Jets sink to new level of ineptitude in 41-3 loss to Patriots

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Somewhere between the humiliation and embarrassment, Woody Johnson must have had the same six words running through his head as everyone else that witnessed this bloodbath: The Jets are so royally screwed.

The divide between the Evil Empire and the Empire that Never Strikes Back has never been greater. The Jets are miles upon miles away from touching the class of the AFC East. They don't just stink. They aren't just your garden-fire dumpster fire. No, they are a special kind of inept reserved for teams that don't have anywhere near enough talent to hang with the big boys.

The Patriots embarrassed the Jets in a 41-3 rout Saturday that left Todd Bowles' team battered, bruised and belittled by the unofficial ruler of the football universe.

Bill Belichick tried to show some compassion late in the first half of this blowout to his overmatched opponent on Christmas Eve before the Jets (4-11) had the bright idea of calling a timeout rather than let the Patriots run out the clock.

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Long story short: Belichick got pissed off and scored a touchdown right before halftime to stick it to the Jets.

One day after Bowles decided to join his team despite being hospitalized for an undisclosed illness, he had a sideline view of the carnage. It was ugly from start to finish, a reminder that this franchise is ions away from being a real threat to the Patriots (13-2), who are positioned for a No. 1 playoff seed.

So much has changed since that day in Foxborough when Johnson's team toppled Tom Brady & Co. in a 2010 divisional playoff win that prompted Bart Scott to let the world know that he "can't wait" for the AFC Championship Game. It's been nearly six years (2,174 days to be exact) since the signature win of the Rex Ryan era.

From Butt Fumbles to general poor play, the Jets have gone backward. They are so far in the Patriots rear-view mirror that they're a dot. The other frightening part of this disturbing picture: The Jets also have to contend with the Dolphins, who are in the playoff mix and trending up with rookie head coach Adam Gase. (The Jets were swept by Miami this year.)

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The Jets are 2-10 against the Patriots since that playoff win in Foxborough.

They were a mess in this latest embarrassment during this miserable season. Bowles' team committed three first-half turnovers (that resulted in 17 points) and appeared to be a disjointed mess on both sides of the ball.

Bryce Petty finished with a good ol' fashioned Blutarsky passer rating (0.0) before leaving early in the second quarter with a left shoulder injury. The second-year quarterback went 0-for-3 with an interception. He was sacked twice. Newsflash: The Jets don't view him as the future franchise signal caller. Ryan Fitzpatrick had a multi-turnover game in relief. (In case you were wondering, Christian Hackenberg was inactive.)

The Jets were painful on the eyes. Let us count the ways:

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1) Running back Khiry Robinson lost a fumble on his first carry of the season.

2) Petty was hurt on that play.

3) Tom Brady had enough time to sit back and sing Christmas carols in the pocket.

4) Bowles' defense gave up a touchdown to somebody named Matt Lengel (allegedly a tight end).

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5) Austin Sefarian-Jenkins and Devin Smith dropped sure touchdowns.

6) Nick Folk blew a 34-yard field goal try.

7) The Jets had as many turnovers (four) as completed passes through three quarters.

There wasn't a competitive microsecond in this game, not one moment when the outcome was ever in doubt even when it was scoreless for the first eight minutes. Even after Brady took a seat for good late in the third quarter, the Patriots continued to carve up the Jets with Jimmy Garappolo.

Make no mistake: Some veterans packed it in with an eye toward the offseason. The younger players gave good effort, but there's no escaping the truth for this team: They don't have enough talent on the roster.

On a day filled with calamity, one particular penalty summed it all up for this train-wreck team: The ref's explanation: "False start: Offense. Everyone but the center."

There are too many problems to fix overnight. There is no elixir. There is no magic solution.

The Jets aren't going to be relevant for a while.

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