The Jets played a game against themselves on Wednesday and found a way to lose.
It was an ugly intrasquad scrimmage in Florham Park as the first-team offense was shut out and had three turnovers and the starting defense gave up 20 points to the second-team offense. With a game that counts coming two weeks from Sunday in Buffalo, the Jets are running out of time to figure things out.
“That date is not moving, and we’ve only got so many practices,” Jets coach Adam Gase said. “Whatever the sense of urgency was, you’ve just got to keep increasing it, and you have to understand that that window is going to close quick and we have to do everything we can to prepare ourselves.”
To be fair, the starting offense was missing its projected outside receivers, with Breshad Perriman (knee) and Denzel Mims (hamstring) on the shelf. Still, you would have thought it would look better than it did facing the second-team defense.
Quarterback Sam Darnold went 10-for-16 with one interception. The Jets had two series that were three-and-out. Chris Hogan and Jamison Crowder each had a fumble. When the offense did put together a good drive, it ended in a turnover. On its third series, Darnold had throws of 20 to Hogan, 14 yards to Chris Herndon and another 6-yarder to Herndon to get into the red zone. Then, Darnold missed a wide-open Herndon before throwing an interception to Ashtyn Davis on third down.
The offense moved the ball well again on the next drive with back-to-back 11-yard passes to Crowder and Jeff Smith. Crowder then caught a fourth-down conversion that was called back on a holding penalty.
“The most important thing we’re always looking at is turnover margin, and we didn’t do a good job protecting the football today, and explosive plays,” Gase said. “We gave up a couple on defense, the defense getting a long run ripped off on them. We’ve got to get those two things especially cleaned up.”
The starting defense gave up a 79-yard touchdown run to La’Mical Perine in which he hit the hole, put a move on safety Bradley McDougald and was off to the races. McDougald said someone was not in the right gap. Rookie quarterback James Morgan orchestrated a successful drive against the defense as well, capped off with a 1-yard touchdown pass to Braxton Berrios.
“Obviously, some things showed up that we have to get fixed and we have to get fixed quickly,” Gase said. “This was a good step for us without having preseason games, can’t get lulled to sleep by practice thinking, ‘Hey, it’s all good.’ ”