Last season it was a Thursday night game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. This season it was a Friday afternoon game against the Miami Dolphins.
Last season it was Joe Flacco and Mike White. This season it was Tim Boyle.
If it feels like you’ve seen this New York Jets season before, you have. This season isn’t a complete carbon copy of the 2022 Jets, but it’s close enough.
Like last season, when a Week 16 Thursday night game against the Jaguars showed everyone how bad things had gotten in New York, a “Black Friday” audience got to see the Miami Dolphins get an easy 34-13 win.
New York’s offensive issues are ruining yet another season. A Jets offense headed by Boyle, who was replacing the benched Zach Wilson, wasn’t going to do much. The Jets threw a pick 6 on a Hail Mary at the end of the first half, which might have been the most embarrassing moment in another season of offensive ineptitude. The Jets had two first downs through three quarters, and didn’t score on offense until late in the fourth quarter when the result of the game was long decided.
It was an ugly Jets performance, with the offense completely letting down the defense. We’ve seen that before. This season, and last season too.
Jets’ offense struggles again
How many plays did it take for you to figure out the Jets offense wasn’t going to score any meaningful points on Friday? It couldn’t have been more than a dozen.
Boyle had one touchdown and 13 interceptions in his college career at UConn, but he was considered a better option than Zach Wilson. The results were predictably the same. The Jets had two first downs, one by penalty, and 47 yards in the first half. They didn’t have a single first down in the third quarter.
If one play summed up the entire day for the Jets offense, other than the miserable Hail Mary that turned into a pick 6, it came on third-and-1 after the two-minute warning. Boyle threw short of the sticks — if you missed it before, it was third down with just a yard to go — and Breece Hall was blasted as he caught the ball for no gain. The Jets punted after that.
The only way the Jets were going to score before halftime was on defense, and that’s what happened. The Dolphins led 10-0 and Tua Tagovailoa had to know that the only way the Jets were getting back in the game was on a defensive touchdown, yet he telegraphed a pass that was intercepted by cornerback Brandin Echols and returned for a touchdown. The Jets missed the extra point but trailed just 10-6.
Shortly after came the Hail Mary Pick 6, which pretty much put the game away. After a Jets interception with two seconds left, they had the chance to throw the ball to the end zone on the final play of the first half. Boyle’s pass was intercepted by Dolphins safety Jevon Holland, which seemed innocuous enough. Then he started returning it and it was clear he had a shot at a touchdown. Holland got through the Jets to the end zone for a 99-yard touchdown with no time left in the first half.
That meant the Jets offense had allowed more points than it had scored before halftime.
Dolphins beat another losing team
For the Dolphins, it was another decisive win against a bad team. Ho hum. Miami is 8-3 and still doesn’t own a win against a team that currently has a winning record.
Miami didn’t look great, but was more than good enough. Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle each had 100 yards. Raheem Mostert had two rushing touchdowns. Tagovailoa threw two bad interceptions, including the one returned for a touchdown, but otherwise was pretty efficient against a very good Jets defense. How long that Jets defense continues to battle as hard as it has remains to be seen.
Like last season, when the offense was horrible and the defense had to carry the entire load, at some point the defense reaches a breaking point, too. Last season the Jets started 7-4 and then lost their last six games. This season’s Jets were 4-3 and looked like a possible playoff team despite some significant offensive issues, which extended beyond just bad quarterback play. They have lost four straight since then.
We should have seen the Jets’ losing streak coming. It’s the same story we all saw play out last season.