- Joe Perri
Playoffs or Bust? Not So Fast Jet Fans
With three games remaining in the NFL regular season, the New York Jets are right in the thick of things for a wild card spot in the AFC. While that’s the hot topic as of right now (and rightfully so) I think it’s time to take one step back and put things into perspective. The Jets have gone almost five full seasons without having a winning record. Mediocrity and atrocity have been sandwiched in between the 2010 and 2015 seasons. One year ago today, the Jets season was finished. There were no meaningful football games in December, and none in November. Most Jet fans were concerned about who they were going to pick in the upcoming NFL draft rather than rooting for their team. Most fans were rooting against their own team for a better pick! It was lunacy! It’s time now take a full step back, and take a look at this team for what it is.
A playoff caliber team: The New York Jets are a playoff caliber team that is built to compete with any other team in the National Football League. This is the year of mediocrity in the NFL and there are very few good teams and only one or two great teams. At 8-5 the Jets are one of the few good teams in the NFL. The Jets have the 5th best defense in the league, and the 9th best offense. If that doesn’t say playoffs, then I don’t know what would.
A well coached team: Todd Bowles has completely turned this team around from a coaching aspect. The New York Jets have committed the second fewest penalties in the league behind the Pittsburgh Steelers. They have done a complete 180 from where they were with Rex Ryan. Rex had, and still has with Buffalo, the most undisciplined football teams in the league. Todd Bowles has held every player accountable this season. He is a level headed coach who does not get too high or too low. This is exactly what the Jets needed and it reflects on the field of play.
A serious offense: The Jets have not had an offense to be taken seriously since 1998. Yes, I went that far back. The Chad Pennington offenses were always efficient, but never explosive. Everything that happened after Chad should be burned and never brought up again. Vinny Testaverde was the last Jet quarterback to anchor a dangerous offense. Ryan Fitzpatrick has an opportunity to break Testaverde’s record for most passing touchdowns in franchise history. Eric Decker and Brandon Marshall have been so dangerous all year long, and Chris Ivory will rush for over 1,000 of the toughest yards I’ve ever seen. The Jets finally have an offense to be taken seriously, and if they all stay together it could be that way for the next two to three plus years.
If you are a New York Jets fan, you have nothing to hang your head about if they win 10-11 games and miss out on the postseason. This has been one of the more memorable seasons, and a breathe of fresh air for all Jet fans. With three games remaining, this team is right in the mix to make a playoff run. If they don’t get in, they will be back in contention next season and there’s no real reason to think they won’t be.