Adam Gase has talked for weeks about wanting to see what the Jets’ offense looks like with their three starting receivers on the field at the same time. He finally might be able to scratch that off his wish list on Monday night when the Jets host New England.
The irony is that Gase might see it for the first time with his job security hanging by a thin thread.
After facing the Patriots (2-5), the Jets (0-8) will go into their bye week. They have never been 0-9 in their history.
This year has gone miserably for the Jets, the NFL’s only winless team. Even when something positive happens, it’s doused with negativity. Monday’s game is another example.
In the last NFL game of Week 9, it looks as if the Jets will have Jamison Crowder, Breshad Perriman and Denzel Mims together for the first time. Naturally, starting quarterback Sam Darnold is doubtful because of a shoulder injury. Joe Flacco will be delivering the three receivers the ball in their long-awaited debut together.
"Everybody is pretty excited about that," Flacco said. "It’s good to get Mims going. I’ve been with Breshad before. Crowder is a guy who just has a knack for getting open. Hopefully we can stretch the field a little bit, use Crowder and get everybody involved."
That would be a major improvement. The Jets’ offense has been terrible, and their passing game has been one notch below that.
They have four receiving touchdowns. The Patriots are the only team with fewer (three). It’s been a rough year for them, too. New England has lost four straight for the first time under Bill Belichick since 2002. You think the Patriots miss Tom Brady?
"I might have been a GA graduate assistant] at LSU or in college the last time I remember hearing about New England losing four in a row," Gase said. "It’s been a while."
Still, the Jets are worse. They have thrown one touchdown pass since Week 3 and haven’t recorded 200 net passing yards since Week 1. That’s remarkable, given that they have faced large deficits in just about every game and have had to play catch-up. They have lost by an NFL-worst 18 points per game.
This is why Gase, who was hired because of his offensive acumen, is on the hot seat. In their last three games, the Jets have been scoreless in the second half and have recorded nine three-and-outs.
Things might have been different if the Jets weren’t as banged up as they have been at the skill positions.
Defenses have played mostly man coverage against their piecemeal receiving corps all year. Opponents have dared the receivers to beat them, and they haven’t.
Combine that with the pocket collapsing frequently on the Jets’ quarterbacks, and it’s led to some really bad football.
Now they hope having Crowder, Perriman and Mims together can provide a much-needed spark and a glimpse of what they’ve been missing. They will be going against a Patriots secondary missing All-Pro cornerback Stephon Gilmore, who is out with a knee injury.
"I think it’s just going to be fun," Perriman said. "We all have been waiting on this moment to get all of us out there at the same time. It’s finally about to happen. Now we’re just going to go out there and have fun."
Perriman, the speed receiver and deep threat the Jets signed to replace Robby Anderson, has been a disappointment after looking good in camp. He has 11 catches for 118 yards and no touchdowns in four games. Perriman missed three games with an ankle injury, and a concussion kept him out last week.
Mims has the size, speed and strength to win his matchups, but the second-round pick from Baylor missed camp and the first six games with injuries to both hamstrings. He recorded six receptions for 84 yards in the last two games but had no catches after halftime.
Crowder has been the Jets’ best offensive player with 29 catches for 383 yards and two touchdowns, but the reliable slot receiver has appeared in only four games. He missed two early with a hamstring injury and the last two because of a groin issue.
The Jets list Crowder as questionable, but he sounded confident in his play and this trio’s ability to have an impact.
"We can be a very good group," he said. "I think it will be a good opportunity for all three of us to see how we can contribute and play off each other. It will be a good opportunity to go against a team like the Patriots. I look forward to playing alongside those guys. I want to help as much as I can."