Jets fans, take a deep breath … that’s the best advice I have. After that take another. Maybe one more, just to be safe.
I know many of you have been hyperventilating for the past few weeks. For a while there it was for the best of reasons, after watching back to back road wins at New England and Tennessee many of you were probably short of breath as you started to dream dreams of Tampa and bringing your Giants fan buddy with you.
And you may have needed to grab the brown bag the past couple of weeks as well, as the Jets have dropped two in a row to two teams without near the reputation of the Pats and Titans. You’ve seen the pass rush disappear and the ball sail through the air with ease against the Jets secondary as a result, and emotions have swung back in the other direction in a huge way, which is something that happens weekly in the NFL.
And I remember doing our "Inside the Jets" radio show the week after the Jets lost at Oakland, talking to Jets fans that were panicked and depressed simultaneously, if that’s possible. And I remember preaching exactly the same thing then that I would say now.
This is the NFL. And outside of the Titans and Giants, every team in the NFL has a loss or two that is perceived to be as bad as a win over a title contender would seem good. The Jets are no different with losses to Oakland and San Francisco balanced off by those two huge road wins.
If you remember, when the Jets lost to the Raiders it was treated in some media circles as a nearly insurmountable loss that could crush a team’s season. What I said at the time was that the loss was certainly a bad one — the Jets themselves all knew that to a man. But what needed to be pointed out was that even after that loss, if the playoffs began that day, the Jets would have been a playoff team.
And in my opinion, in spite of these two most recent losses, and in spite of the fact that the Dolphins have had an amazing season to go from 1-15 to contender, and in spite of the fact that the Patriots have played themselves into contention without Tom Brady, the Jets are still the favorite to win their division. After all, if the playoffs began today, the Jets would be division champions. In the AFC East they still control their own destiny even after these last two losses.
The math is simple. The Jets have three games left. Win them all and the Dolphins and Pats can’t catch the Jets. Don’t let the tied records fool you. The Jets would win the tiebreakers — head to head against Miami because they would have to beaten them to end the season, and they would also only have one divisional loss, bettering both teams.
So take a deep breath, at least until kickoff vs. Buffalo on Sunday.
Tags: AFC East, Miami, New England, San Francisco, tennessee
Posted in Bob Wischusen | 47 Comments »