OFFENSE: On the first play from scrimmage, Joe Flacco missed a wide-open Jeff Smith. Not the way the Jets needed to start, but not surprising considering how inept they have been. Flacco didn’t play badly in replace of Sam Darnold (shoulder sprain). But he led only one touchdown drive. (The Jets have now scored just one offensive touchdown in four consecutive games). Smith and Chris Herndon had bad drops that cost the Jets first downs. Again, typical for this team. The Jets were 1-for-3 in the red zone. On one trip, they didn’t even get points. They were stopped on third-and-1 and fourth-and-1. The Jets also were stuffed on another third-and-1. The return of Le’Veon Bell was supposed to help. He carried the ball on two of those plays and didn’t get a yard. On the second red zone trip, they were called for delay of game on first-and-goal from the 10. Jamison Crowder (eight catches, 116 yards, TD) played well again. The Jets should get him the ball more.
DEFENSE: Kyler Murray is an exciting young quarterback and DeAndre Hopkins is a special receiver. But the Jets made everything easy for the Cardinals. Gregg Williams’ defense allowed 496 yards of offense. It would have been 500 but Murray took three knees at the end of the game. The Jets were a top-two run defense last year. They continue to distance themselves from that group. The Cardinals had 127 yards on the ground and three rushing touchdowns. Murray threw for a career-high 380 yards, and faced little pressure, which is normal for quarterbacks facing the Jets. They sacked Murray once, their first sack in three games. The biggest indictment of the Jets’ defense came when Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury went for it on fourth-and-1 from his own 39 in a seven-point game. Of course, they converted with a 31-yard gain.
SPECIAL TEAMS: Brant Boyer’s group has been the most consistent. Sam Ficken made his only field-goal attempt and lone extra point. Rookie Braden Mann punted six times. Three of them went 50 yards or further. The Cardinals started inside the 20 four times after a Mann punt. The Jets' return game hasn't been good, though. La'Mical Perine muffed a kickoff and was brought down after just a 4-yard gain. The Jets started that drive at their own 12. Boyer turned to Braxton Berrios and Jamison Crowder after that. They totaled 21 yards on two kickoffs.
COACHING: It really is the same story every week for Gase’s offense and Williams’ defense. You knew the defense would struggle after Jamal Adams was traded, but they’re hardly putting up a fight. That’s unlike a Williams-coached team. The offense has dealt with injuries, but you have to be able to get 1 yard. To not get it four different times — one was a Jeff Smith drop — is the definition of incompetence. You have to be able to put the ball in the end zone more than once a game.