The NFL schedule-makers showed no mercy for the Jets.
Gang Green face another playoff contender this week in the Rams. The Jets (0-13) could use a game against a team in their weight class, but that has not come, as the past three games have been against teams with playoff hopes, and that continues Sunday in Inglewood, Calif.
The Jets enter this game with the worst offense in football (269.8 yards per game). The Rams (9-4) enter the game with the best defense in football (allowing 285.8 yards per game). This one could get very ugly.
The question about the Jets for weeks has been whether this team would pack it in and give less effort. Even in the 40-3 loss to the Seahawks last week, it did not look like a lack of effort, just a lack of talent.
Coach Adam Gase was asked this week if players have started dreaming of where they will be flying when the season ends in two weeks.
“I haven’t seen that,” Gase said. “I think guys have done a good job of resetting and getting ready to go to the next one. They know what kind of challenge we have this week, they know how we have to play, they know this has to be a well-played complementary football game for us to put ourselves in position in the fourth quarter.”
This is the Jets’ third trip to the West Coast in the past month and their second in two weeks. The original plan was to stay out West and practice between the games at the Seahawks and the Rams, but COVID-19 protocols made them change those plans, and they will be taking four cross-country flights in 10 days.
“I think Wednesday we were a little sluggish, I know that trip was a long trip, just trying to get guys kind of back on schedule and things like that,” Gase said. “Thursday, there was a noticeable uptake in energy level, execution, practice. When we left practice [Thursday] I felt good about kind of where we’re at.”
For quarterback Sam Darnold, a trip to the Los Angeles area should have been a happy homecoming. Darnold grew up about an hour south in San Clemente and would have had family and friends in the stands. Instead, he will be playing in an empty stadium for a winless team with his future in question.
“I was looking forward to going home, seeing some family if possible, but obviously that’s not a thing,” Darnold said. “But we are looking forward to going there and playing a good team and having that opportunity.”