The New York Jets entered their week 14 game against the Denver Broncos just a week removed from a victory over the Kansas City Chiefs, and still possessing a slim shot to make the postseason. The Broncos, conversely, were mired in a brutal eight-game losing streak. The Jets had everything to play for while their opponent seemingly did not. And yet inexplicably, inexcusably, the Jets played their worst game of the season and lost 23-0 in an ugly loss. Here are the three most glaring takeaways from the Jets week fourteen performance.
Week 14 New York Jets Takeaways
Road Woes Continue
The Jets can divide their season into two distinct segments. At MetLife Stadium, they’re 4-3, including statement victories against the Buffalo Bills and Chiefs. The team has been competitive in every home game they’ve played. On the road, however, they’ve been atrocious. Their lone victory in six tries was a three-point win against the Cleveland Browns. The Jets have played two road games in which they simply did not show up: week 10 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and now today against the Broncos. While young teams usually play better at home, make no mistake about it: the Jets alarming disparity is a problem.
Since the start of Todd Bowles‘ tenure as head coach of the Jets, the team has won just seven road games. Of those, two were ugly wins against the Browns, one was a neutral site game in London, and one was against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. Overall, Bowles has done a good job this season. He’s gotten his team to overachieve, and the players say they love to play for him. But you have to wonder how many more games like this will be tolerated before Bowles loses his job. The third-year head coach simply has to improve his team’s performance on the road.
The Jets amassed a whopping 488 yards of total offense against the Chiefs. On Sunday, they had 100. In a modern-day NFL that favors offensive football, that’s a shockingly low total. Josh McCown was unable to find his rhythm prior to leaving the game prematurely with an injury that has now been diagnosed as a broken left hand. Robby Anderson was held in check, and Jermaine Kearse was invisible. Tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins, who was dominating games in the earlier portion of the season, had his fourth straight quiet performance. Sunday was an awful outing from a unit that has exceeded expectations in 2017.
Morris Claiborne Struggles
The Jets defense wasn’t too bad on Sunday, all things considered. They allowed 23 points and just 273 yards of total offense, despite being victimized by a hapless offense that caused them to stay on the field for nearly 38 minutes. Morris Claiborne, however, struggled all day against wideout Demaryius Thomas. The veteran cornerback allowed eight catches for 93 yards and a score, and was called for a holding penalty as well. Overall, the former Dallas Cowboys corner has played well for the Jets in 2017. He’s managed to stay healthy, and has been largely effective in stopping the other team’s number one receiver. Yet he’ll be a free agent in March, and he’ll have to play well in these last three games to guarantee that he’ll be back with the team next season.