Adam Gase wanted to try something – anything – to get his team a win. Up to and including the idea of letting Dowell Loggains run the offense.
Different play-caller, same result.
Loggains, the Jets’ second-year offensive coordinator, had some success early in Sunday’s game against the Bills. But after the Jets built a 10-0 lead midway through the second quarter, they didn’t find the end zone again. Buffalo went on to win, 18-10, as the Jets’ offense sputtered in the second half, finishing with just four total net yards in the final two quarters.
"I just felt like it was the time to do it and see how our guys would respond and see what our offensive staff could put together," Gase said. "It looked like things were going well the first half."
But the offense stagnated in the second half, just as it had throughout the previous six games with Gase calling the plays. It’s 0-7 and counting.
Gase said the day after a 30-10 loss to Arizona in Week 5 that he’d consider giving up the play-calling but deciding to keep that responsibility after discussions with his staff. After last week’s 24-0 loss to the Dolphins in Miami, Gase seemed to pour cold water on the idea of Loggains calling the plays. But he was privately considering the move all along.
"I’ve been thinking about it for a while," Gase said. "It allowed me to take a step back and really focus on every phase of our organization."
It was the first time Gase hasn't called plays in a regular season game since becoming the Broncos' offensive coordinator in 2013.
Loggains, who called the plays from the sideline, was told during the week that he would take over for Gase. It is uncertain if Gase will resume his duties next week, when the Jets face defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City on the road.
Loggains was unavailable for comment after the game. Coordinators speak to the media during the week.
"I’m really trying to focus one week at a time," Gase said. "When I asked Dowell to do it, we had talked about it. We’ve talked about doing this for a few weeks now. He did it. We’ll probably have another conversation. We’ll talk through it. We’ll figure out next week [on Monday]."
The Jets gained 186 yards of offense in the first half, moving well against the Bills and taking a 10-point lead on rookie La’Mical Perine’s five-yard run midway through the second quarter. But Buffalo responded by pressuring Sam Darnold with more consistent blitzes, and the Jets’ quarterback was besieged the rest of the game. Buffalo finished with six sacks, and Darnold had just four passing yards in the second half. He also threw his second interception on a tipped pass in the fourth quarter.
"I was comfortable with Dowell calling plays," Darnold said. "It was just going out there and executing. It’s the same thing for us as players. It’s getting a play call and executing."
Perine said coaching wasn’t the issue.
"At the end of the day," he said, "the coaches don’t play. The players play, and we’ve got to execute as a team."