The Jets loss last week was amplified by it’s nature; play not befitting a team with one of the highest ranked defenses in the league. It was sloppy and embarrassing and such performances going forward would certainly result in the demise of what has been a promising season so far. However, the conspiracy theories and complaints of the ‘same old Jets’, as a number of fans and analysts sighed, seem premature and smack of defeatism. Beyond the obviously glaring issues which the team are clearly aware of (you couldn’t really miss them), the situation the Jets faced this week is less ‘same old Jets’ , but more ‘same old NFL’.
Of course, Fitz and Geno could have worked harder to avoid the injuries they both received on Sunday which put us in a dicey situation at quarterback coming into week 9. But without the ability to turn back time all that can be done is focus on moving forward. The ‘crisis’ level fell quickly following the announcement on Wednesday that Fitz will start Sunday. His subsequent ‘gloved’ practises and reports that Marshall, Decker and Mangold are likely to play have quietened the panic, for now. It seems the Jets may have dodged a bullet this week but despite the fact that measures in place allow Fitz to play, there is a still some concern about how this will affect his play and what will happen if for some reason the injury leads him to not be able to continue at some point.
Sure losing a QB can be terminal to a season or at least a record in the short term, just look at the Cowboys or the Steelers, but Todd Bowles knows what it means to lose both QBs in a season and therefore is well placed to guide the ship through this situation however it turns out. Let’s not forget also that these injuries came on an evening when Steve Smith may have limped away from his career, the Steelers lost LeVeon Bell for the season and Ricardo Lockette ended up in the hospital with what could have been a very serious neck injury; a little perspective here. Unfortunately injuries are part and parcel of the NFL and it is how teams react and bounce back that really matter.
You win some, you lose someLosing is part of life in the NFL; the last perfect season was in 2007. That’s not to ignore the poor way the Jets played last Sunday but just as they have shown how badly they can perform, we have also seen how good this team can be too. The coaching staff have shown how astute they are at identifying problems and working to put them right in practise and the Monday press conference clearly showed Bowles knows what needs to improve. Let’s not ignore the fact that the Raiders played well; they have found a new vigour and have some great young players who seem to be clicking – they did the same to Philip Rivers in week 6. The Coliseum is also somewhat of a nemesis for the Jets, having now lost 4 out of 5 meetings there. The loss in that sense is less surprising, the performance more so.
The NFL is a rollercoaster
In the preseason some fans marked the end of the season before it had even started when Geno (the then starter) got punched and talk was of hope for a winning record at best. Last weekend crisis was called when Fitz was injured and Geno had to play. After the win in London we were riding high, dreaming of stretching the winning record further. Following the loss to the Patriots we were pleased with the level of performance for the most part against a strong opponent. The point is that a season is always marked by ups, downs and changes of fortune and all of the positivity should not be erased by last week and the issues that arose. The road may have become more bumpy, but let’s not give up just yet. Just this week we have predicted doom and sighed with relief in the course of just a few days. Things are less positive than they were a week or two ago and although the next opponent is Jacksonville, who should be less of a challenge, there can be no complacency over the importance of winning this game to keep playoff hopes alive. The sense of urgency must be greater.