Jets' worst start in 24 years a total team meltdown in loss to Cardinals

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The New York Jets have fielded plenty of bad football teams over the past quarter-century, but this one might be the worst. Falling to 0-5 for the first time since 1996, they embarrassed themselves (again), this time showing no fight in a 30-10 loss to the Arizona Cardinals at MetLife Stadium

New quarterback, same rotten offense.

A rusty Joe Flacco provided no spark whatsoever, as the Jets suffered their fourth double-digit loss of the season -- the 11th in 21 games under coach Adam Gase. Clearly, the Jets' problems run a lot deeper than starting QB Sam Darnold, who sat out with a sprained right shoulder. Six touchdowns in five games, three of which came on broken plays, is an indictment of Gase, whose boss recently called him a "brilliant offensive mind."

With this season already in the dumpster, the only questions that remain are:

Will Gase survive the season? Will the Jets actually go 0-16? Will they land the No. 1 overall pick, with a chance to draft Clemson star Trevor Lawrence?

You can't win if you can't score, and right now their offense is as bad as it's ever been. Gase deserves his share of the blame, but this is an organizational failure, including the front office and ownership. You don't get this bad with only one person not doing his job.

"We're letting it get away at a certain point in the game," Gase said of the blowout losses. "I mean, those first two games, it's hard to even look at those. Those got away too early. In these last two, when we had an opportunity to swing the game, we couldn't do it."

QB breakdown: Flacco's performance was predictable. He was rusty, really rusty, in his first start in nearly a year. He settled down in the second half and somehow emerged with his health intact, but it wasn't a winning performance -- 18-for-33, 195 yards and one touchdown. He also was victimized by at least three drops. This was the Jets' 12th straight loss with a backup quarterback in a starting role, which speaks volumes. They're 0-7 when Darnold doesn't start. Flacco might have to start again next week against the Miami Dolphins. Yeah, it's grim.

Troubling trend: After a promising start, the Jets' defense collapsed in spectacular fashion, continuing their awful season. They had no answers for quarterback Kyler Murray, who passed for a career-high 380 yards. Three different Arizona players scored on rushing touchdowns. When the Jets closed to within 17-10, they needed a stop from the defense, but it surrendered a long touchdown drive. That's what you call bad complementary football.

Troubling trend, part II: The Jets continued to struggle in the red zone, going 1-for-3. They stink at situational football, and it cost them another game. They ruined an encouraging drive by getting stuffed on third-and-1 and fourth-and-1, two inside runs that went nowhere. Later, they wasted a short field -- first down at the 10 after an Avery Williamson interception.

The rebuilt offensive line, resembling last year's punch line, generated no push whatsoever. Jets general manager Joe Douglas devoted most of his offseason resources to improving the line. So far, the line has been a disappointment.

Biggest hole in the game plan: Tight end Chris Herndon, who continued his nightmarish season with another open-field drop, should be benched. He was quasi-demoted, as Ryan Griffin started in the base offense, but Herndon wound up with two catches for 24 yards. Enough is enough.

Silver lining: Where would the Jets be without wide receiver Jamison Crowder, who scored a touchdown and recorded his third 100-yard receiving game?