The Most Confusing, Awful, Good Team in the NFL…The New York Jets

Eric Huberman

Heading into the 2013 regular season, some thought Mark Sanchez might still be the quarterback for the New York Jets. Some thought the Jets might be winless. Some people thought Rex Ryan would be fired by now. Well, none of those things have happened, in fact the Jets are in solid shape to compete for a playoff spot as we enter the second half of the regular season. The Jets have showed signs of being a true contending football team as well as signs of why many picked them to win at most four games this year. They are easily the most confusing team to understand and can’t be relied upon to give you a consistent performance, whether good or bad, week in and week out.  Nevertheless, here are the Jets at 5-4 after nine weeks and currently slotted in 6th and final spot in the playoffs. It’s been a wild ride this point, let’s try to make some sense of it…

Week 1:

New York Jets 18 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 17

Team Headline: Better to be lucky than not!

Coming into their season opener the Jets were considered to be a laughing stock. Well, in their first game of the season, New York showed how good of a defense they really have. The Jets really didn’t deserve to win this game; in fact they shouldn’t have if not for a stupid unnecessary roughness penalty by a Buccaneer defender which set up Nick Folk for a game winning 48-yard field goal. Geno Smith showed he could lead this time as he initiated a last minute drive to put the Jets in position to win the football game. Granted, they needed a little bit of luck to win the game, but a win is a win.

Week 2: New England Patriots 13 New York Jets 10

Team Headline: Geno Sucks!

Working on a short week, the Jets traveled to Foxboro for Thursday Night Football and played well once again defensively as they limited Tom Brady to only 185 yards through the air. Bilal Powell and Chris Ivory combined to run for 100 yards on the ground and showed what type of game the Jets would need to play in order to win football games this year. Unfortunately, that recipe does not include turning the football over four times, three times from Geno Smith interceptions. Geno lost the Jets this football game, and after looking good the previous week, Jets fans were back on the hater bandwagon in regards to their new quarterback.

Week 3: New York Jets 27 Buffalo Bills 20

Team Headline: Hey! Geno isn’t too bad!

Despite looking so bad the previous week, Geno Smith silenced the critics as he took down a tough divisional opponent on the road. He threw for over 300 yards for the first time in his career and also tossed two touchdowns. The Jets ran the ball effectively for 182 yards, mostly from Bilal Powell who racked up 149 yards on 27 carries. Despite losing the turnover battle again and committing a team record 20 penalties, the Jets got the win and moved to 2-1 on the year.

It's been quite the roller coaster ride, but Geno Smith has led the Jets to 5-4 (Via AP)

It’s been quite the roller coaster ride, but Geno Smith has led the Jets to 5-4 (Via AP)

Week 4: Tennessee Titans 38 New York Jets 13

Team Headline: I need a drink!

Oh boy. After week three, the Jets were feeling great about themselves as they were 2-1 coming off a big road win. The Titans were 2-1 also, but not viewed as a good football team, until week four came around. That’s when the Titans put a beating on the Jets 38-13. Geno was horrendous and threw two more interceptions to put his four-game total at eight! The Jets fell down 10-0 after the first quarter and never had a chance after that. Jake Locker and Ryan Fitzpatrick combined to throw for four touchdowns and zero interceptions as they torched the Jets secondary. This was a huge step backwards for a team that was really showing signs of life.

Week 5: New York Jets 30 Atlanta Falcons 28

Team Headline: What just happened?

So the Jets get embarrassed by the Titans the previous week and in week five they faced the Falcons, bitter off of a home loss to New England, who are usually unbeatable at home. Here is where the un-predictableness of the Jets started to kick in. Somehow the Jets led in the fourth quarter 27-14, but the Falcons stormed back as expected to take a 28-27 lead. Geno got the ball with 1:54 left in the game down two points on the road own his own 20-yard line. From there Smith would engineer a magnificent seven play drive to set up Nick Folk for a 43-yard time-expiring kick to give the Jets the win. In a game where Vegas dubbed the Jets as ten point under-dogs, Gang Green shocked the world. No one saw this coming, especially after week four’s embarrassing loss to Tennessee.

Week 6: Pittsburgh Steelers 19 New York Jets 6

Team Headline: Well, it was a nice season!

After a big road win on Monday Night Football, Geno Smith and the Jets let it be known throughout the league that they are no joke. In week six they returned home to face the Steelers and dropped the ball. Geno played his worst game as a Jet so far as he threw for only 201 yards on 34 attempts and two interceptions. They were shut out in the second half while Pittsburgh put the game away, as they fell to 3-3. It was a classic Jets let down after a huge win the previous week and another step back as the Steelers won their first football of the season.

Week 7: New York Jets 30 New England Patriots 27 OT

Team Headline: Referees 1 Patriots 0

With Rob Gronkowski returning to the field, the Patriots came into week seven feeling pretty good about themselves. They left the field scratching their heads. After getting completely shut down offensively versus the Steelers, Geno Smith played much better this week and led his team to victory in overtime despite throwing a pick six. Tom Brady was held out of the end zone and completed less than half of his passes, while also throwing a pick six. A controversial call in overtime negated a missed field goal by Nick Folk, and set up a much closer kick later in the drive which gave the Jets the victory. Once again, the Jets bounced back from mediocrity the previous week to win in improbable fashion.

Week 8: Cincinnati Bengals 49 New York Jets 9

Team Headline: Is Sanchez healthy? What about Sims?

The Jets just beat Tom Brady and the New England Patriots, so with the way their season is going it just made sense for them to go out and lose by 40 to the Bengals the following week. When Andy Dalton throws five touchdowns against your defense that usually is an issue. When Geno Smith throws two picks and only 159 yards you probably aren’t going to win football games. The Jets were shelled in every phase of the game and received a decimating blow to their confidence going forward.

Week 9: New York Jets 26 New Orleans Saints 20

Team Headline: We just beat the Saints in a game that wasn’t in Madden?

This one still confuses me. After losing as bad as you can to the Bengals, the Jets came right out of the gate defensively and made Drew Brees feel uncomfortable. Throughout the football game the Saints just felt out of sync, well except for Jimmy Graham because he’s well…not human. Geno Smith didn’t do much to win this football game, but he certainly didn’t lose it for the Jets. For once, the Jets won the turnover battle after getting Drew Brees to throw two uncharacteristic picks. Chris Ivory was a tank as he rushed for 139 yards on only 18 carries and found the end zone. He ran very hard throughout the game and was definitely the x factor. It was a game that was won by the Jets very good defense and their ground and pound offensive attack. Get embarrassed by the Bengals one week, and then beat the Super Bowl contending the Saints the following week. Yeah, I got nothing.

It’s absolutely incredible how on and off the Jets are each and every week. They have alternated wins and losses every single week even though some weeks have looked great and some have looked abysmal. After nine week the Jets head into their bye week in the sixth spot for the playoffs. They will face the Bills in week 11 where, if their prior games this season are indicators, they will probably get the doors blown off themselves and lose by 30 to the Buffalo Bills. The combined record of their remaining opponents is 26-30 so to imagine the Jets winning four to five more games is not so far-fetched. They are a run first team that can sometimes rely on the arm of Geno Smith to make a big play every now and then. The Jets would prefer to not have Geno decide the outcomes of games and instead just manage them while their ground and pound attack moves the offense. Their back bone has become their defense which is top ten in the league. They specialize against stopping the run as they have allowed the fewest rushing yards in the NFL, 77.9. As bad as the Jets were supposed to be, they have shocked many by winning five games already, including beating the Falcons, Patriots, and Saints. Their losses have been ugly, but they will gladly take a 5-4 record right now although this roller coaster has a long way to go until it has reached its end.

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