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Adam Gase Goes Over Grim Details of Jets' Home-Opening Loss

Head Coach's Message to His Team After 0-2 Start: 'We Need to Get Better Fast'

New York Jets head coach Adam Gase, right, talks to quarterback Sam Darnold (14) during the second half of an NFL football game against the San Francisco 49ers Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Corey Sipkin)

Adam Gase's composure was steady as he went through the details of the Jets' second straight defeat to start the season, but most assuredly he was churning inside.

"Obviously, we did not play the game that we needed to play," the Jets head coach said following the Green & White's 31-13 home-opening loss to the 49ers on Sunday. "We needed to eliminate all the explosive plays on defense. We didn't do that. We had to do a good job of moving the ball, staying third-and-manageable. We actually did that in the first half on offense, but we didn't score when we got our chance in the red zone.

"We didn't do enough as a team to really do anything against these guys. I mean, when you play a good team, even with the guys they had down, we've got to find a way to be more consistent and play complementary football at some point."

But in case anyone missed the urgency, Gase spelled it out when he was asked at the end of his newser what his emotions were at that point in the hour after the game.

"I'm pissed right now," he said. "We need to get better fast."

The setback against the Niners seemed to share some things in common with last week's 27-17 loss to the Bills, but Gase went into some of the particulars that caused the Jets to fall behind early in this one. Take the first play from scrimmage — Niners RB Raheem Mostert's screaming 80-yard run with a toss from QB Jimmy Garoppolo down a wide-open alley in the left side of the Jets' defense.

"That was the whole thing all week. ... We knew they were going to get some explosive plays, but you want to try to limit those and keep them in that 15-yard range," Gase said. "They outran us. They've got a lot of team speed, we know it. They handled our run force in that situation and we didn't take good enough angles. When we watch the tape, we'll get more detailed as far as what actually happened, but just from watching it on the field, we didn't have great angles on a guy that's really fast."

He said the offense engaged in a similar skull session during the week of preparation regarding "starting off the game a certain way" in moving the ball between the 20s, then "making sure when we got in the red zone, we took advantage of that opportunity."

Sam Darnold and the offense had two decent back-to-back six-minute drives in the first half, one reaching the SF-18 and producing a Sam Ficken field goal, the other the SF-20 and ending with zero-yard rushes by Frank Gore and, on fourth down, Josh Adams.

"At the time I thought I was going to go to a certain play and I changed my mind," the coach explained. "Frank came out so Josh had to go in. It was not an ideal situation for what we wanted. If we blocked the guy we were supposed to block, we get the first down, but we didn't block the Mike linebacker."

When Breshad Perriman left in the second quarter with an ankle injury, not to return, Gase said, "We were down to two wide receivers," meaning Chris Hogan and Josh Malone on the outside, with Braxton Berrios in the slot for the injured Jamison Crowder. That led to some execution issues in the red zone.

It also led to reporters' questions on the use of the Jets' tight ends vs. the 49ers. Chris Herndon was targeted four times with one short reception while Ryan Griffin had his lone catch, a 27-yarder midway through the final frame, wiped out when he pushed off against the Niners corner who was covering him.

"We were using the tight ends a lot in protection today," he said. "We were trying to run the football to stay third-and-manageable, and a lot of times on the third-down stuff, they're pressuring us to where guys had to stay in. We were using more two-tight-end sets today probably than we have in a long time. We're trying to spread the ball out as much as possible, but sometimes the defense dictates our guys staying in for protection."

The detail work was somewhat different than in the Buffalo opener, but the outcome was similar. Gase was asked what his message was to his team after this game. His answer was controlled and oh, so, simple.

"We've got to find a way to improve really fast and we've got to get back to work," he said. "We've got to find a way to win one football game."

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