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What we learned: David Johnson runs over woeful Jets

The Jets (1-5) already felt their season teetering on the brink heading into Monday night's embarrassing, 28-3 loss to the Cardinals (3-3) in the desert. Now, they might be saddled with a legitimate quarterback question as well.

Here's what we learned ...

  1. With his team trailing 28-3, Jets coach Todd Bowles rang the bell, pulling Ryan Fitzpatrick in favor of Geno Smith. Pivoting away from a struggling Fitzpatrick is a move that cannot be quickly forgotten in the clamorous New York market, though it was certainly time. Fitzpatrick has yet to throw a touchdown in the second half this season and was sailing passes that appeared rudimentary for replacement level NFL quarterbacks. Smith, who was strip-sacked on a key third down and forced a fourth-down pass into the gut of Tyrann Mathieu, seemed to have some purpose behind his throws. But it's not about winning now anymore in New York. That is abundantly clear. Although Bowles said Fitzpatrick will remain the Jets' starter, we should see some more clarity in the weeks ahead on a scrambled, four-man depth chart because Bowles' future is at stake.
  1. David Johnson's 111-yard, three-touchdown game was simply balletic at times. His 58-yard touchdown run in the first quarter was patient and punishing. In the face of another Jets blitz, it seemed to peel off in slow motion. The Jets have not been completely healthy on defense at times, but this is a star-studded defensive line that was shoved around and pushed aside at will on some key plays Monday. Johnson's ability to find open space and accelerate is stunning for a player his size.
  1. This was Bowles' failed attempt to jumpstart the battery and flex some muscle on defense. With the linebacker position seriously depleted thanks to the loss of David Harris, Bowles was shooting 290-pound Sheldon Richardson from the middle linebacker position, unleashing his big-boned playmaker all over the field (he had some fantastic moments Monday). However, with the loss of Harris and later first-round pick Darron Lee, the defense did not have the teeth to match up against a versatile Cardinals' offense.
  1. At times, it seemed as though Bruce Arians was trolling his former defensive coordinator. Throughout the second, third and fourth quarters, his receivers seemed to threaten a ton of deep routes -- the Jets' Achilles' heel throughout the season -- only to snap the routes back toward the first-down marker. This might have been the most potent passing game we've seen from a team all season that did not finish with a 100-yard receiver (or 60-yard receiver).
  1. Carson Palmer's hamstring injury turned out to only be cramping. Palmer remained on the sideline after the official press box announcement but had his game gear on and did not finish the game in the locker room.
  1. Officiating will once again take center stage this week. As we noted on Sunday, a pair of pass interference calls already had many referee watchers out in full force. On Monday, 19 total penalties drew not only the ire of players, but a vocal broadcasting crew on ESPN who openly shouted down a flag-happy crew in Arizona.
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