The benefit of the New York Jets 9-2 start is that despite the 45-3 whooping they took from New England a few nights ago, they are still in position to achieve everything they want this season.
As a matter of fact, the loss may end up being a much needed wake up to the entire organization. 45-3 forces you to look in the mirror and reconsider a few things. Hopefully, the Jets realize they can’t just show up to play and expect to win because they are the New York Jets.
You can’t fall into big holes against playoff caliber teams and expect them to allow you to come rolling back and steal a victory. Detroit, Cleveland, and Houston are one thing but New England, and upcoming games against Pittsburgh and Chicago are another.
The Jets were riding on top of the NFL world heading into week 13. They believed they were the best team in the league and everything would come easy the rest of the way. Hopefully, New England smacked them back to the reality that the NFL is wide open in 2010 and nothing is going to come easy to any team. Unless of course you are the Patriots playing your “A” game, while the Jets are sleepwalking around the field.
In 2009, the Jets were at their best when everybody wrote them off. They weren’t thought of as contenders in the beginning of the year but won 3 straight. When they were 4-6 and considered dead, they again won 3 straight. At 7-7, even when their own head coach counted them out, they won two straight and made the playoffs. (Insert your obligatory comment about the Colts and Bengals laying down here). Finally, they went on the road twice in the playoffs as underdogs and pulled out victories before ultimately running out of steam in the AFC Championship Game.
Despite being 9-3, most people don’t consider the Jets a serious Super Bowl contender right now. They have only beat one team with a winning record and that team avenged their loss with a 42 point victory.
Maybe now, Rex Ryan will go back to the drawing board on defense to find a way to compensate for his below average safeties and nickel backs. Maybe now, he won’t make impulsive decisions in game management that come back to hurt the Jets. Maybe now Mark Sanchez, will refocus on protecting the football. Finally, maybe now the offensive coaching staff will rededicate themselves to letting Shonn Greene carry the load and getting tight end Dustin Keller involved in the offense.
Like every team in the NFL, the Jets have problems. Unlike many teams in the NFL, the Jets have the talent to overcome them. It starts this week at home against Miami, where it is time for the Jets to put together a complete well played game for the first time since September.
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