We knew the New York Jets weren't a perfect ball club, so it's no surprise that they have a blemish on their record. After Monday Night's game between the Falcons and the Broncos, the Jets will be in the same boat as 19 other NFL teams with 1-1 marks.
Heading into Week 3, the NFL will only have six 2-0 clubs: Atlanta/Denver, Arizona, Houston, Philadelphia, San Diego & San Francisco. There are six teams still searching for their first win and five of the six reside in the AFC: Cleveland, Jacksonville, Kansas City, Oakland & Tennessee. Every NFC team has tasted victory except for the New Orleans Saints.
The NFL's 2012 season is in its infancy. The Jets lost to a hungry, talented Steelers team and there is no shame in that. Pittsburgh has won its past 10 openers and Mike Tomlin's crew was the better outfit on Sunday afternoon as each side was missing some of its top performers.
But one game will not define a season. While the Jets corrected their mistakes today and will soon get to work on the Dolphins in earnest, I believe you can break the Jets' schedule into three categories: "Potential Breakthrough", "Handle Your Business" and "Six Pack".
So how do I define the categories?
The "Potential Breakthrough" games are the ones that the Jets are clear underdogs and most observers think that it would be a tall order for them to win. I only see two of those on the schedule.
The "Handle Your Business" contests are matchups that the Jets should win. I believe they will be considered the favorite in all of these games and its imperative they take care of inferior opponents.
Then we have our "Six Pack". These games will ultimately determine if the Jets return to the postseason or not. They won't be easy, but you're going to win a majority of these matchups if you are an elite team.
If the Jets knock out all the games in "Handle Your Business", they would total eight wins. Ten wins may get you a postseason berth, but 11 would probably lock it down. So if they could go .500 in the "Six Pack" category, they would be in fine shape if they are perfect in "Handle Your Business".
But slip-ups occasionally happen for all clubs (see Patriots, New England), so the Jets may have to go over .500 in the "Six-Pack" category unless they can score a "Breakthrough" win in New England.
While the Pittsburgh win would have been nice and the Jets are not satisfied with their effort, that's a tough game to win. They'll have another "Breakthrough" opportunity on Oct. 21 in New England.
Why are the San Francisco 49ers and the Houston Texans in the "Six Pack" category? Those are both home games and I wouldn't consider a win in either case to be an upset. I actually think the 49ers are the best team in the NFL right now, but they have to come east and that's an early kickoff.
My full breakdown is below. What are your thoughts?
@ Pittsburgh, Week 2: 10-27
@ New England, Week 7
Handle Your Business
vs. Buffalo, Week 1: 48-28
@ Miami, Week 3
vs. Indianapolis, Week 6
vs. Miami, Week 8
@ St. Louis, Week 11
vs. Arizona, Week 13
@ Jacksonville, Week 14
@ Tennessee, Week 15
vs. San Francisco , Week 4
vs. Houston, Week 5
@ Seattle, Week 10
vs. New England, Week 12
vs. San Diego, Week 16
@ Buffalo, Week 17