NY Jets: Could this finally be the year?


The NY Jets haven’t been to the playoffs since 2010 and there are several players who have never made it to the playoffs, it may finally be time.

Is it finally time to talk about the playoffs? With three more games to go for the NY Jets they don’t want to get too ahead of themselves, especially with the Pittsburgh Steelers hot on their tale for the last seed in the AFC playoffs. But after their third straight win (the Jets first 3-game winning streak since 2011) they’ve got to be feeling good about their chances. Another statistic to keep in mind? The Jets haven’t been to the post-season since 2010, the infant years of Rex Ryan’s reign in Gotham.

Sure, the usual suspects are still on the team: D’brickashaw Ferguson, Nick Mangold and even Darrelle Revis who was there during those playoff runs, but there are a few new pieces on this roster that have never been in the postseason before. Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick and star wide-out Brandon Marshall have been in the league for a combined 21 seasons in the NFL, but neither have made a trip to the post-season.

Surprising? It should be, Fitzpatrick has been on six different teams (including the Jets) and has been close a handful of times, but no cigar. Marshall on the other hand has been on quite a few prolific offenses, but for one reason or another it never materialized. Both were scooped up off of the island of misfit toys. Acquired for a couple of late \-round picks in the NFL draft, essentially tossed aside for nothing.

The decision by Mike Maccagnan to bring in these two players has resulted in a complete overhaul on offense. By complete overhaul, I mean a top-10 offense that complements their top-10 defense like salt and pepper. Marshall is on pace for a career year and could break several long-standing records at the Jets receiver position. While Fitzpatrick is already in the midst of a career year and will look to pad those numbers through the last three games of the season.

Currently, the Jets are slotted in the 6th position in the AFC playoff standings and they’re in a three-way tie for the last two spots. The Kansas City Chiefs are 8-5 and the Steelers are 8-5 and it’s going to come down to a series of tie-breakers to see who gets in. I’ve said for weeks I think the magic number is 9, but with the Steelers and the Chiefs looking as good as they have, you can’t bank on that.

The Chiefs by far have the easiest schedule remaining, but this is the NFL, you know, ‘any given Sunday’. Head coach Todd Bowles answered some questions about the playoffs and the future in his post-game press conference provided by the Media Relations Department of the Jets:

On the last six quarters by the Jets defense and how far the team can go if it continues…

We still have some things to clean up. We just have to continue to play and get better. These guys are getting to know each other. If we’re going to go anywhere, it’s not the defense that’s going to take us. It’s the whole team. We have had two good weeks in a row, probably three, but we’re playing more complete football as the weeks go on. That’s what you look for.

On if the Jets are peaking…

I don’t think we’ve peaked yet. I think we’re playing better football than we’ve played. We have a lot more confidence and we’re learning how to win different types of games. I think that takes time.

On if he spoke to his team this week about seizing the moment and being in control of their own destiny down the stretch…

We’re trying to win the next game. The games you win in December help set the tone going forward, so we are trying to be a good December team. We’re trying to run the football. We’re trying to play stingy defense and we’re trying to win.

3-straight Ws. #JetUp pic.twitter.com/sus8dqUKlx

— New York Jets (@nyjets) December 13, 2015

Next: Playoff run hampers future of Jets

Three straight wins for the Jets, 2nd place in the AFC East, three games to go, Bowles is right, the Jets destiny is in their own hands. If they win out, they increase their chances of punching their ticket to the dance. They can’t worry about what games they can lose and what games they can’t, Fitzpatrick and Marshall are focused and they’ve been sharing that sentiment with the younger guys and here is the highlight of the post-game press conference again provided by the Media Relations Department of the Jets:

On what guys like him and Marshall tell younger guys about controlling their own destiny at this point in the season…

I think the biggest thing is just coming to work and being the same person every day, working hard every single day taking advantage of what we’re doing in practice even if it takes a little bit more time. Whether it is practice, film work, this is why we play the game, for the games we’re playing right now. That’s what all the work is for. Some guys don’t understand it because college, big bowl games, and they won every game, but we have a great opportunity in front of us and there are some older guys that really understand how unique and what a great opportunity it is.