Rex Ryan and the New York Jets almost had us fooled. Give Ryan and the team some credit, because they really had us going there for a while; making us think that we were all wrong about writing them off before the season started as one of the worst teams in the NFL. For the first couple months of the season, Ryan and the Jets actually had us thinking they could compete for a playoff spot in a wide-open AFC wildcard race. But over the last few weeks, Gang Green has shown their true colors by playing absolutely dreadful football, and to borrow a line from Dennis Green: the Jets are who we thought they were.
We really shouldn’t have been fooled, as the Jets were the epitome of inconsistent for much of the season, alternating wins and losses over their first 10 games, and even their wins weren’t all that impressive. They were handed a week 1 win by a Tampa Bay team that committed 13 penalties, including a couple costly ones on the final drive of the game. They escaped a young Buffalo team in week 3 that couldn’t take advantage of the 20 penalties the Jets committed. They won on a late field in week 5 against Atlanta, a team that is also one of the worst in the NFL. They benefited from a controversial penalty in overtime to beat New England in week 7. They had just one impressive win, and that came week 9 against New Orleans, although the Saints haven’t been quite so dominant over the past month.
When the Jets weren’t lucky to escape with wins, they looked as pitiful as can be, but they would come back and win the following week to remain in contention and continue tricking us into thinking that they were a competitive team. During their first five losses of the season, the Jets averaged just over 10 points per game, with an average margin of defeat of over 20 points, but because they retained a .500 record, we assumed they were on par with the other teams in contention for the AFC wildcard. However, judging by the last two weeks, the charade is up, as the Jets looked pitiful and scored only three points against both the Ravens and Dolphins, two teams that aren’t exactly dominating with defense this season. It’s now obvious that the Jets are an awful offensive team with a defense that can only carry them so far, and a delusional coach that’s on his way out the door.
With the preseason injury to Mark Sanchez, the Jets had no choice to start Geno Smith, whose intangibles and NFL readiness were questioned, despite plenty of arm talent, and now it’s clear that he’s unprepared to lead an NFL offense, as the Jets have the fewest passing yards in the league, with Smith throwing for less than 160 yards in each of the last five weeks. Of course, it’s not all on Smith; there were serious questions about the Jets’ skill players heading into the season, and those questions have not been answered, leaving Smith without quality passing targets. The Jets have a pair of solid running backs in Chris Ivory and Bilal Powell, but neither is a back capable of carrying a team that’s so inept throwing the ball, leaving the Jets with little offensive firepower.
That’s who we thought the Jets were coming into the season: a team with a terrible offense and a defense that would be good, but not good enough to make up for a team that couldn’t find the end zone on a regular basis. Finally, after nearly three months of disguising themselves as a halfway decent team, the Jets are finally showing everyone who they’ve been all along. While they may still be mathematically alive for a spot in the postseason, there is no way a playoff birth is a reality for the Jets. They are simply an awful football team with no leadership and no direction. That’s what we thought we’d see from them when the season began and it’s what we’ve seen from them the last three weeks, as they can’t hide anymore from who they truly are.