The ultimate indignity — the one that spoke to just how badly these 1-6 Jets have fallen and just how confounding their franchise quarterback has become these last two games — came in the final minutes of the fourth quarter. It occurred just as the Jets were about to succumb again, this time in a 29-15 loss to the Jaguars.
First came the music.
Then came the video.
With Sam Darnold standing on the sideline after throwing his third interception, the theme from “Ghostbusters” blared through the speakers at TIAA Bank Field.
A few seconds later, replays of Darnold’s turnovers flashed on the video board.
Just six days after Darnold was heard muttering “I’m seeing ghosts” during a 33-0 Monday night home loss to the Patriots, the second-year quarterback was subjected to the kind of taunting that he now must expect if and when things go wrong.
And things have gone terribly, terribly wrong, with Darnold throwing a combined seven interceptions in back-to-back losses as the Jets’ season spirals further into the abyss.
For his part, Darnold took the Ghostbusters ribbing — which also included the Jaguars’ team mascot showing up before the game with a white sheet thrown over his costume — in stride.
“It is what it is. Didn’t affect me,” Darnold said. “It’s just a silly thing for social media and fans to be able to try to use against you.”
He said it didn’t get inside his head. What did get to him was how dreadfully he played for a second straight week. That’s seven interceptions in six days, a cataclysmic stretch that has him at a loss to figure out why everything has come crashing down on him now.
Especially after he played so promisingly in a 24-22 win over the Cowboys in his first game back from mononucleosis.
“Two of my worst games ever, so it’s hard,” he said.
Darnold looked terrific in taking the Jets 93 yards on their first drive and finishing it with a 24-yard touchdown pass to tight end Ryan Griffin, a promising answer to the Jaguars’ opening-drive touchdown. But he quickly unraveled from there, throwing his first interception on the next drive after scrambling away from pressure.
The Jets trailed 19-7 at halftime, and it was 22-7 in the fourth before Darnold got into the end zone again, making it 22-15 with another scoring pass to Griffin.
But Darnold coughed up another interception on his next possession as A.J. Bouye picked off a deep pass intended for Vyncint Smith near midfield. The Jaguars converted the turnover into another touchdown.
Any hope of salvaging this season is over, too.
The Jets have become mind-numbingly bad in Adam Gase’s first seven games. A season that began with such promise after the signing of Le’Veon Bell, Jamison Crowder and C.J. Mosley has come apart so spectacularly that the Jets now are careening toward a potential No. 1 overall pick.
Only the winless Bengals and Dolphins and 1-7 Washington and Atlanta are worse — for now. The Jets could fall into a last-place tie with the Dolphins if Gase succumbs to his former team in a battle of losers next week at Hard Rock Stadium in South Florida.
This was supposed to be the part of the schedule that eased up after early games against the defending Super Bowl champion Patriots, Eagles, Cowboys and Bills. Jacksonville was 3-4 under rookie quarterback Gardner Minshew, but the Jets made Jacksonville look like the 1985 Bears. Darnold was sacked eight times and was under duress after the first touchdown.
Gase heaped the blame on himself, not his quarterback.
“I feel like I haven’t helped him enough,” he said. “Haven’t put him in good enough position. He’s doing a lot of really good things. It’s just not working the way that it should. We just don’t have everybody on the same page.”
Gase has been abysmal so far, failing to live up to what the Jets had expected: an offensive play-caller who could get the best out of the quarterback. If anything, Darnold has regressed after a promising rookie season. Gase’s team is an undisciplined mess in all three phases of the game, and there’s no easy way out.
“Nobody’s pulling us out of this,” he said. “We have to do it. We have to go back to practice, go in our meetings, make sure we are getting better every day. We have to do it. Nobody else is coming to save us.”
Who you gonna call?
Sorry. No Ghostbusters available at the moment.