As the Jets cruised to a 34-13 win over the undefeated Titans just three weeks ago, the Jets appeared to have taken flight. No, they weren’t just those lovable losers who would put fear into the mighty Patriots and then crawl into the abyss. Instead, these Jets looked like they had finally belonged in the party. For a franchise that had always “waited for the other shoe to drop” and had not seen glory since Joe Namath ran off the field with a championship smile and his finger wagging toward the sky in 1969, the Jets were beginning to grab that special feeling. A city that had turned blue over the Super Bowl champion Giants was beginning to transform into a shade of green. Suddenly, dreams of a “Subway Super Bowl” didn’t seem so far fetched as the Jets were skyrocketing up the NFL rankings. By this Sunday, the Jets were hoping to sketch out their playoff plans and rest comfortably with a division title in their hands. Yet like a bad dream, these Jets were reminded that they are…well…the Jets.
Now as the Jets prepare to battle the Bills at the Meadowlands Sunday, the franchise that has dealt with failure more often than success is fighting for its playoff life. With just three games remaining, the Jets sit in a three-way tie atop the AFC East with their own destiny in their grasp. Three wins and they can call themselves “Division Champions” for the first time since 2002, but one loss and…gulp…the Jets likely pull off their own choke job.
But again, with three monumental wins, the Jets can avoid that dreadful fate. While the Jets’ pass defense will be counted upon to turn aside its frightening ways and shut down its opponents, the legendary gunslinger under center will carry the Jets to either success or failure. Back in August when the Jets brought aboard Brett Favre to accompany more than $100 million in new pieces, the Jets were not suggesting fans to wait until next year. For the Jets, next year was this year and Favre will decide what the Jets are made of.
Favre has provided a spark in the Big Apple to rival the defending champs and Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning, the success of #4 in Jets green and white will be determined with a division title. At times Favre has looked like his classic self with his six-touchdown performance against the Cardinals, but he’s also looked his age and more in recent losses to the Broncos and the 49ers. With 20 touchdown passes and a 88.2 quarterback rating Favre has shown that he can leave a mark on opposing defenses, but his 15 interceptions proves that the ultimate risk-taker hasn’t lost his legendary ways.
Favre’s success as a Jet will ultimately be decided in the upcoming weeks and he will be the one to determine if sending away former Jet Chad Pennington was worth the trouble. Favre’s offensive numbers may shout thumbs up, but another January without the Jets will speak for itself. While Favre may have made the past months more exciting to watch, seeing Pennington lead the rival Dolphins into the playoffs will make many ask if the move was worth it.
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