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Jets Q&A: What's the matter with the second-half offense?

Jets head coach Adam Gase watches play against

Jets head coach Adam Gase watches play against Kansas City in the second half of an NFL football game on Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020, in Kansas City. Credit: AP/Charlie Riedel

Why does the Jets’ offense look more inept in the second half?

Coaching is a big part of it. So is the talent on the field.

But this was the second straight game in which the offense was decent in the first half and looked awful after halftime.

"We’re making our adjustments," right tackle George Fant said. "They just got us in the second half with better adjustments than we did."

The Jets are not making the adjustments needed to stay in the game. Last week, with offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains calling the plays, the Jets took a 10-0 lead over Buffalo. They had 4 yards of offense in the second half.

On Sunday, they got in Kansas City territory their first four series of the game. They didn’t score a touchdown, but they kicked three field goals and had another blocked. In the second half, they had five three-and-outs, a Chris Herndon fumble and two first downs.

"We got a rhythm going and just the fumble killed us, just momentum-wise and being able to get down the field," quarterback Sam Darnold said. "We were on a good drive there. If we hopefully score seven there, it’s a different ballgame."

That’s a big if with this offense. And it’s not as if the Jets don’t know what’s coming. Most teams are playing man coverage, begging the Jets’ receivers to beat them while bringing the pressure. The Jets’ receivers are not winning their one-on-one battles most of the time and Darnold is under siege.

Did anyone get injured?

Quinnen Williams left the game with a hamstring injury. He was having a good game with three tackles, two for a loss, and one quarterback hit. The nose tackle wasn’t able to finish the game.

What happened on the fake punt?

The Jets had to know that was coming. CBS analyst Trent Green had an idea it was coming. How did the Jets not know Kansas City would try something on fourth-and-4 from the Jets’ 49-yard line?

Yet punter Tommy Townsend threw a perfect pass to a wide-open Byron Pringle with cornerback Pierre Desir a good 7 yards away from him. It ended up being a 13-yard gain.

"That play was to me," Desir said. "That was one of those things you got to be aware of. They like to run fakes. They just so happened to run [that pass play] in that situation. You have to clue into that situation and play the ball better and get off the field."

On the next play, Patrick Mahomes threw a 36-yard touchdown pass to Tyreek Hill.

Do the Jets have enough talent to win?

Not against this team, and not most days. But when coach Adam Gase was asked that question, he resorted to making an excuse about the injuries. The Jets were without their top two receivers, Jamison Crowder (groin) and Breshad Perriman (concussion).

"When we get starters healthy, [and] we should have some guys coming back, that’s going to help us stretch the field a little bit," he said. "We’re limited on guys who can stretch the field when we have a couple dudes banged up. We got to try to be able to get some more chunk plays and explosive plays.

"I’d love to see this starting wideout group play together and see how that would go."

That could happen on Nov. 9 against New England if Crowder and Perriman return. Rookie Denzel Mims led the Jets with 42 receiving yards on only two catches in just his second NFL game.

What’s up with Chris Herndon?

His disappointing season continues to get worse. He caught only one pass — and fumbled on the play. He also dropped a touchdown pass earlier this season. With the trade deadline Tuesday, he’s someone the Jets might consider moving. If not, he could see his already diminishing use in the offense drop further.

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