If Josh McCown warmed the cockles of your heart or the Gang Green Soul Train dancers pumped you up, know this: The fairy tale portion of the Jets season is over.
It’s time to get serious and fill up the Tank again.
Refocus yourselves on what really matters for this star-crossed franchise pushed to the margins for the better part of its existence: FINDING A FRANCHISE QUARTERBACK.
Rejoice, Such for Sam truthers. Your guy should be back in the picture.
Get giddy, Frozen for Rosen folks. Your dude is a real possibility.
Revel, Awful for Allen believers. Your quarterback could be in green-and-white in six short months.
What’s old is new again: USC’s Sam Darnold, UCLA’s Josh Rosen and Wyoming’s Josh Allen should take center stage for the Jets now that it’s become abundantly clear that Todd Bowles’ team won’t be making the playoffs this season.
It’s time for Jets fans to once again hope for Sam Darnold.
(Harry How/Getty Images)
Sunday’s sloppy and sluggish loss to the Buccaneers revealed that the Jets simply don’t have enough firepower yet.
They make too many mistakes and don’t have nearly enough difference makers. They can’t get off the see-saw because they don’t have the requisite game changers to permanently send this ship in the right direction.
“We lost a unanimous decision in a 12-round fight,” Bowles said of his team’s latest defeat.
Maybe they would throw a few more haymakers if they didn’t have to trot out so many tomato cans.
The 4-6 Jets have some promising young pieces, but let’s carefully set aside the Kool-Aid.
How many game-changers do the Jets actually have right now?
Josh McCown and the Jets offense struggled on Sunday.
(Aaron Doster/USA TODAY Sports)
Two? Maybe three?
There’s little doubt that rookie safeties Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye are the real deals. Although Leonard Williams should get fair criticism for his 1 ½ sacks through 10 games, he’s actually made a difference in the past month (including a sack and three quarterback hits against the Bucs).
How many players on offense are waking up opposing defensive coordinators in the middle of the night in a cold sweat? If you guessed zero, then you get a hearty pat on the back.
Sometimes the numbers lie. In this case, they reveal reality for a team going sideways on both sides of the ball.
The Jets are 25th in total offense, 20th in points scored, 24th in passing offense and 20th in run offense. In other words, they’re in the bottom third in every meaningful offensive statistical category.
The Jets are 22nd in total defense, 15th in points allowed, 16th in pass defense and 23rd and run defense. These are not impressive figures.
Josh Rosen is projected to be one of the top quarterbacks in this year’s draft.
Although McCown has overachieved through 10 games (partly because many assumed he wouldn’t be able to remain healthy through 10 games), he’s 38. We’ve always known he’s 38. He’s never going to be 37, 36, 35, 34, 33, 32, 31 or 30 again. He sure as heck won’t be re-living his 20s unless that whole hot tub time machine thing is real. (Spoiler: It’s not).
Although it makes sense at this point to use the final six games to evaluate whether Bryce Petty or Christian Hackenberg should be a part of the team’s future as a backup, Bowles isn’t going to wave the white flag. He’s got a season – and job – to save.
The objective observer, however, knows that the fat lady is warming up her vocal cords.
Nine AFC teams have a better record than the Jets. Bowles’ club is competing with five teams with a better record at the moment for two wildcard spots. The Jets’ remaining schedule is a killer that includes three division leaders (Chiefs, Saints and Patriots). Gang Green would have to win at least five of their final six games to have a shot at the postseason. They might have to run the table. That will not occur.
It’s just not going to happen, people.
Players and coaches obviously aren’t wired to tank. They might not care about draft positioning, but you can bet your sweet derriere that general manager Mike Maccagnan would like to get within striking distance of one of the coveted signal callers in the 2018 draft.
The Jets must also keep their eyes on Wyoming’s Josh Allen.
Every win over the final six games will cost Maccagnan more draft capital to trade up for Darnold, Allen or Rosen.
There are 10 teams with more losses than the Jets, including their buddies who share MetLife Stadium, but a lot can change over the rest of the regular season.
Smart Jets fans always understood that there’s only one way out of this mess.
In case you’re wondering, UCLA at USC on Saturday night. 8 pm. ABC.
Darnold vs. Rosen.
Dare to dream.