The New York Jets have lost football games in a repeating and familiar way this season. They enter a game as underdogs, they gain an early lead, they head into the fourth quarter, either winning or narrowly behind but then ultimately lose in gut wrenching fashion. This season they are 2-5 in one possession games and outside of Jacksonville are yet to score what could really be classified as an “upset” in hindsight. Where does this leave them with five games left at 4-7?
Let’s not hit all the familiar beats after a Jets but boil them down to this paragraph: The Jets are overachieving for their talent level in many weeks but still lack enough at premium positions, most specifically quarterback and pass rusher, to win close games against good teams. Their coaching staff has the team ready to play each week and has shown encouraging signs but isn’t being aggressive or creative enough to overcome their talent limitations to win close games against good teams. We will see this movie again at some point this season…likely multiple times. ANYWAY…The Jets are now 4-7 and officially not making the playoffs (they never were but the math is becoming more apparent now), which means more eyes will shift to their draft position than their proximity to the #6 seed. The tank wars are about to come back on your timeline (not that they ever left).
This entire discussion has become a hackneyed, misrepresented mess. The reality is that most fans are rooting for the team to win every week but not disappointed if/when they lose because of an understanding this season was probably never going anywhere productive. Everybody wants to see the young building blocks on the roster play well. Everybody is exhausted of seeing players like Matt Forte horde touches on offense. Some want to see the young quarterbacks now, some don’t mind Josh McCown staying in because he allows Robby Anderson, Austin Seferian-Jenkins and others better opportunities than a train wreck like Christian Hackenberg might. Regardless, there is more consensus among Jets fans than most would like to admit.
Yes, getting a top five pick is no guarantee of anything. You can find a great player with the 12th pick or a franchise quarterback in the middle rounds but a higher pick is a more valuable asset and a team in a seven year playoff drought needs as many valuable assets as possible. Look at it this way, if you gave one person $50 to cook you dinner and another person $100, there is a chance the person with $50 could make a better meal. Yet, if you knew nothing about the two people’s cooking skills in advance (because let’s face it, the draft is mostly a crapshoot), you’d probably wager the person with $100 would make you a better meal. They have higher odds and more to work with. You want to increase your odds and flexibility as much as possible, a higher pick does that.
The Jets could feasibly end up anywhere between the 4th and 12th pick depending on how the next few games go. With a coaching staff with tenuous job security, do not expect any radical personnel changes at this point. You might see a new quarterback in week 15 or week 16 or a few more touches for Elijah McGuire, Chad Hansen and ArDarius Stewart here or there but there isn’t going to be wholesale changes at this point. The sample size of games is shrinking radically anyway, even if Bryce Petty plays pretty well for three games to end the year, is that really changing your offseason approach to quarterback?Expect to see fighting between fans about “how to root” to pick up. Yes, it is probably better for the long term health of the franchise to finish 4-12 instead of 7-9 but yes, it is also understandable if fans are not psyched about losses week after week. Either way, the season is almost over. Keep rooting for the young players to perform and see where the chips land…chances are there will be more losses than wins.
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