After the New York Jets were torched by Lamar Jackson, the players lined up to get jerseys signed by him which is not the sign of a winning culture.
The New York Jets had no answer for Lamar Jackson on Thursday Night Football. Baltimore’s star quarterback and the likely 2019 NFL MVP rushed for 86 yards while throwing for 212 yards and five touchdowns (all to different receivers). With the Jets looking like the most pedestrian versions of themselves for much of the game, they took the 42-21 blowout loss and moved to 5-9 on the season.
But just as bad as the action during the game for Gang Green was what happened after the game. Jersey swaps are nothing new between players after a game. Great players want to show respect to others and it’s truthfully a refreshing gesture. Adam Gase’s Jets took it to a new level on Thursday, however.
Rather than just someone like Sam Darnold exchanging jerseys with Lamar Jackson, posing for a picture and then moving on, multiple players essentially lined up to get an extra jersey autographed by the quarterback — yes, this actually happened.
This is one of the most baffling things you’ll ever see. It’s nice to see signs of respect after a great performance and on a night when Jackson surpassed Michael Vick‘s single-season rushing record for a quarterback. But taking turns getting an autograph from an opposing player after a three-touchdown loss? That seems absurd.
Gase’s Jets entered the season with some expectations of success in the second year of Darnold, with the arrivals of Le’Veon Bell, C.J. Mosley and Quinnen Williams, and ultimately starting to hit reset on the franchise. At 5-9, however, they’ve clearly not turned things around just yet. And when you see things like this, it’s hard to not scrutinize them because of what’s happened on the field.
New York has been a cultural mess for some time now and this seems like a glaring example that things aren’t much different under Gase. The Jets seemed in awe of their opponent rather than respectful and competitive. Even with Jackson’s elite ability, that’s the absolute last thing fans should want to see from a team in the Jets’ position.
Maybe this is overblowing the situation but the New York Jets made a bad look (losing handily in primetime) worse with the autograph session. It seems like one more instance of a losing culture revealing itself in the spotlight.