One day, there will be a team undaunted by the prospect of Patrick Mahomes greeting them at the entrance to Arrowhead Stadium, because that team will be quarterbacked by Trevor Lawrence. One day does
One day, there will be a team undaunted by the prospect of Patrick Mahomes greeting them at the entrance to Arrowhead Stadium, because that team will be quarterbacked by Trevor Lawrence.
One day does not arrive on this day for the Jets.
What arrives for them on the day after Halloween is an invitation for a little trick-or-treating at Mahomes’ house.
When you are 0-7, when the oddsmakers are willing to spot you 19.5 points, when Lawrence remains a faraway dream, there will be no treat waiting for the Jets at the Mahomes house.
Trick: A no-look touchdown pass or two from Mahomes.
Trick: Tyreek Hill streaking downfield and no young Darrelle Revis to stay with him. Or near him.
Trick: Travis Kelce getting open in the middle of the field and in the red zone.
Trick: Le’Veon Bell gleefully taking the baton from rookie Clyde Edwards-Helaire and resembling the back he was during his pre-Jet days in his revenge game.
Trick: Chris Jones or Frank Clark dominating the beleaguered Jets offensive line and forcing Sam Darnold into a head-scratching decision that is intercepted by “Honey Badger” Tyrann Mathieu.
Trick: No Jamison Crowder or Breshad Perriman for poor Darnold.
But this much we know about these Jets: If there’s a game on the schedule, they will show up, bless their hearts.
Coach Adam Gase is of the belief that relinquishing play-calling duties to offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains will make it a fairer fight, and it will, as long as Mahomes decides to throw left-handed.
Gang Green authored an inspired performance against the Bills last week, and you bet defensive coordinator Gregg Williams will have a plan for Mahomes. But everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.
Darnold won’t survive any shootout with Mahomes, and doesn’t have the personnel to implement the Giants’ Super Bowl XXV game plan that kept Jim Kelly and his Bills on the sideline.
Counting on “any given Sunday,” or the notion that Mahomes puts his pants on one leg at a time when there is no proof that he does, won’t do the Jets any good here.
The Jets have nothing to lose and should coach and play that way:
A flea-flicker is a must.
Go for it even on fourth-and-long because field goals — Sam Ficken has a groin problem anyway — don’t cut it against Mahomes.
Or a fake field goal.
And why not a fake punt?
Over the course of what will be a Hall of Fame career, Andy Reid has opened games with an onside kick, and if Gase gets the chance, he should try one.
Reid was coaching the Eagles in 2001 when he stunned the Dick Vermeil-coached Chiefs at Arrowhead with a successful onside kick on the opening kickoff that sparked a 23-10 Thursday night victory.
“It was something we wanted to do to set the tempo of the game,” Reid said afterward. “From a coaching standpoint, it sent a message to our players that we’re going to go after it in a tough place to play.”
Turnabout is fair play, no?
And if it fails, and Mahomes is gifted a short field? So what? He turns long fields into short fields with a flock of his wrist anyway.
How much worse than 0-7 is 0-8 anyway?
This was undoubtedly a challenging week at One Arrowhead Drive for Reid and his aides, tasked with finding game tape that their players wouldn’t find comparable to the new Borat movie. A Mekhi Becton pancake block, maybe. Darnold’s 46-yard TD run, maybe. Frank Gore still running hard after all these years. A Quinnen Williams disruption pre-face mask penalty. Safe to say that Gase and his minions did not feel the need to confront the dangers of complacency.
Gase has expressed the need for complementary football, and it is imperative that his Jets do not confuse it with complimentary football. As in:
“Wow, great throw Patrick!”
“I didn’t realize you were that fast, Tyreek!”
“Le’Veon, wish you could have run that way when you were with us!”