EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – Seconds before their first win, the New York Jets made an unnecessary defensive game – an absolute blitz that resulted in a touchdown and a 31:28 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders Stadium at MetLife on Sunday.
Afterward, Jet’s security team captain Marcus Maye released a verbal flash against Defense Coordinator Gregg Williams, who made the unfortunate call to Henry Ruggs’ 46 yard hit by 5 seconds.
“I just had the feeling we could have made better calls in this situation,” Maye said.
Maye doubled that opinion. In fact, he went way beyond that. During his four-minute, 30-second interview with reporters, he made eight pointers on how the defense should have received a “better call” in third and tenth place with 13 seconds early in the game.
Instead of protecting the end zone and sideline with a soft zone, Williams – known for his aggressiveness – called a Cover 0 Blitz. That didn’t mean deep help from a security. He sent eight rushers to quarterback Derek Carr, leaving only three defenders in man-to-man coverage.
The play call was unprecedented in recent NFL history. According to research by ESPN Stats & Information, of the 252 passing games attempted in similar circumstances over the past 15 seasons, the Jets were the only defense to dispatch more than six rushers.
Two of the three defenders remaining on the coverage were newbies – cornerbacks Bryce Hall and Lamar Jackson – which made the call even more curious.
Jackson, who had not moved in from Nebraska, took a double bite and let the fast Ruggs pass him. According to the NFL Next Gen Stats, he was six feet apart when Carr’s pass arrived – and the Raiders (7-5) had a miracle victory.
“I couldn’t believe we were totally blown away,” said Carr, who passed 381 yards – including 200 yards and two touchdowns to end Darren Waller.
It was a devastating loss for the Jets, falling to 0-12 and the longest defeat in franchise history. They played their best game of the season and thought they had the win to play with 1:37 after a fourth stop deep in their own territory.
But the offensive went three and four, so the Raiders could take over their 39 with a 35-second lead. Three games later, Carr went deep to Ruggs.
Post-game emotions in the locker room were rough, according to players. Maye questioning his coordinator’s strategy was highly unusual and created more turmoil among the Jets, who have been embroiled in various controversies throughout the season.
“Our boys are working way too hard to solve this,” said a disgusted Adam Gase, who fell back to 7-21 as the Jets coach and is likely to be fired at the end of the season.
Williams was not made available after the game.
When asked to explain Williams’ strategy, Gase said the goal was to put pressure on Carr, adding that Williams “did everything well. That happened. We had a few free runners, but we are didn’t get there. ” “”
Gase has failed to convincingly defend Williams, who is given total autonomy to lead the defense.
“You’ve been in this league long enough, you watch games like this,” said Gase. “You don’t want to be part of them, I know that.”
The jets only made two sacks, both with a four-man rush. In the game before the Ruggs touchdown, Williams went the opposite way, leaving eight for cover and falling only three. Broad receiver Nelson Agholor was open in the end zone but Carr overturned him.
On the Blitz, Jackson, who was only starting his fifth game, was placed in an “extremely difficult” position, Maye said.
Jackson offered no excuses and only blamed himself.
“I knew it was one of those things that they’d get a shot at the end zone at,” he said. “At first I came back, came back, came back. It wasn’t cover. End zone protection was important.
“The receiver gave me a nice little double pull and I kind of got involved with it. He’s a quick guy and he could take a step on me. And that was it … This game isn’t going to define me or mine Career. “
But it could define the season of the Jets, the worst in franchise history.
“It’s hard to fathom losing a game like this,” said quarterback Sam Darnold, who threw two touchdowns and ran for another in his best performance of the season.
“Heartbreaking,” said Ty Johnson, who replaced injured Frank Gore (concussion) and fell to a career height of 104 yards – the first 100-yard gas rusher.
There have been many positive results for the Jets, which have overcome a 24-13 deficit with 15 unanswered points. This was a rare chance to win. Aside from a last-minute loss to the New England Patriots in Week 9, they have been blown out of most games this season.
“We should have won,” said Darnold. “We’ve had a couple of games this year where we didn’t stand a chance. To have a game like this that we should have won in the end, these definitely hurt more.”