Defensive Struggles, Secondary Shuffles
The Jets started Sunday's game with a new-look secondary and a new defensive play-caller, Frank Bush, in the team's 40-3 loss to the Seahawks. The Jets are now 0-13. S Matthias Farley started his first game of the season and shared time with CB Arthur Maulet at safety. CB Bless Austin also returned after missing the last three games (neck). Seahawks QB Russell Wilson had his way against the Jets defense, completing 21-of-27 pass attempts for 206 yards, 4 TDs and 1 INT before he was replaced by Geno Smith. The Seahawks also ran for 174 yards on 36 carries (4.8 avg).
"Obviously we didn't play nearly good enough, especially early when we had opportunities," Head Coach Adam Gase said. "Marcus [Maye] had a hell of a pick, we do nothing with that. We have a good kick return, we did nothing with that. We don't give ourselves a chance when the opportunities we do have, we don't take advantage of. This got away from us very quickly and when you have chances against a team like this, you better take advantage of them because this is what the outcome is going to be."
Wide receiver DK Metcalf, who entered the game as the NFL's leading receiver with 1,119 yards, had 6 catches for 61 yards and 1 TD. Maye was in 1-on-1 coverage with Metcalf on the sideline near the end zone and Maye made a spectacular one-handed grab to pick off Wilson in the first quarter.
"It was an out-and-up from DK," Maye said. "I just read it and stayed with it. Russell put it up, I turned my head, played the ball and made a play on it. We have to find a way to execute out of that. We have to put a full game together from all three phases."
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Lead Short Lived
The Jets offense started hot and then cooled off. Sam Darnold & Co. received the game's opening kickoff and drove 48 yards on 9 plays on a drive capped by Sergio Castillo's 45-yard field goal to put the Jets up, 3-0. The field goal marked the seventh time the Green & White scored on its opening possession, setting a franchise record. The Jets, however, finished with 185 yards of total offense.
"They were doing a good job of disrupting our flow," Darnold said. "They were doing a really good job of stopping the run game. When we needed to pass the ball, we couldn't do it efficiently enough to win the game."
Without WR Denzel Mims (non-injury related), Darnold completed 14 of 26 (53.8%) for 132 yards, 0 TD and 0 INT. Braxton Berrios led the team with 49 yards on 3 catches. The Green & White couldn't establish anything on the ground after rushing for 206 yards last week as Frank Gore, Ty Johnson and Josh Adams combined for 66 yards on 22 carries.
"I'll know better when we look at the tape, but just from how I felt, I felt like I need to do a better job of getting the ball out of my hands," Darnold said. "If something is not there, find my checkdown."
He added: "We just have to find a way to continue to improve and get better, do all the things that we need to do to try and win a game."
Points Left on the Board
The Jets special teams left points on the board. After putting the Jets up, 3-0, Castillo missed his next three field goals in the first half (37, 41 and 43 yards). He became the first Jet since Nick Folk at Cleveland in 2010 to miss three field goals in a game.
"After the first kick, I felt pretty confident making that 40-plus," Castillo said. "Then I just didn't follow through on a couple ones and it was one after another. I have to do better in bouncing back. That's on me."
He added: "Mentally, I felt ready to go on each kick. I was calm, I was collected. It was one of those days where I didn't do my job. This week I'll get back to the basics and perform better next week."
KR Corey Ballentine put the Jets on the Seahawks' 35-yard line after a 66-yard return, the longest of the season, and Castillo missed from 37 yards seven plays later. On the Jets' final possession of the first half, the offense drove from their 31 to Seattle's 25 in 21 seconds. Braxton Berrios' 34-yard catch-and-run put the Jets in field-goal range, but Castillo's kick sailed wide left and the Jets trailed, 24-3, at the half.
"I saw the hole, I made a couple cuts and I saw the kicker," Ballentine said of the return. "In my head, I was like, 'I can't get tackled by the kicker.' I had to make him miss. I cut back inside and he nicked my leg, so I was stumbling a little bit. After that, I saw nothing but green, so I tried to pick it up my knees, but it was a little harder than I thought it would be. ... I'm glad the way the guys blocked for me and they congratulated me after. I want to share that with them because they put in the work as well."