Either the Jets couldn’t get J.J. Watt’s hands down on Monday night or
It didn’t start well. On the 34-yard first-drive touchdown catch, Owen Daniels was as open as offensive coordinator Tony Sparano remains open to criticism. And in two plays from the Jets 34, Arian Foster was in the end zone even faster than
Nevertheless, in the end Gang Green had a chance that only believers just as devout as Tebow expected the Jets would.
Thus, they looked like they still think of themselves as a team able to compete against the best. With the Jets' top offensive and defensive player each gone for the season, this confidence certainly beat the alternative, even if it wasn’t enough to beat the 5-0 Texans.
The 23-17 loss didn’t save the Jets from a 2-3 record going into Sunday’s game against the Colts nor from endless criticism or quarterback controversy. But despite the media’s relentless attempts to tell the Jets otherwise, they still think they are pretty good and will eventually prove it. After losing
“Fifty-seven yards rushing on 23 attempts in the second half is more like it, what we expect,” said Ryan Wednesday. “I think we will get better. The commitment on the practice field, in the classroom, gives me that kind of confidence.”
Problem is, at 2-3 nobody wants to hear about confidence, about progress, even about the quarterback’s best weapon and the team’s superstar cornerback being out for the year. Or about Sanchez’s favorite target, the sorely missed
No one wants to accept that San Francisco and Houston might meet in this season’s Super Bowl, that 8-8 would be a good recovery for the Jets and 9-7 should win Ryan Coach of the Year. Maybe later the fans will get real, after reality sets in and Ryan perhaps makes a quarterback switch that will prove how wise had been his reluctance to make one all along
For now, Sparano can spare Ryan, Sanchez and Tebow their grillings by actually using Tebow as was intended — a dynamic short-dosage alternative — not the Trojan horse he is now for seven isolated plays a game. An effective Wildcat would not make Sanchez nervous. It would actually free him to complete enough passes to demonstrate that his skin truly is as thick as he smilingly continues to insist it is. He might even again look like the quarterback that has won a not-too-shabby four playoff games and engineered 11 fourth-quarter comebacks and overtime victories in three-plus seasons.
To calm the hysteria, meanwhile, Pro Bowl-caliber players Keller and
Offered a softball consolation lob for a fight at least well fought, Ryan said after the game that he is paid to win. Of course, he was right. His team played only well enough to find ways to lose, which is what bad teams do repeatedly to break their own hearts.
So glass half-filled, glass half-empty, glass to Jet Nation’s lips to forget 42 years since the franchise’s only Super Bowl appearance, any improvement they showed Monday night will only prove meaningful if they take it into a winnable game against the Colts and actually win it.