Time for the blame game.
What do you pin it on the most for the Falcons 27, Jets 20 on Sunday in London?
How much time do you have, Jets fans?
Blame Zach Wilson, the 22-year-old rookie quarterback playing in his fifth NFL game all the way. He finished 19 of 32 for 192 yards without an interception and a touchdown, but had only 65 passing yards with 9/₂ minutes remaining in the game – BGT (before garbage time).
Blame the defense for failing to get off the ground on the crucial third-down, yielding back-breaking plays from time to time, as Atlanta was 9 out of 14 on third-down conversions.
Blame cornerback Bryce Hall, who seemed to be on the wrong end of several successful pass plays from the Falcons.
Blame the coaching staff who picked a bad day for a bad day on either side of the ball.
He blames head coach Robert Saleh and his defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbricht for outcoaching himself on several occasions.
For example, defensive lineman John Franklin-Myers covered the Falcons’ most dynamic offensive player, Kyle Pitts, in the end zone on a Matt Ryan scoring pass, which gave Atlanta a 10–0 lead before the Jets realized. Five hour time change from US to England?
Just because Franklin-Myers was awarded a four-year contract last week, a $56 million contract doesn’t mean he should cover the No.4-overall draft pick one-on-one in the final field.
Why, with the Jets 20-17 on Atlanta third and -2 from the 16-yard line and less than three minutes left in the game, the Jets were playing from a line of defensive back scrimmage, begging first and Then escorting Atlanta driving Cordarrell Patterson back to do a 7-yard reception for a killer first?
Blame offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur, which makes you wonder if he was scripting his first 15 or so offensive plays in the dark before the games.
The Jets, who have been outscored 30-0 in the first quarter of this season, have made five downs in the first quarter in five games and were dismissed 73-15 in the first half.
Adam Gase, the former Jets head coach who was denounced by Jets fans for his failures on offense, looked like an aggressive lover with his scripted plays before his offenses shrugged and limped.
The Falcons entered the game with the worst pass defense in the league, allowing the opposing quarterback to complete 70.5 percent of his passes for 1,096 yards, 11 TDs, and a flimsy 120.1 passer rating. The Jets’ offense – starting with LaFleur and Wilson – failed to take advantage of that shortcoming.
Between the disqualification of the offense and the defense’s inability to get off the field, the game couldn’t have started any worse for the Jets.
The Jets went three-and-out on their first two possessions and Wilson was barred on the third possession. By then they were trailing 17-0.
Ryan, without his top receiver Calvin Ridley (who was unable to travel due to personal issues), pulled apart a Jets secondary, which was a pleasant surprise for the first month, throwing for 342 yards and two touchdowns.
He gave the Falcons a 3-0 lead with a field goal on the opening drive.
After three more dismissals by the Jets on their first offensive possession, the Falcons went for 92 yards on 10 plays to take a 10-0 lead on a 2-yard Ryan scoring pass to the Pitts, marked inexplicably by Franklin-Myers was going .
After another three-out by the Jets, the Falcons went up 17-0 on a 17-yard Ryan TD pass to tease Hayden Hurst, who was being covered by another defensive lineman, Bryce Huff.
Bad teams find ways to lose close games. The Jets did so on Sunday, ruining a long trip to London in the process. The game was mostly thanks to Atlanta not being a very good team and failing to clear the Jets away when the ball turned up.
“You have to first learn how not to lose and when you start learning how to win, you have to learn how to stop,” Saleh said. “They’re examples of learning how to shut down and things that I think we’ll get better at.”
A week ago, the Jets won their first game of the Saleh-Wilson era, looking like the team that made this season interesting. Sunday in London against a remarkably defeatable Falcons team that practically begged the Jets to stay in the game was a significant step back, as there was too much blame to go around.
“We know we are better than 1-4,” insisted receiver Corey Davis.
“We don’t read anything that anybody says,” said Jets rookie Michael Carter running back. “We think we’re good.”
He had a funny way of showing up that Sunday in London.