The Jets just loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 15-10 in what could barely be called a football game. It was a sloppy, unenthusiastic performance just 10 days after they were dancing all over the field on the Bills and America was falling in love with them. They came out flat on offense, defense and the coaching staff was not prepared to face a reeling 2-6 Bucs team with Ryan Fitzpatrick as their quarterback. For all of the hope that this wasn’t the same old Jets, they proved once again that they are the same old Jets.
Expectations for this season, by many, were somewhere in between “worst team in NFL history” and “bottom five worst teams in NFL history”. The talent level certainly wasn’t (and still isn’t) there and the coaching staff was looked at as laughable after an abysmal 5-11 season mauled by blowouts and locker room turmoil. Things changed as the season began and expectations shifted from number one pick to pipe dream playoff hopes. Bowles had this team playing a level above their talent level and the narrative began to shift with the whole organization.
Let me just say this, I don’t care how you root. Whether you root for wins and losses doesn’t matter to me. However, if you’re looking to not be stuck in this mediocre hell as a Jets fan for the rest of your life then this season should be all about progression. From the GM to the coaches to the young players who are potential building blocks for the future.
What we’ve seen this season is a typical turnstile in being a Jets fan. From the 0-2 start to the three game winning streak to the three game losing streak but they played tough against the two Super Bowl teams and now lay an egg after a prime time blowout against the Bills. The roller coaster of expectations has been running smoothly all year. I’m sick of it. I’m sick of this team constantly laying eggs against inferior opponents and not being able to build on a game like the Buffalo game. This weeks game against the Bucs was a perfect opportunity to be a confidence building block heading into the bye and the toughest part of the schedule to end the year. Now we’re back where we started. 4-6 when there are two teams with one win and one team with none. In a year of parity in the NFL and in a year where being mediocre is essentially a death sentence, the Jets are right in the middle of the mediocrity.
Now this is not to say that there haven’t been good things going in Jets land this season. Todd Bowles, while he has had his struggles, has had his guys ready to play against superior opponents and has had them playing above their talent level. Robby Anderson is turning into a legitimate wide receiver in all facets. Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye look like the back end of a defense that’s going to the be foundation for a defense for years to come. Darron Lee and Demario Davis are showing signs that they both aren’t just another guy. Austin Seferian-Jenkins is a tight end that can be here for the future. Brandon Shell has shown signs that he can be a long term piece. So there are signs for a future but it’s frustrating when a team that hasn’t beat opponents they’re supposed to beat for years continues that trend.