This is getting old for the Jets. Very old.
After a 14-7 loss to the Chargers on Sunday afternoon in which the crowd at MetLife Stadium booed third-year quarterback Bryce Petty, the Jets’ frustration is surfacing.
“That [expletive] is, I don’t know man, I don’t know,” cornerback Morris Claiborne said. “It’s just [expletive]. We didn’t finish. They made more plays than we did. I felt like the defense played pretty well but [the Chargers’] defense got turnovers and we didn’t. To win these football games, you got to get turnovers and make something happen so you [can] keep the offense in it.”
Playing with a line that was missing three starters, that offense was pretty abysmal as Petty provided another unsettling effort. In his sixth career start and second of this season, he completed 15 of 28 passes for 119 yards with no touchdowns and one interception. Petty was sacked three times, had a quarterback rating of 49.6 and continued a trend in which he overthrew receivers and short-hopped some throws.
“It’s really frustrating,” said Petty, who is 1-5 as a starter. “I think that mentally, I know exactly where I want to go with the ball and it’s just my feet are faster, they’re not as relaxed as my mind is, if that makes sense.”
Petty had to deal with a line that included a new center, Jonotthan Harrison, right guard Dakota Dozier and right tackle Brent Qvale because of health issues for the regular starters. The Jets (5-10) were 3-for-14 in third-down conversions and had five three-and-outs and some questionable play calls.
“That ain’t going to do it,” wide receiver Jermaine Kearse said of the third-down numbers.
With the Jets trailing 7-0 in the second quarter, on third-and-1 at their 43, Petty threw an incomplete pass to Robby Anderson. The Jets used five wide receivers on the play instead of a tighter run formation. It seemed to upset left tackle Kelvin Beachum, who stormed off the field yelling.
They had other chances, too. On the third play of the game, Anderson was called for pass interference when he clearly pushed off on corner Casey Hayward, negating a 38-yard gain to the 2. In the second quarter, on first-and-10 from the Chargers’ 20, Matt Forte fumbled and Los Angeles recovered at the 24.
“Same old song. We lost,” Kearse said.
The fans booed Petty late in the first quarter after he tried to pull back a throw on an incomplete pass. On the previous play, he overthrew a wide-open Austin Seferian-Jenkins on second-and-4.
Todd Bowles said Petty will start the regular-season finale at New England and dismissed the notion of moving No. 2 quarterback Christian Hackenberg into the starting lineup.
“I’m not going to yank the guy,” Bowles said. “The game was close. He was in the game. He needs to work through these things.”
The Chargers took a 7-0 lead when Antonio Gates caught a 3-yard touchdown pass on Jamal Adams with 8:55 left in the second quarter. Bilal Powell, who rushed for 145 yards on 19 carries, tied the score in the third quarter with a 57-yard touchdown run, but Melvin Gordon’s 1-yard touchdown run gave Los Angeles (8-7) a 14-7 lead with 4:57 left in the third quarter.
The Jets’ fourth-quarter possessions ended with two punts, a turnover on downs and a fumble to end the game.
“It’s super-frustrating,” Beachum said. “The thing is we’re moving the ball and getting into their territory, and for some reason we stall when we get to the opposite side of the 50. As an offense, we got to do a better job of winning first and second down.”
After a three-game winning streak that moved the Jets to 3-2, they have lost eight of 10 games. Bowles summed up the game and perhaps the season simply: “We didn’t get it done.”