Because of the NFL’s COVID-19 protocol, the Denver Broncos were left without an actual quarterback for Sunday’s game against the Saints. They used practice-squad receiver Kendall Hinton, who had very little time to prepare, and lost to New Orleans, 31-3. The same day, the New York Jets had Sam Darnold back as starting QB and lost to the Miami Dolphins, 20-3. What the hell was their excuse?
Head coach Adam Gase, who in Week 7 had supposedly given up calling the plays on offense, seemed to be back to his old responsibilities with the return of Darnold. The Jets scored a field goal on their opening drive and nothing for the rest of the game, so it definitely felt like a Gase-led offense. Reporters noticed that offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains was doing nothing on the sidelines, not even holding a clipboard or sheet. When that observation was presented to Gase, he admitted that yes, he handled third-down situations and “some of the two-minute stuff” as the game went on. If Gase can’t outwit the New York Post, what chance does he have against an opposing NFL team?
“This is not hard,” Gase said of the play-calling process, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.
There is no reason for a competent NFL head coach to give 18 rushing attempts to 37-year-old Frank Gore, unless he’s trying to induce injury. The words “Frank Gore” and “up the middle” should not be combined that many times in any one game. It’s as if Gase heard all the praise for the “ageless” running back and took it as a challenge.
The Jets aren’t loaded with talent on offense, but that excuse ran out for Gase a long time ago. His strategies have no creativity, flexibility, or ambition. They make the players he has worse, and they also succinctly explain why his team’s 0-11. Because of last year’s 7-9 campaign, Gase will not reach the depths of Rich Kotite’s 4-28 record over two seasons, but assuming the Jets let him play out the rest of this season—they shouldn’t—he can get as bad as 7-25 since he took the job with New York. He would presumably not get a third season.
There is one silver lining to take from all this: Imagine how absolutely toxic the Detroit Lions would have been if, before the 2019 season, Gase had taken the offensive coordinator gig for the recently fired Matt Patricia. We were robbed of “Detroit Lions interim coach Adam Gase,” a six-word story much sadder than any unworn baby shoes.