There is no better representation of how poorly the Jets performed in their 23-3 loss against the Browns than the fact that this ESPN-created graphic of Sam Darnold executing a powerful commanding point while the word “mononucleosis” appears next to him boldly in all caps was likely the only thing that made New York fans smile during Monday night’s matchup. This wasn’t the entirety of the graphic—as you can probably tell by the cut-off Jets logo—but the full image doesn’t do a whole lot to explain why Darnold needed to look so game-ready next to his illness.
Here it is in context of the broadcast:
As it would turn out, the foreboding tone that Joe Tessitore used when he described the Jets’ “very difficult stretch” was rather indicative of the how New York would play throughout the ensuing 60 minutes of game time. A lot could be written about the team’s porous offensive line, toothless passing attack, inconsistent defense and the psychotic coaching staff behind all of those things, but I’m going to focus on two plays in particular that show just how Jetsy the Jets got this evening.
The most notable of the two was Odell Beckham Jr.’s 89-yard touchdown late in the third quarter to put the Browns up 20 on the road. You’ll notice in the screen grab below that even though Cleveland has three receivers on the left side, there are only two defensive backs in coverage on that part of the field. No, it’s not that the Jets just simply forgot to bring an 11th defender on the field; the third defender in question is just lined up so far back that he wasn’t even able to make it onto the screen for that play.
This would appear to mean that, at best, the Jets looked ready for some sort of deep play from the Browns, or, at worst, they just wanted one guy playing prevent defense the whole drive so that if their opponents were to score, it wouldn’t be from a long distance. Whatever the plan actually was, however, it didn’t work.
If for some reason you’re not into live replays, Next Gen Stats put together a neat little graphic to show just how badly Jets safety Marcus Maye was embarrassed on that play.
But every team blows defensive alignments from time to time, meaning that, while hilarious, this play alone shouldn’t satisfy your lust for LOLJets content. Thankfully, that’s what this second play is for. What’s more on-brand for this franchise than a defensive meltdown? A play where things look like they’re going pretty well, only for the football gods to step in and spit on the face of all that positive energy.
Imagine taking the road less traveled as far as the modern running back is concerned—staying in-bounds to intentionally collide with an incoming defender instead of stepping out—only for your effort to be rewarded with a loose ball that harmlessly falls into the arm of a waiting opponent.
For the sake of ending this blog on a positive note, I’ll give you the Darnold graphic one final time.