Facing a fellow 0-3 team in the Denver Broncos, the Jets had their chances to come out of Thursday’s game with their first win of the season, but costly penalties seemed to get in their way at every turn in the 37-28 loss.
As a team, the Jets had 11 penalties for 118 yards, including six personal fouls. Perhaps none of them were more costly than Quinnen Williams’ facemask penalty against Brett Rypien, which negated a third-down sack that would have forced the Broncos to punt from deep in their own territory.
The Jets had just taken a 28-27 lead, but the penalty allowed the Broncos’ drive to continue. Denver would capitalize on the second life with afield goal to go up 30-28, before later icing the game with along Melvin Gordon touchdown.
“We had multiple chances to get off the field. We hurt ourselves,” Adam Gase said after the game. “Penalties were just brutal. Made them punt one time and just couldn’t do the right stuff. When we did hit [Rypien], we were hitting him late and were getting personal fouls. It’s ridiculous.
“When you look at it and there are 11 penalties for 118 yards, I mean we hurt ourselves. We need to get this corrected and we need to figure out like what guys are going to do things right, what guys are going to do the right things at the right time. This is not the way that we’re gonna play.”
In fact, the Jets’ final personal foul of the night came just before the final whistle, when Steve McLendon was charged with a helmet-to-helmet hit on Rypien on a fourth-down play.
The Broncos’ sideline seemed to be clearly upset at how physically the Jets were playing, and as a result, Broncos head coach Vic Fangio ushered his players straight into the locker room after the game ended, failing to shake hands with Gase at midfield.
“Well, there were just a couple personal fouls there at the end and our sideline was getting pissed off about it, and I just wanted to avoid any kind of confrontation at the end of the game and have it get ugly,” Fangio said. “So I tried to get our guys to leave quickly just to avoid anything happening there.
“I thought it was the prudent thing to do.”
Added Gase: “I saw those guys start going off and I heard Vic yelling at his guys saying ‘Get in the locker room,’ so I saw what was going on. I think he was just trying to make sure we didn’t have any kind of melee. It was getting heated.
“I’ve known Vic for a minute. I’m sure I’ll talk to him here sometime.”
At the end of the night, the Jets had a good chance of securing their first win of the season, but ultimately it was the sloppy play and foolish penalties that helped sink the team to 0-4.
“Really, it’s just decision making,” Gase said. “We’ve got to make the right decisions. We can’t just keep doing the same things over and over and over again.”