After losing a close game to the Saints, the Jets came back home to face the Chargers. Bryce Petty would get another start to lead the offense to victory. Surely, his performance against Los Angeles could not be as putrid as he had done last week versus New Orleans, right?
Todd Bowles went wild.
With the Jets out of playoff contention, the head coach threw the book out the window and went against conventional wisdom.
To begin the 1st quarter, he had the special teams do a fake kickoff instead of sending it straight to the opponent. Even though there was a low probability of recovering the onside kick, safety Marcus Maye caught the ball at New York’s 48 yard line. The Jets got the 1st possession to start the game.
Unfortunately, after Robby Anderson caught a huge gain of 38 yards near the Chargers endzone, he was flagged for offensive interference on the cornerback. The penalty yards drove the offense back to midfield and resulted in a Jets punt. Even after they were in great field position, the offense came away with zero points on the scoreboard.
On their next drive, Petty overthrew a wide open Austin Seferian Jenkins on 2nd down & 4. Fans let out their displeasure as they booed the quarterback.
Los Angeles got on the board first after Antonio Gates scored on an inside slant against Jamal Adams in the 2nd quarter. The 12-play, 71-yard drive resulted in leading 7-0 over New York.
Gang Green had one more chance to score points with under 2 minutes remaining in the half. Petty threw a Hail Mary from midfield but was intercepted out of all people… by a wide receiver. Keenan Allen stopped the quarterback from throwing a touchdown near the Chargers endzone. The Jets went to their locker room still trailing 7-0.
After Los Angeles missed a 47 yard field goal following a 39 yard reception from running back Melvin Gordon, Bilal Powell ran through the defense for a touchdown in the 3rd quarter. The game was tied at 7.
After Gordon ran for a TD to give the Chargers the lead, New York had one last chance to score with 3 minutes remaining in the 4th quarter. However, Bryce overthrew the tight end Jenkins inside the opponent’s 5 yard line on 3rd down & 7.
Todd Bowles was forced to go for it on 4th down to have any chance at a comeback. But Petty lobbed a weak pass in the end zone as Robby Anderson stretched his body for an uncatchable ball against the Chargers defender. The Jets turned it over on downs and the offense never had possession again. The Jets fell to 5-10.
Gang Green lost pitifully 14-7 at home to a team that had traveled all the way from the West Coast. On 3rd down conversions, the offense was a measly 3-for-14. Add in the fact that the Jets had five 3-and-outs and one could see why they only scored 7 points. But when the game mattered the most in the 4th quarter, the Jets shot themselves in the foot with a fumble, a turnover on downs and 2 punts.
The blame for this loss lies squarely on the quarterback. Throughout the 4 quarters, Petty was inaccurate with his passes and missed open teammates on the field. The frustration was evident on the receivers.
“Same old song. We lost.”, vented Jermaine Kearse.
Bryce finished the game completing 15 of 28 passes for 119 yards and one interception. His 53% completion percentage doomed the offense and he was never able to sustain drives against the Chargers. This quarterback has shown that he can not lead New York to score points.
Although Todd Bowles did not point fingers, his words resonated profoundly.
“We didn’t get it done.”