Jets’ Van Roten can’t help but feel ‘bad’ for their defense

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Jets' Van Roten can't help but feel 'bad' for their defense

This stretch screamed for points. Basically begged for it.

The Jets were down just 10 points and twice the defense created a turnover, twice gave the offense the ball back early in the third quarter.

The first time, Sam Darnold and Co. managed just a single yard. Just one. The next time, they lost 8 yards on second down and failed to convert a fourth-and-1 from the Miami 17-yard line.

At that point, the game was over. The Jets wouldn’t threaten again, falling to 0-11 after this one-sided 20-3 loss to the Dolphins at empty MetLife Stadium.

“That’s just not playing complementary football,” offensive guard Greg Van Roten said over Zoom. “I think our defense played really well today. They gave us a lot of short fields. They put us in position to be successful and to help them out. You can’t get a turnover and go three-and-out, or get stuffed on fourth-and-1, and expect to win a game.

Quinnen Williams sacks Ryan Fitzpatrick during today's loss.
Quinnen Williams sacks Ryan Fitzpatrick during today’s loss.Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post

“I feel bad for our defense, personally. Seeing them in the locker room, I feel we let them down as an offense today.”

The Jets sure had their chances in the third quarter. After a lackadaisical first half from the defense, in which it allowed 196 yards of offense, the unit came out on fire for the second half. It forced consecutive punts. Then, on their next possession, Quinnen Williams stripped Matt Breida, and Harvey Langi recovered the loose ball.

Predictably, the offense went three-and-out, Darnold twice going for rookie Denzel Mims down the field, but the two were unable to connect. Back onto the field came the defense, and six plays later, Jordan Jenkins created a turnover, with Patrick Laird coughing it up and Neville Hewitt recovering and returning it 17 yards.

“We stepped up a little bit there, but that still doesn’t excuse some of the plays we let go prior to that,” Jenkins said.

Again, the offense couldn’t do much. A sack of Darnold on second down created third-and-16. After Mims gained 15 yards, the Jets went for it. Predictably, the play was a run up the middle with Frank Gore. He lost a yard.

“It’s tough. Short-yardage is kind of how you define yourself as an offensive line,” Van Roten siad. “If you’re a good team, you’re going to get those, and if you want to be a good team, you have to find a way to convert those third-and-2s, fourth-and-1s, stay on the field, sustain a drive.”

Of course, the Jets aren’t a good team. They don’t have a single win. After the defense produced those turnovers, the offense couldn’t convert. That’s the sign of a really bad team.

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