After consecutive blowout losses, New York Jets head coach Adam Gase says his team hasn’t packed it in yet. Instead, he paints the picture of a team that is angry at their slow start to the year and wants to collectively turn things around.
The Jets, 0-3 after a 36-7 loss at the Indianapolis Colts this past Sunday, have the chance to right the season when they host the also winless Denver Broncos. A popular pick to be a surprise team in the playoffs this year, the 0-3 Broncos are also struggling.
“I think they’re pissed because there are moments in the game where we feel like we have to just get over that hump of stay right where we’re at, we’re right there, it’s a one-score game,” Gase said on Tuesday in his virtual press conference.
“And something happens where we let it avalanche on us. That’s the point of the game we have to put a stop to and find a way to actually use momentum for our advantage. We haven’t done that yet.”
The worst team in the NFL in total offense and scoring offense, the Jets have struggled to move the ball and put up points. They have also been hit hard by injuries, including losing three of their starting wide receivers.
The winless start for the Jets isn’t necessarily surprising. The season’s first two losses at the Buffalo Bills and then the San Francisco 49ers, came to playoff teams a year ago.
The Week 3 loss to the Colts was against a team that was rebuilt this offseason and that featured a top-tier quarterback in Philip Rivers. Those are three good teams, all of whom could (and should) be in the playoffs this year.
But it is the way the Jets have lost, by a combined 57 points, that is shocking. It has also brought reports that Gase might be on the hot seat.
The Broncos winless start is a bit more of a surprise. They seemed poised to take the next step in their rebuilding process.
Even as the game on Thursday night featuring two winless teams in Week 4 is certainly not must-see television across the country, Gase thinks it will be a tightly-contest match-up. Two teams, desperate to win.
“I expect two teams to play extremely hard, battle and try and get a W. That’s really at the end of the day what we’re all trying to do,” Gase said.
“This early in the season, guys are doing everything they can to win a game. Both sides are trying to get as many healthy guys out there, especially on a short week. The more guys you have available to you, the better it is. You can rotate guys in, you can try to play more guys and you just try to get guys out there, seeing if somebody can bring some juice, create a big play, get a turnover - you’re looking for that spark early to really get you going.”
In terms of his team’s mentality, the Jets head coach seems pleased. Gase said there have been no player-only meetings yet. He said there isn’t a reason for one given the open nature of the locker room.
Gase himself seemed a bit upbeat and optimistic on Tuesday. That could well do with the return of wide receiver Jamison Crowder (hamstring) in practice as well as right tackle George Fant (concussion) and left tackle Mekhi Becton (shoulder).
Becton was hurt in Sunday’s loss and left the game. All three are starters and their availability for Thursday is a big boost for the struggling offense.
As for his message to the team following a tough start to the season, Gase was almost Zen in his response.
“Be loose, make plays, have fun, you’re playing on Thursday night,” Gase said.
“Enjoy the moment, I just want our guys to be present and go after a win.”