After a first half where they scored on two of their first three drives, things went cold for the New York Jets in a Week 7 loss to the Buffalo Bills. The offense managed just four total yards in the second half, an embarrassing output even by the Jets lowly standards this year.
The meager yardage achieved by the offense wasn’t enough to hold onto the 10-0 lead the Jets staked themselves to midway through the second quarter. The 18-10 loss was disconcerting and came in offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains first game calling plays.
With the offense statistically mired at the bottom of the league, head coach Adam Gase tried to shake things up by handing over play-calling duties to Loggains last week.
“I think the good thing is it was nothing that we don’t control ourselves. And it was completely about us. It was about execution and coaching and doing the small things right that we did in the first half. The narrative or the story was we had 19 plays. I think we had five series, one was a two-minute drill. And we start off, we rear up off of 13-yard run the second half to start. And then we had a bang-bang play on third down,” Loggains said on Thursday in his virtual press conference.
“We have two first-down conversions that get called back because of penalties and we’re right there at midfield with a chance to win the game or go down and tie with a two-point conversion with six minutes left and I think we’re on the 45-yard line when [tight end Chris] Herndon gets loose and converts the third down and we get that penalty call called against us that brought us back. And then [quarterback] Sam [Darnold] had a good run where he did a good job understanding where the sticks were and making the guy miss and that play gets called back because of a holding call as well. So, I don’t think it’s anything that other than that we can control ourselves and continue to work on.”
This season has been a struggle for the Jets to sustain drives and move the ball.
The Jets are last in total offense (their 264.4 yards per game is a full 18 yards less than the next worst team) and in scoring offense with 12.1 points per game (5.3 points fewer than the second-worst team). Part of it is personnel as the 0-7 Jets are still clearly rebuilding.
A big factor, however, is the play-calling so far this season.
Gase announced on Wednesday that Loggains would again call the plays this Sunday at the Kansas City Chiefs.
“At any point, in my mind, it was never about who’s calling plays, that’s not where our football is not clean right now. And it goes back to practice and cleaning up fundamentals and techniques and making sure that we’re coaching our guys hard and putting them through the right situation. And it’s something, obviously, coach Gase made the decision to do,” Loggains said.
“He came in and told me that that’s the direction he wanted to go. And so, I believe in servant leadership and at that point, we took over as an offensive staff and started putting together a plan. And obviously the game didn’t go the way we planned. I was really proud of our guys the way they came out the first half and executed.
“I thought they did a really good job. When we got back in here and were able to watch all the tape, we were actually able to see how much better we still could be, and we played our best half of football. It was clean, we were able to create balance and staying in first down, second down, first down. An area that obviously we need to continue to work on is third down. And then in the second half, we didn’t come out and play as well as we need to and that starts with us as coaches and doing the things we need to do to continue to get better this week and build off the first half of last week.”