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Jets’ ugly 0-3 start has Gase, Darnold searching for answers

If the Jets lose Thursday night to the Broncos, it will mark the first time they will have consecutive 0-4 starts.
Credit: AP Photo/Corey Sipkin
New York Jets head coach Adam Gase, right, talks to quarterback Sam Darnold (14) during the second half of an NFL football game against the San Francisco 49ers, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020, in East Rutherford, N.J.

NEW YORK — The New York Jets are banged up and begging for answers to turn around a season that is already spiraling after just three games.

They’re 0-3 and somehow it feels even worse.

The heat on coach Adam Gase’s hot seat is at a full blaze, and the questions about whether Sam Darnold is truly a franchise quarterback persist. The Jets haven’t been particularly competitive in any of the losses, and now have a short week before a home game against Denver on Thursday night.

Some are speculating Gase could be gone by the end of the week if the Jets have another poor performance.

“This is the NFL,” Gase said Monday. “We’re 0-3. We haven’t played well. We have to improve quickly. My job is to do everything I can to get our guys in the right head space.”

That might be easier said than done, though. Especially with the pressure building from frustrated fans who are clamoring for the Jets to make a coaching change.

Right guard Greg Van Roten was in Carolina last season when the Panthers fired Ron Rivera. He’s not sure — as much as some want to see it — that getting rid of Gase right now will accomplish much.

“You go further in the tank,” Van Roten said. “So I’m not really sure what that solves. But I get the frustration. I understand that. No one outside of our facility believes in us right now, and it’s just kind of how things are going. So we need to rally together as a team and start getting things on track.”

Credit: AP Photo/Adam Hunger
New York Jets head coach Adam Gase prior to an NFL football game against the San Francisco 49ers, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020, in East Rutherford, N.J.

Gase said he regularly meets with CEO Christopher Johnson, along with general manager Joe Douglas — and it was business as usual Monday as they approached the short workweek.

How Darnold bounces back from a lousy outing in Indianapolis will be crucial. The third-year QB threw three interceptions, including two that were returned for touchdowns in the 36-7 rout. Gase suggested the first one — returned for a score by Xavier Rhodes — was a result of rookie wide receiver Lawrence Cager not running a clean route.

But the other two were on Darnold, who feels as though he’s letting the team down a bit.

“Me having two pick-6s or having any interceptions is unacceptable,” Darnold said. “So to that extent, yes, but for me, I’m really looking forward to just continuing to get back to work with these guys. ...

“The first three games of the season haven’t gone necessarily the way we envisioned, but we’re looking forward to getting back at it with this quick turnaround. We’re looking forward to having a really good game against Denver and we’re looking to get a win.”

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