This was vintage cruelty from Bill Belichick, undressing Sad Sam Darnold and leaving him naked to the football world as an anxiety-riddled, shell-shocked, panic-stricken mess.
This was Sam Darnold’s nightmare, his personal buttfumble and buttinterception amateur hour.
Darnold (four INTs, one fumble, one safety) played as if he had contracted gangrene in his second game back from mononucleosis, a 33-0 shutout by the Pats.
It was difficult to tell whether he had caught it from his defense or his defense had caught it from him during a disgraceful defeat.
“I’m seeing ghosts,” Darnold was heard to say on the Jets bench. Remind him never to be mic’d up again when playing Belichick and his remorseless, merciless killing machine. Especially behind a sad-sack offensive line that couldn’t stop betraying him.
None of them were Casper the friendly ghost.
To wit: In the face of a blitz, Darnold looked for Le’Veon Bell and threw a rushed interception to Devin McCourty on his first pass of the night.
From the New England 19, he threw off his back foot for Demaryius Thomas and Duron Harmon had himself an easy interception at the 1.
A zero blitz from McCourty resulted in another frantic throw from Darnold off his back foot that Stephon Gilmore intercepted.
Another unfriendly ghost produced an end-zone pick from the 11 for Terrence Brooks.
This was Darnold’s 16th NFL start and he’ll have to begin making that second-year leap against a different coach and a different team.
His first-half quarterback rating, you ask? 13.5.
His quarterback rating at the end, you ask? 3.7.
From Next Gen Stats: Sad Sam had not thrown an INT against the blitz prior to Monday night. He left MetLife with three.
He also suffered the ignominy of batting the ball out of the end zone for a safety following a high snap off his hands from Ryan Kalil.
It was Supermen versus boys, a class operation versus one in disarray, and you can kiss another New York football season goodbye.
How many days until pitchers and catchers, exactly?
This was the heavyweight champion of the world toying with a tomato-can sparring partner.
Pats versus doormats.
Monday Night Massacre.
Remember how proud the 1-5 Jets were after surviving the Cowboys when they finally showed they could finish?
On this disgraceful night, they forgot to start.
Belichick was kind enough to gift Thomas to Gase, but suddenly diabolical enough to deliver a prime-time clinic on how a Hall of Fame coach gets his team prepared to play.
You were almost afraid to tear your eyes away from the action for fear of missing a Jets blooper.
Bring on the Giants!
It was already Patriots 17, Jets 0 when Kyle Van Noy recovered John Simon’s strip-sack of Darnold at the NYJ 38 only 59 seconds into the second quarter, and soon it was 24-0, because Gregg Williams’ boys were either soft, clueless, intimidated, undisciplined or all of the above. Good thing C.J.Mosley was back, huh?
Brady had made it 17-0 with a 22-yard touchdown pass to Phillip Dorsett against Trumaine Johnson.
Brady had made an emphatic statement on the game’s first possession: four third-down conversions on a 16-play, 78-yard drive that consumed 8:47.
Darnold didn’t know at the time how lucky he was to be standing on the sideline.
And Brady? He’d come out of retirement to play these Jets — if he ever decides to retire.
It was as if Belichick played the part of Chazz Palminteri in the scene from “A Bronx Tale” where he locks the door behind him and tells the Jets: “Now yooz can’t leave.” Especially Darnold.
The place was pleading, begging for the Jets to shock the world, dying to watch Bill Belichick trudge to midfield to shake Gase’s hand, for Brady to pat Darnold on the shoulder pad and congratulate him.
Shock the 6-0 Patriots and jump-start your season. Go dig yourselves out of this hole. Go be the team you thought you could be once Darnold left quarantine. Go make a playoff run in a conference that looks forgiving enough for you to make one.
Go rise from the dead.