The New York Jets lost in a debacle to the Miami Dolphins on Sunday, giving up a 14 point lead in the fourth quarter to backup Matt Moore. The Jets actually got production from Leonard Williams and Muhammad Wilkerson for three quarters but when it mattered most, they went back to their homes on their respective milk cartons. Buster Skrine was beaten like a drum all day and the Jets had five penalties accepted against them in the fourth quarter alone. They had -4 yards of offense in the fourth as the play calling was in “don’t lose” mode rather than “go win” mode.
The Jets haven’t shown the ability to stomp on a teams throat when they need to. Two weeks in a row they’ve had two touchdown leads and lost the game. For three weeks the talk was how this young Jets team was figuring out how to win games. However those three games were against a Miami team that had Jay Cutler as their quarterback for four quarters, a Jaguars team coming back from London and a Browns team who has no clue how to manage their quarterback situation. It was a fun three weeks that masked most of the Jets problems with wins. But now this team has come back to Earth right when they get to the meat of their schedule. They now have the toughest schedule to close out the season and now we really get to see what this Jets team is.
Toughest schedule going forward:
1. Jets 2. Dolphins 3. Cowboys 4. Raiders 5. Colts 6. Falcons 7. Chargers 8. Broncos 9. Giants 10. Bucs
— Mike Clay (@MikeClayNFL) October 23, 2017
They face an Atlanta team who is looking for a breakout game and I think they have it this week against the Jets. Then they’re home for a Buffalo team on a short week. The Bills are a lot better than most expected and even after trading their assets, have shown that they are still a competent team. The last game before the bye is a winnable game against the Buccaneers on the road. The Bucs were a lot of peoples sexy pick to win the division but are currently in last place.
After the bye is where things could really get messy. They start with two games at home against a week to week Carolina team and a Kansas City team who, after two straight losses, is still a very real contender in the AFC. Then they travel to Denver which is always a tough place to play regardless of their record and travel to New Orleans where Drew Brees and the Saints can hang 40 on anyone and everyone. They finish out with the suddenly resurgent Chargers at home and travel to Foxboro to meet the Patriots.
For the optimistic Jets fans:
The Jets could very realistically enter their bye at 5-5. Atlanta has been a shell of their Super Bowl run of last year. The Jets could catch a team that has long lasting offensive problems and steal a win at home.
Thursday Night Football games are usually a toss up. Regardless of the results on Sunday, you can an expect a ready and motivated Jets team in their only prime time game of the year. After that they travel to Tampa Bay where the Bucs season might still be in a tail spin.
After the bye they have two realistically winnable games for the talent on this roster. Carolina is not a good football team this season and who knows what the Chargers will be in mid December.
As always for this Jets team, it doesn’t matter if you root for wins or losses. What you should be looking at from a week to week basis is whether or not the young players who are going to be on the roster in 2018 and beyond are consistently getting better. Getting that quarterback that Jets fans covet means absolutely nothing if there are no young building blocks on both sides of the ball.