The following article was written following the Jets v Patriots Monday Night debacle. The feelings continue after today's disaster:
A lot is going to be said this week by Patriots supporters. They are the best team in football. The AFC East (and the AFC for that matter) is still theirs. The Jets do a lot of talking for a team that has 1 win over a team with a winning record. As for New York supporters, they can only hope that their fade into oblivion for the week is as taunt-free and painless as possible. It was a game that would have meant so much if they won. It is only fair that their annihilation mean so much too. What can they possibly say after their team got obliterated in every single facet of the game Monday night, leaving absolutely no doubt as to the superiority of New England?
Watching the game Monday night was difficult. In fact, I, a fan who watches every snap of aired professional football, walked away by the end of the third quarter, turning towards Dexter to provide some sort of distraction and relief (At least this was successful, I watched 4 episodes). If it wasn’t difficult enough to watch, the constant bombardment of taunts that I received through text and Facebook made it nearly impossible (thankfully, actually). I couldn’t watch most of the first half last night as I was experiencing numerous delays arriving into the world’s worst airport (Newark). My girlfriend took it upon herself to provide me with updates, even though I was listening to it on the radio. “This is pathetic,” I told her. She corrected me. “I’m sure it looks more pathetic then it sounds… like really sucking” (Bless her soul). My fraternity brother and roommate (Pats fan) wrote me simply, “succkkssss.” I can take that. Simple, neutral, accurate. If the roles were reversed last night, I would have instigated him in a far more superfluous manner. Two female friends, who are supporters of New England, (getting it from them stings a bit I suppose) teamed up against me over Facebook with one saying, “I know you are probably very upset right now... so ill save the victory dance for when you’re over it” (Weak, come on, let me have it!). The other was not so passive, retorting, “I would not be so kind...im doing a victory dance right now so u can just imagine it haha” (Sorry, too busy watching Dexter to imagine such a sight). Yet, the best one of all came from a Bills fan.
Brief interjection: Bills fans, more so than any other group of fans on this planet, understand the feelings I had last night. My grandpa is a Bills fan, and I spent the entire Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend with him watching football. The Bills game wasn’t on television, that is, until the original early game ended. We were just in time to see a Steve Johnson drop and a collapse that puts some of their early season ones to shame. This event caused 2 things.
1. My grandpa spent the duration of our Sunday commenting after every catch that if the receiver dropped it, he’d have a spot on the Bills.
2. Every team has a motto in their locker room. I exclaimed the following: “No doubt the Bills’ is, ‘Build em up, stab em in the heart’” (Dexter inspired). The Jets usually follow this credo as well, although they really didn’t this season until last night…
Anyways, back to that final text. “This is very similar to a madden game where I just did not bring my A game,” he wrote. “You should blog that verbatim.” Check. I guess I should take solace in the fact that I am the chosen, worthy Jets fan these people choose to berate. I suppose that speaks to my level of fandom.
There really isn’t much football analysis to be done after a showing like that. I mean, pick any aspect, any decision, any play, and you can probably find something that went horribly wrong for the Jets. It’s hard to pinpoint what was most disappointing. Was it the fact that this defense is looking terrible after losing their safety, Jim Leonhard? Possibly. Is it that Sanchez is turning into his old self, with at least 1 interception thrown over the last 7 games and a few brutal ones last night? Yeah, that’s pretty bad. How can I overlook the ongoing terrible play calls from Brian Schottenheimer, a guy who is supposed to be this brilliant offensive coordinator destined to be a head coach? Wildcat on third down?! What about the fact that Santonio Holmes showboated after every first down while his team is down three touchdowns? The Jets have had some head scratching games this season. They got shutout at home following a bye week. They needed late game heroics to defeat the disgracefully bad Lions. They almost lost a game against Houston when they were up 23-7 in the fourth. But, Monday night’s debacle was a whole knew level. It was a vicious, dandruff-in-the-fingernails, hair-on-the-ground type of head scratching.
I can only hope that the Jets take this as a learning experience. They were getting by with mediocre play and late game heroics against inferior opponents and that will not cut it against the AFC’s best. It’s still a little too early to panic, but remember this: New York was 8-3 in 2008 and finished with 9 wins. They got off to a 3-0 start last year and had another 3 game winning streak later in the season, but finished with just 9 wins again. Another collapse is not out of reach. At 9-3 the Jets would own the number 1 wildcard spot if the season ended today. Eleven is the magic number for the Jets, since the Ravens are the only other AFC team not in first that can reach such a win total. However, there are a slew of 6-6 teams, most notably San Diego, which can still get to 10. The Jets have 2 divisional games and 2 against 9-3 teams. They can certainly win them all, but then again, they could lose them all too. If the Jets go 3-1 they will probably get the 5 seed. Going .500 would most likely give them the 6 spot (Baltimore has only 1 game against a team with a winning record and they beat the Jets in week 1, giving them the edge against the Jets to claim the 5 spot in this situation). If they fall under .500, however, there is a strong possibility New York will fail to reach the postseason, despite being 9-3.
If you told me 12 weeks into the season that the Jets would be undefeated in games in which they scored a touchdown, I would be thinking 11-1 or 12-0. Unfortunately, they have failed to do that 3 times. Let’s just find the end zone every game from here on out, please.