PHILADELPHIA — Imagine where the Jets would be without an offensive mastermind.
The Jets remain winless four games into the Adam Gase Era, with Sunday’s 31-6 loss at Lincoln Financial Field marking the latest showcase of the league’s most pathetic offense. With Sam Darnold (mononucleosis) sidelined for the third straight game, the Jets (0-4) mustered just 128 total yards and gave up two defensive touchdowns, while falling to 0-11 all-time against the Eagles (3-2).
Luke Falk, who threw for 98 yards in his first career start, completed just 15 of 26 passes for 120 yards, with two interceptions and a lost fumble, Though Darnold could return next week, the Jets would still be heavy underdogs in the next two games against the Cowboys and Patriots.
While the Jets defense surrendered just 86 yards on the ground, and limited Carson Wentz to 189 yards passing, Gase’s uninspired game plan — and Falk’s knee-high ceiling –made every drive feel like a hike up Mount Everest.
Trailing 7-0 after Jordan Howard scored on Philadelphia’s first drive, the Jets attempted to convert a fourth-and-1 near midfield late in the first quarter, but Falk’s rollout pass to Le’Veon Bell went into the hands of Eagles linebacker Nathan Gerry, who returned the interception 51 yards for a touchdown.
Falk’s second interception — thrown too high, and off Demaryius Thomas’ hands, before landing with Rodney McLeod — led to an 11-yard touchdown catch by Zach Ertz, giving the Eagles 21-0 lead with 34 seconds left in the first half.
Though the Eagles entered the game with a league-low three sacks, an overwhelmed Jets offensive line allowed 10 sacks.
Early in the fourth quarter, the Jets entered the red zone for the first time after Corey Clement fumbled a punt return. On the next play, Vyncint Smith took a reverse 19 yards for the Jets second offensive touchdown of the season, snapping a stretch of 39 drives without scoring a touchdown.
When the Jets managed to get to midfield on their next possession, Falk gave away another seven points, getting stripped by Orlando Scandrick, who returned it 44 yards for another defensive score with 7:39 left in the fourth quarter.