October 11, 2020 | 11:01pm
Nearly a year after he last started an NFL game, Joe Flacco was back under center. He showed some rust, but he also made some plays.
With this team, however, it wasn’t nearly enough.
For the fourth straight game, the Jets managed only one offensive touchdown in a punchless 30-10 loss to the Cardinals at MetLife Stadium. The Jets fell to 0-5 for the first time since 1996 as Flacco replaced the injured Sam Darnold at quarterback.
“I think we had a decent amount of long drives today and at some point we just beat ourselves in those drives,” said the 35-year-old Flacco, who won a Super Bowl with the Ravens and was the game’s MVP in 2013. “With a team like us that’s struggling right now to get going it’s, in a way, good to see those long drives and keeping ourselves on the field and converting first downs, but at the same time, we just haven’t been able to get out of our own way.”
They had the ball three times in the red zone, but managed just 10 points. There was a long possession in the second quarter, a 14-play, 79-yard drive, when they couldn’t get a yard on either third or fourth down. After fullback Trevon Wesco was stuffed on third down, Le’Veon Bell couldn’t pick up the necessary yard on fourth down. And there was an Avery Williamson interception that set the Jets up at the Cardinals’ 10-yard line, except they managed to gain just 2 yards and had to settle for a field goal after starting the drive with a delay-of-game penalty.
Considering he last saw meaningful action Oct. 27 of last year with the Broncos, Flacco did some nice things. He completed 18 of 33 passes for 195 yards and a touchdown pass. He connected with Jamison Crowder on a 52-yard gain that set up the Jets’ lone touchdown. He even ran for 20 yards on four carries.
“It’s definitely exciting to get back out there,” he said. “Definitely there were parts of my game where I felt like I haven’t played or practiced in a long time, but there were times I felt like I was able to move and do some things … getting those first downs with my legs and it always feels good to be able to do that and get into a little bit of a rhythm or try to get the offense into a little bit of a rhythm.
“I think that’s one of the big things that we were kind of missing today. We had some individual plays that were good, but we just weren’t able to stack anything on top of each other and get ourselves in that rhythm where we could put their defense on their heels a little bit.”
This may not be Flacco’s only start. Coach Adam Gase was uncertain when Darnold will be back from his shoulder injury and was complimentary of Flacco.
“There was a lot of good,” Gase said.
But, obviously, not nearly enough of it.