Sam Darnold is home with mononucleosis, but the Jets were the ones who looked sick Monday night.
Odell Beckham Jr. looked pretty dynamic, though.
The Jets couldn’t move the football or stop Cleveland’s pass rush or contain Beckham in his MetLife Stadium return and suffered an embarrassing 23-3 loss to the Browns.
After Jets defensive coordinator Gregg Williams said he didn’t think Beckham was a dynamic player, the former Giant caught six passes for 161 yards, including an 89-yard catch-and-run, one of his vintage slant routes that went for a long touchdown.
The Jets are 0-2 under new coach Adam Gase and look like a team going nowhere. Darnold is out indefinitely. The offense has scored one touchdown in eight quarters.
“We’re going to look at all our guys and see who’s doing their job and who’s not,” Gase said. “We have to move pieces around. We have to change some things up.”
The Jets probably will have to sign another quarterback, too.
Trevor Siemian, who started for Darnold, left the game in the second quarter with a left ankle injury. Siemian left the locker room on crutches and in a walking boot. Gase said he will undergo an MRI, but it didn’t look good as his ankle bent in a nasty way on a late hit by Myles Garrett.
Luke Falk, signed earlier in the day from the practice squad, made his NFL debut. He was serenaded with choruses of “Luuuuke” and finished 20-for-25 for 198 yards. Siemian was 3-for-6 for three yards.
The Jets’ offensive line had another subpar performance, struggling to keep Garrett off their quarterbacks. He finished with three of the Browns’ four sacks.
“We have to look at all our guys and see who’s doing their job and who’s not,” Gase said. “We have to move some pieces around.”
Le’Veon Bell had 21 carries for 68 yards and caught 10 passes for 61 yards. New kicker Sam Ficken, signed last Tuesday, made a career-best 46-yard field goal in the second quarter, cutting the Jets’ deficit to 13-3.
The Jets got into the red zone only twice. On fourth-and-2 from the 12, Bell caught a pass and was tackled at the 11. The second time, he fumbled the ball at the 7 in the fourth quarter.
“It wasn’t the quarterback play,” Bell said. “It was details. We had a lot of dropped passes, a lot of false starts, guys just not making enough plays, including myself. The quarterback play was fine.”
Things won’t get easier for the Jets. They will end this short week Sunday in New England against a team that hasn’t allowed a touchdown and has outscored its opponents by 73 points.
Monday night was just the continuation of a really rough and tumultuous week for the Jets.
Their defense already was without middle linebacker and defensive leader C.J. Mosley (groin) and rookie lineman Quinnen Williams. (ankle). Outside linebackerJordan Jenkins left on the first drive with a calf injury and didn’t return. Receiver Demaryius Thomas left with a hamstring injury.
They were down another starter on defense, but he appeared to be a healthy scratch. Cornerback Trumaine Johnson was active but didn’t start, although he played in the final minutes. It’s possible that Gase benched Johnson, who stood on the sideline in full uniform with his helmet on for much of the game. Former Jets coach Todd Bowles benched Johnson for the last game of the regular season for being late to a team meeting.
All of the injuries took away some of the hype for this game, but last week’s exchange of barbs between Beckham and Williams added some.
Williams’ “Odell who?” comment got back to Beckham, who got the last laugh.
“Gregg who?” Beckham said.
When Baker Mayfield was told that Williams didn’t think Beckham was a dynamic player, he was in disbelief.
“He said that?” Mayfield said. “Oh, Jeez. Next question. Not a dynamic football player?”
Beckham looked pretty dynamic Monday, making a one-handed grab down the sideline for 33 yards before turning Mayfield’s short pass over the middle into an 89-yard TD.
“We knew that the New York Jets weren’t going to be able to put up too many points and it was going to come down to us making that back-breaking play,” Browns receiver Jarvis Landry said. “We got the ball in Beckham Jr.’s hands and let him go.”
The Jets’ offense was, in a word, brutal. Another word might be inept.
They went three-and-out on their first two series with two net yards of offense. They went three-and-out on six of their 12 series.
“It’s not fun,” Gase said. “It’s not something you want to go through. You got to battle through it. You got to figure out a way to get into the end zone.”