Jets eradicated from playoff competition — ‘It’s gut-wrenching’

SEATTLE — New York Jets quarterback Mike White sat immobile at his locker for a number of minutes, staring down at play sheets at his ft. Finally, he reached down, picked up the papers and methodically tore them into tiny items — a metaphor for the Jets’ once-promising season.

Their 23-6 loss to the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday at Lumen Discipline was the Jets’ fifth straight defeat, which eradicated them from playoff competition to culminate an epic collapse. It prolonged their postseason drought to 12 straight years, the longest lively streak within the NFL and now the longest such stoop in franchise historical past. It additionally clinched their seventh consecutive dropping season.

“It stings,” White mentioned. “It’s tough. It’s gut-wrenching. It’s all of the above. You can use any adjective you want to use to describe it.”

The Jets have been 7-4 after a 31-10 rout of the Chicago Bears on Nov. 27, seemingly headed towards a slump-busting playoff look. Undermined by a chilly offense and quarterback instability, they now are within the midst of maybe the worst late-season nostril dive in staff historical past. The final time they misplaced this many in a row after the tenth recreation was 1996, their notorious 1-15 season.

“No one is hurting more than the people in the locker room, especially me,” coach Robert Saleh mentioned. “At the same time, I know it’s hard to see light at the end of the tunnel, but there are a lot of really cool things to look at for this season. But right now it stings big time.”

Coming off a 4-13 file in Saleh’s first season, the Jets (7-9) weren’t anticipated to be sturdy playoff contenders in 2022, however they grew to become one of many largest surprises with their quick begin. Expectations have been raised — and the whole lot fell aside.

“We feel s—ty as players,” tight finish Tyler Conklin mentioned. “No one is happy about it. I feel for the fans, I feel for everybody. We wanted this, too, and we just didn’t play well enough and it hurts. It sucks. You know you’re not going to get an opportunity to change that until next season, which makes it even s—tier.”

Saleh mentioned he’ll “look at everything, all the way from the top down, starting with me, obviously.” The offense will get probably the most scrutiny. It failed to attain a landing for the second straight recreation; the Jets have averaged solely 12 factors per recreation through the five-game dropping streak.

“It’s shocking,” White mentioned of the stoop — eight quarters and not using a landing.

The Jets had hoped White’s return to the lineup would offer the spark wanted to win the ultimate two video games and maybe sneak into the playoffs. A pair of wins, coupled with one loss by the New England Patriots, would have resulted in a wild-card berth. However, after lacking two video games due to fractured ribs, White was rusty and regarded uncomfortable beneath stress Sunday.

White, in his fourth begin since changing the benched Zach Wilson, accomplished solely 23 of 46 passes for 240 yards and two interceptions. He was sacked 4 occasions and went 3-for-15 with an interception beneath duress, in line with ESPN Stats & Data analysis.

He did not deny that his ribs may need been a think about his efficiency.

“I was cleared to play by the doctors,” he mentioned. “The guys in that locker room deserve a certain standard. I knew what I was signing up for. I was cleared by the doctors, I practiced all week. Basically, what I’m saying is, there’s a standard those guys deserve. I didn’t live up to that standard today.”

Completely different quarterback, identical consequence.

Prior to now 4 video games — two with Wilson, two with White — the Jets have produced 12, 17, three and 6 factors. It shines a light-weight on offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur, whose offense has topped 30 factors solely 5 occasions in 33 video games. Conklin mentioned they have been “flat” at occasions Sunday.

“We feel like we blew the season,” mentioned rookie extensive receiver Garrett Wilson, talking of the staff on the whole. “We wanted a chance at the playoffs. I’m pretty sure this [loss] means we’re not going. At the end of the day, that’s what we wanted to do — and have a chance to prove ourselves beyond that. We didn’t get there, so we don’t feel good about it at all.”

The Jets have been out of the sport from the beginning, falling behind 17-3, after the protection allowed three consecutive scoring drives. After that, they by no means actually threatened, as LaFleur obtained away from the bottom recreation and White continued to misfire. He was 17-for-40 when focusing on receivers not named Conklin.

After a couple of fortuitous outcomes final weekend, the Jets acquired an sudden shot on the playoffs — “a blessing from the football gods,” cornerback D.J. Reed mentioned. However they squandered their second likelihood.

“We had high expectations all season and we didn’t meet them,” particular groups captain Justin Hardee mentioned. “It’s always disappointing when you don’t take that next step and get to the postseason. We’ll have a bad taste in our mouth for a long time.”