Florham Park, N.J.– Before we delve into the Jets and their bye week along let me say on behalf of everyone here at Jetsinsider.com we’d like to offer our sincere condolences to everyone who was affected by Hurricane Sandy. I myself just got my power back last night, I live in north Jersey 15 minutes from the Jets facilities and we were fortunate enough to only get hit by wind and avoid dealing with any type of water damage like all the shore and city areas in the New York/New Jersey area.
But in these Morris County suburbs you’ll find yourself surrounded by trees, very large trees, and the wind uprooted many of those trees from the ground, broke others in half, some collapsed on cars, houses and power lines. Again I was very lucky to have no damage to my house or car and only lose power, many people around me were not so lucky. Driving around town you can still see transformers on the road or, in some areas, still swinging from power lines dangling in the air.
Many Jet players are still without power in their homes, others got out of the area or found hotels to stay at, but all the players who spoke in the locker room today were grateful things weren’t nearly as bad as they could’ve been and their thoughts are with those who suffered serious damage to their homes. The roads around the facility are still being cleared of debris and police are still manning long lines at gas stations, but we are finally working our way back to some sort of normalcy.
I’m also fortunate enough to be blessed with an amazing group of friends who reached out to offer their help to not just me, but to many others who needed help much more than I did. Hopefully those of you who were affected received the same type of help and support I have been witnessing and you too are beginning to get some sense of normalcy back in your lives as well.
And to continue that trend toward normalcy we will focus the attention back to the New York Jets and reflect on their 3-5 record and what, if anything, they can do to turn this season around. A betting man would say the Jets chances of making the playoffs the way they’ve played are slim.
“First off, obviously, my thoughts, the organizations thoughts and prayers, go out to everybody that has been affected by Hurricane Sandy. Clearly, we’re in the win business of football, but that kind of puts things into perspective.” Rex Ryan said as he opened today’s presser. “With that said, from a football aspect, I’m excited to get back here with our players and roll our sleeves up and find ways to get better. Right now, we’ve earned that 3-5 record. It’s clearly not where we want to be at, at this point. What’s done in the past, you try and learn from it, but clearly it’s not where we want to finish.”
Having no power and no Internet prevented many articles about the devastating loss to Dolphins, which may just be one small blessing in disguise. That game got away from the Jets early, as soon as that punt was blocked you could sense it wasn’t going to be the Jets day, and instead of going into the bye week with a playoff favorable record of 4-4 they went in with a much smaller chance to reach the playoffs at 3-5. The good news, if you’re one of the ones still looking for some to clutch onto, is the AFC is extremely watered down competitively this season and no one is separating themselves from the pack.
Still in the most silver of all linings a record of 3-5 means to have any shot of the playoffs the Jets must close out the season 6-2. Win seven of the remaining eight games and finish 10-6 and they’d have a great chance, finish the next eight weeks 6-2 for a 9-7 overall record and they still might have a solid chance depending on tiebreakers, but winning five out the next eight games will definitely not get it done. Even with a semi-favorable schedule, the Jets have yet to show us anything to give you confidence that they could string together great performances week in and week out, regardless of the competition. But the Jets have these next few weeks to change that and instill a newfound sense of confidence within themselves, the fan base and possibly the national media or these next few weeks could effectively end their playoff pipe dreams.
To Ryan’s credit he fully acknowledges the tough road ahead and didn’t hesitate to point out the harsh reality that they haven’t played anywhere near good enough to trick anyone into thinking they are deserving of a playoff spot right now.
“I know we’re not where we want to be, we’re not even close. We’re not sniffing the playoffs, we’re not sniffing anything right now, but I want to get there.” Ryan said, “I’m excited about the prospects in front of us. There are a lot of easier places to play than Seattle, I’ll tell you that much.”
Yeremiah Bell echoed his coach’s sentiments when he was asked if the defense is where the players want it to be, “We’re definitely not where we want to be (defensively), I think we’re middle of the pack somewhere and we want to be at the front of the pack so in order to get that done these last eight weeks it’s going to take max effort on our part and a little togetherness back there.”
It was anything but a normal bye week for the Jets, the coaches continued to work sometimes coming into the practice facilities, sometimes working from home. Some players who stayed in the area were in and out through the week, some stayed at home with their families, but all are grateful to have gotten through the week and are looking forward to making a push in the second half of the season.
“No it didn’t (feel like a normal bye week), it was a strange bye week but at the same time we got a little time off.” Bell said, “A little time away and for the most part I think it was good to kind of recap what took place so far and where we need to go.”
Nick Mangold, who is still without power but avoided any damage to his house said, “It’s a different type of bye week, but it could have been a lot worse.
This Sunday the Jets travel across country to Seattle to play in the loudest stadium in the league and play against a Seahawks team with an excellent defense and although the offense may be limited in the passing game they have no such troubles running the ball. It’s not that the Seahawks are some great and unbeatable team, but the matchup and location do not favor the Jets. If the Jets can pull off a win and build on it they might just have a chance to save the season.
If they lose and fall to 3-6, well you know the rest. A storm of doom and gloom will swarm this team and we’ll be back to the normalcy of fans calling for drastic changes to be made in the offseason forgetting that this season won’t officially be over just yet.
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