The New York Jets as a group insist that the practices are going really well. The games…. well, not as much. As a group that has started out 0-5, the fear of a locker room fracturing doesn’t appear to be happening.
“If you watched these guys practice, how they go through the week and the effort and how these guys are trying to get all this stuff right,” head coach Adam Gase said after the Jets 30-10 home loss Sunday to the Arizona Cardinals. “If you were there day in and day out and saw those guys, how they practiced last week, you wouldn't know what our record was.”
The 0-5 start is the Jets’ worst start in 24 years. The last time they lost their first five games, Rich Kotite was the head coach and that team finished at 1-15.
When teams in any sports struggle like the Jets have, it’s easy to see finger-pointing and locker room fracturing.
“It doesn't seem like it's that kind of situation though,” said Sunday’s starting quarterback Joe Flacco. “I'm definitely worried about guys’ confidence and belief in our team to go out there and win the football game. I think that's something that you constantly have to monitor. Obviously when you're going through the situation we're in, it has to be addressed at some level. “
The Jets are 0-7 in games that Sam Darnold does not start. Gase was non-committal on Darnold’s shoulder injury healing for Week 6 at the Miami Dolphins. That game is part of the NFL’s schedule change that moved their original matchup at the Los Angeles Chargers to Week 11.
Joe Flacco started in place of Darnold and finished 18-of-33 for 195 yards and one touchdown.
“This was a really good week of practice for us,” right tackle George Fant told SNY after the game. “We felt really good coming into this game. We had some plays that we wish we could get back. We just have to go back and watch the tape and learn from it and get ready for next week.”
“I definitely don't feel any finger-pointing and things like that going on,” Flacco said. “I think we've got a good group of guys. We just got to kind of look at ourselves in the mirror and start believing that we can get the job done.”
The Jets scored just one touchdown and had just two scoring drives in a day marked by mistakes on offense. They were stopped on a third down-and-1 three separate times and another time on a fourth-and-1. It begs the question, what’s happening in practice that isn’t transferring to game action?
“It's just, you know, I guess it's just what I see in practice,” Gase said. “The result, it just doesn't match up.”