It’s Friday afternoon of the bye week, and it is time to take stock of where we are. We look back on the first half of the season, and look ahead to the second half, as a roundtable discussion. Today we run part I of our group’s thoughts, leading off with:
The first 8 weeks of the 2012 season are in the books, and sadly the first number is smaller than the second. Looking at the schedule I thought to myself, “Sydney, they can pull away at .500. They can go into their bye at 4-4, maybe even 5-3 if they play smart. And the remainder of the schedule swings largely in their favor.” What I didn’t anticipate was the Jets losing the game to the Dolphins on Sunday, not at the beginning of the season at least. As I watched their games and noted their improvements after the week 3 meeting, I began to see that the Jets were not guaranteed that win. The Dolphins, a team that I’d made fun of for their dumb moves in the off season, had slowly but surely built a more competent team week in and week out. What I also didn’t expect was the Patriots game being in the grasp that it was. So here’s what it boils down to for me, my feelings on the first 8 weeks of the Jets 2012 season: A rollercoaster. A constant swaying that provided us as a fanbase multiple reasons for hope in the first week only to see them disappear in week 2. Week 3 showed a resurgence, some fight among the horror that was losing Revis midway through the game. The ability for the offense to come together, be accurate and efficient. And then it was erased in week 4. From that point on only one of the following three games was won, but the thing that stuck out to me was that a team that was assumed to be dead in the water was showing it still had plenty left in the tank. The two losses were within the reach and grasp instead of being the blowout that the Dolphins game ended up being. We saw Shonn Greene have a solid game. We saw protection and game-planning on the offense, creativity and motor on special teams and urgency on the defense. I know people say that you don’t win Super Bowls with moral victories, but for me it was about showing that they can do it if they just put the right plan together and execute as a team. On the whole, I can’t recall a time that I’ve seen four solid quarters of football on both sides of the ball in at least three years, so not seeing any now is just not new to me. Not to say that it’s right, because it’s not, but at least it was working for awhile. Can it again? I really don’t know. There are factors at play here that give me far too many moments of pause in saying that I think it can. I’m not here to point fingers, place blame or say who needs to go or who needs a bigger chance. I’m here to say that just when we’ve counted them down, these Jets have given us reason to give them another chance. And another. And another. Hopefully after this bye, the supposed “easier” schedule will not hold many surprises. That is up to them as a team.