Wayne Chrebet’s 14th blog of the season for newyorkjets.com:
It’s very difficult to come up with a start to this blog. Enough has been written in the past couple days. Most articles and TV shows starting with some sort of smart*** remark: “In a matter of 60 minutes everything that had been accomplished in the first 11 games was lost.” “Season might as well be over.” “We knew they weren’t that good.” “They only beat bad teams.” “They’re lucky.” And so on and so on. It seems like people have had these comments earmarked for their first big loss.
Yes, this was a big loss. Huge, in fact. I, with a million other people across the country, saw what happened. The players and coaches are the first to say that there is no excuse for the way they played. They caught a very good team on the wrong night. I don’t think that there is a team in the league that could have beaten the Patriots Monday night. I won’t make excuses. That was one of the worst performances in recent history for the team. Good season or bad season, it ranks right up there. I played on some bad teams in the beginning of my career. We lost games in every way imaginable. We got beat one Sunday night game in the Meadowlands against the Raiders so bad that the whole stadium started cheering “Let’s Go Raiders!” No lie. It was one of my worst memories of my playing career.
Sometimes it happens. Difference is that this team is considered one of the contenders to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl. That’s why it makes it that much worse. This game was built up for 11 days. And nothing. Not even a game.
Expectations have been high since last offseason. Rex put it out there that they’re going to win the Super Bowl. Fine. That’s his right to be so vocal about it. A huge bull’s-eye was put on the teams back because of that comment and comments like that that have followed since then. That’s a lot of pressure. You make a prediction, you have to make it happen. I see guys every so often with a “We’re going to win this week, I guarantee it.” Or “We’re 2-5 and we’re going to win the rest of the games and win our division”. Rah-rah. Does it happen? Rarely. Do they ever hear crap about it? No. Will Rex hear crap about it? Yes.
The original was Joe Namath and Super Bowl III. Most others are just posers looking for attention. I know a poser when I see one, and in my heart of hearts I know Rex is not one of them. Nothing has changed. The mission is still ongoing. The ship has been thrown completely off course, but there is time to right it. That phrase is uttered a lot but it still is appropriate here.
So you know, I do not know Rex, but I respect the hell out of him. I met him briefly at a golf event and our conversation consisted of “I admire you as a player” and “ I admire you as a coach.” I have had all sorts of coaches from my youth into my professional career. All kinds. In-your-face guys, X’s and O’s guys, motivators, coaches who don’t really care, complete asses, all kinds.
I read the paper, I watch the games, and I hear what people say about anything involving my Jets. Oh, this one was great: It only took three quarters before Mike Tirico said that these are the same old Jets. Real original. A 9-3 team being compared to a one-win season like in 1996.
Back to my point. If you want to see what kind of team you’re rooting for, then watch a clip of Rex’s press conference from Tuesday. He was truly humbled. So you say “Well, I would be too.” He knows how bad it was. We watched a three-hour game. That fourth quarter probably lasted a week on the sideline. I’ve been there. Not sticking up for them. Not trying to make you feel sorry for them. It’s a fact. A lot of stuff goes through your mind during that point in the game when it’s freezing out, you played like crap, you feel like crap. You think about everything. The things that your teammates and coaches will say. You even think about what the conversation will be with the guy you buy breakfast from and the guy who pumps your gas. It all stinks.
Here’s the thing. It could only last for six days and you get to fight again. They are fighters. Rex is a fighter. Sanchez played his worst game of his career in a huge game. A lot of guys get outplayed by Tom Brady. But he’s a fighter. They’re all fighters.
So when I had to choose which way I was going to go with this blog, I keep the faith. I support my team. You probably expected that. Of course you expected that. Anyone who does differently need not be a fan.
Do I sound upset? That’s because I am. So many people jumped ship. It’s amazing. The papers are going to write what they write and the TV analysts are going to be hard on the team. That’s their right. A lot of it will be criticism. Do they deserve it? Yes. To a certain point they do. It happened. These are the facts. The Pats embarrassed us. They also kept throwing the ball up 40 points. Put that in the vault. Morale might be down. Briefly. We’re grown men, we bounce back. We look forward. Grown men don’t cry. And they’re not crying.
Here’s what’s most important. Forget predictions right now. The Jets are 9-3. They’re 9-3. They control their own destiny. They win, they’re in. Plain and simple. It could take winning all four. It could take winning one. Who knows?
Look. I don’t know what the future holds for the last four games. Can they win all four? Yes. Can they lose all four? Maybe. They beat two of them already. The Dolphins and the Bills. And they go to Chicago and Pittsburgh. The Pats play the same three but the Packers instead of Pittsburgh. Those are the facts. There are already ways that the Jets can clinch a playoff berth by winning this week and by others losing this weekend. This is all silver-lining stuff. It’d be sick to go 13-3, make the playoffs, and not get a bye or home-field advantage but you have to be in it to win it.
Miami. Who knows what to make of them? Scary thought. They’re 1-5 at home and 5-1 on the road. Really doesn’t matter. Throw the records out. It could be 15-0 against 0-15. It’s going to be a game. They have alternated wins and losses since Week 4 and they’re coming off a loss. So they’ll be ready. They are always ready.
It’s simple. If the Jets come out with the chip on their shoulder that they have had up until the last game, they win. They have a better team. Only glaring weak spot in the past couple of weeks is the kicking game. Going to be windy the rest of the season, need to get him back on track.
Defense and a good running game go a long way when the weather gets cold and the Jets have both of them. If Sanchez can put that game behind him, Miami has weakness in the secondary. Doesn’t hurt having one of the best receiver/tight end tandems in the league. Not sure what happened to the defense but they remain one of the best. Hate to be the Dolphins QB because I think Rex is going to release the dogs on him. Should be your typical Dolphins-Jets knock-down-drag-out fight.
Tags: Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots, Rex Ryan, Wayne Chrebet
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