets’ defense embarrassed itself and the Jets’ coaching staff should have been charged a fee for the schooling it got from Bill Belichick and his staff.
The Patriots had the football five times in the first half, and they scored on all five of those possessions, with little resistance coming from a Jets defense that finished the game yielding 551 yards in total offense and allowing the most points since a 56-3 loss to New England in 1979.
Shame on the Jets’ defense.
The Jets were boat-raced by the Patriots — fittingly on the day after the Head of the Charles regatta took place in Boston. After it was over, Jets head coach Robert Saleh — he of the “all gas, no brakes’’ enthusiasm — looked ashen, shell-shocked and shaken by what he’d just witnessed.
“They punched us in the freaking mouth and scored points, so credit to them,’’ Saleh said.
As Saleh spoke in an auxiliary room in the bowels of Gillette Stadium, there was a Halloween display on a stage adjacent to the interview podium with a tombstone engraved with “RIP’’ and several skulls on it. It was hauntingly fitting on what was an utterly humiliating day that included Belichick having his backup quarterback, Brian Hoyer, slinging passes down the field with the game totally out of hand, running up the score.
Before Sunday, the last time the Jets had allowed 50 or more points was in a 52-14 loss to the Dolphins in 1995, when Rich Kotite was the head coach.
(Note: Any Kotite reference coming into play is never a good thing for any Jets coach.)
As bad as the defense was, the Jets’ offense continues to be lost, particularly early in games. The Jets are the only team in the league that has not scored a single point in the first quarter, while being outscored 44-0.
Jets offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur, supposedly trying to spark his offense, ran rookie running back Michael Carter into the line on the first two offensive plays from scrimmage en route to a three-and-out. By the time the Jets realized there was a game that counted on Sunday, they were trailing, 14-0.
Maybe he’ll get better, but LaFleur, a first-time coordinator, has looked overmatched for the better part of the first six games.
Defensively, the Jets had no answers all day, despite defensive lineman Sheldon Rankins saying afterward that the Patriots “didn’t do anything that shocked us … didn’t do anything that was out of character for them.’’
Shame on the Jets’ coaching staff.
“This is the NFL … you give up 50 points, it’s embarrassing,’’ Saleh said.
Want more embarrassment?
There was former Patriots defensive lineman Richard Seymour, who was being honored at halftime, telling the crowd he was asked by the team at which game he wanted to receive the honor, and he said: “I wanted to come to our homecoming game against the Jets.’’
The sobering reality is this: The Jets, who’ve lost their last 12 games to New England, 15 of the last 16 and 18 of the last 20, have been the Patriots’ sacrificial-lamb homecoming opponent for two decades now.
Seymour’s low-hanging-fruit cheap shot and Belichick’s never-ending mission to embarrass the Jets by running up the score brings us to the Jets’ reaction to the beat-down: No one publicly expressed true anger about what had just taken place.
You found yourself wanting someone on the Jets to articulate raw anger — particularly on the defensive side of the ball. And all you got was safety Marcus Maye repeating a few times how “tough’’ the loss was and Rankins saying, “When we’re on the same page and we execute the right way, we’re a damn good defense.’’
Some losses are so disgusting that they warrant a chair or two thrown across a room or some sort of fiery locker-room reaction. This was one of them. Yet we got no fire from the Jets. Just a lot of hung heads and low voices.
“The NFL doesn’t really give a flying [bleep], excuse my language, in terms of scheduling,’’ Saleh said. “We got to line up the next week and for the 11 or 12, whatever we got left. I know we got great character guys. Every once in a while, you get your [bleeping] … excuse my language … you get your teeth knocked in.
A lot to be sorry about out of this game.
Shame on the defense. Shame on the coaching staff.
Another waste of a Jets season. What a shame.
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