Nothing sours a locker room like a stout defense coming to resent the offense for being unable to score. It happened in Seattle, it happened in Jacksonville, and it is happening on the Jets. Following an unwatchable 13-6 loss to the Dolphins, left tackle Kelvin Beachum, unprompted, kicked off his postgame interview with an apology to the defense.
“Can I say something? First and foremost, I think our defense played extremely well today. To give up six points … our defense balled out. One of the best defensive performances I’ve ever been a part of. Kudos to our defense. We didn’t deliver for them. This game is on us.”
The defense was excellent. It allowed just six points on 168 total yards—3.1 yards per play. It held Brock Osweiler to 139 yards on 15 completions. It allowed Miami seven first downs all game, and the Dolphins converted on just three of 16 third-down chances.
And the Jets lost! Because their offense was as bad as their defense was good. New York never once reached the red zone. Sam Darnold threw four interceptions, including a pick-six, and now leads the NFL with 14. They scored six points against a Dolphins defense that had allowed 33.4 points a game in its last five. They never once reached the red zone.
So, perhaps Todd Bowles didn’t need to observe that the defense didn’t create any turnovers. Bart Scott, who knows a thing or two about what it’s like to be on a team-carrying Jets D, what’s your take?
Scott’s right. The defense got the ball back almost at will, and it’s not their fault Darnold and the offense couldn’t do anything with it. (Slightly more relevant: Bowles decision to keep in the game a center who couldn’t snap the ball, a problem the player admits is “definitely both” physical and mental.) I get that Bowles is trying to protect his offense and his rookie QB, but after the Jets’ best defensive game in more than four years was not the time to speculate that the defense didn’t do as much as it could’ve.
Besides, I’m sure they would’ve had a turnover had the opposing QB thrown any balls like this one:
So the locker room’s a mess, Jamal Adams is ranting about not being a loser, the knives are out for Bowles, and, worst of all, Darnold is regressing. But other than that, everything’s good. The Jets meet the Bills next week. That’ll be a fine afternoon to rake leaves or eat poison instead.