ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- One team, one goal, one touchdown.
Get used to it.
The revamped New York Jets might be a more together team than last season, when their locker room was fractured by head cases, but the sad reality is this team has no chance in 2017 because its offense is terrible. With no running game and Josh McCown dinking and dunking and throwing interceptions (two), the Jets reached the end zone only once in a 21-12 loss to the Buffalo Bills on Sunday at New Era Field.
The Jets played down to expectations, as their many offensive blemishes came to the surface -- and Buffalo isn't even a strong defensive team. When they had the ball, the Jets looked like they were on a treadmill with the incline at the highest setting.
Coach Todd Bowles set the tone for the season with his "One team, One goal" mantra. It's a nice slogan, but it can't buy points.
What it means: Well, look at the bright side: The "Suck for Sam" campaign is hotter than ever. This loss, no doubt, will please the faction of fans that wants them to tank for Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen or another top quarterback. McCown (26-for-39, 187 yards) had a rough game, but he can't be replaced because Christian Hackenberg-- the surprise No. 2 -- isn't ready to play and Bryce Petty apparently isn't good enough to overtake Hackenberg. This is why long-suffering fans are looking to the future.
"We need to win now," nose tackle Steve McLendon said emphatically after the game. "We're not in the business of we'll wait 'til next year. We're in the business of winning now."
What the Jets did well: Uh ... they punted well. Lachlan Edwards had one hiccup, but his overall net average (43.7) was solid. For his sake, you hope he has an incentive bonus in his contract based on number of punts. Two newcomers made plays. Wide receiver Jermaine Kearse (seven catches for 59 yards) did a solid job as a possession receiver and Kony Ealy -- deployed as a 3-4 outside linebacker -- was disruptive at times.
What the Jets didn’t do well: Their run defense, a strength in previous years, was slashed by LeSean McCoy (22 carries for 110 yards). The Jets have one of the better defensive lines in the league -- yes, even without Sheldon Richardson -- but it left far too many cutback lanes for McCoy. There was poor gap control at times, with the linebackers and safeties also getting caught out of position. Cornerback Morris Claiborne said it was a point of emphasis in practice, adding it was "very frustrating" because "we let them do everything the coaches practiced us not to do."
Fantasy fallout: Curiously, running back Bilal Powell wasn't a big part of the game plan. He might be their best player on offense, yet he didn't touch the ball until there was 3:43 left in the second quarter. They relied on Matt Forte, who had two drops and ran like a 31-year-old running back. McCown scored the only touchdown, a fourth-down sneak. Don't expect to see too many of those this season. The most-targeted receiver was Kearse (eight targets), who arrived last week. What does that tell you about the Jets' receiving corps? Robby Anderson couldn't get open and had a costly drop.
Questionable strategy: Repeating a strategic mistake he made last season in Pittsburgh, Bowles decided to punt with 4:00 left in the game with the ball at his 44, down by two possessions. It was fourth-and-8, a low-percentage situation, but he punted away a chance to get back in the game.
What’s next: The Jets will step up in competition, as they face the Oakland Raiders on the road. This isn't a good matchup for the Jets, who likely will get blown out by a very talented Oakland team. It'll be the Raiders' home opener, so the Black Hole will be in rare form.