As the New York Jets lost a game they easily could have won in Week 1 against the Cincinnati Bengals, here are five reasons fans shouldn’t hit the panic button just yet.
Sep 11, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson (96) tries to bat down a pass by Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton (14) in the second half at MetLife Stadium. The Bengals defeated the Jets 23-22. Mandatory Credit: William Hauser-USA TODAY Sports
Oh yes, the New York Jets are indeed 0-1 to start off the 2016 regular season. It’s unfortunate since right out the gates, they showed they can hang with one of the better teams in the NFL. They played hard, scored touchdowns, and their defense exceeded all expectations against the Cincinnati Bengals.
But of course, the Jets didn’t focus and finish. They let this game slip by them in a fashion that can only be described as heartbreaking. In the grand scheme of things, what’s done is done as now the Jets prepare for a Buffalo Bills team also coming off of a season-opening loss.
The Bills will undoubtedly bring it to the Jets as they had their number last season and swept them 2-0. Fans of the Jets should understand that at the end of the day, there is no reason to hit the panic button just yet.
Without further ado, here are the top five reasons why there is no need to panic after simply the first week of the season.
Next: 5. A defense that will surprise many
5. A defense that will surprise many
The defense of the Jets was absolutely lights out against the Bengals. As a unit, they totaled seven sacks, 58 tackles, and 10 quarterback hits.
Quarterback Andy Dalton did do some serious damage in the clutch but the Jets’ defense made his afternoon a tough one indeed. It’s unfortunate that they couldn’t put the Bengals away considering they had seven sacks on defense.
This defense will only get better over time and remember, they accomplished this without defensive end Sheldon Richardson in the lineup as he served his one-game suspension. One can only imagine how much damage he’s going to wreak in his season debut in Week 2.
The Jets’ defense is easily one of the main strengths of the team. Make no mistake about it, this will be one scary unit that will surprise many this season.
Next: 4. A workhorse ready to silence his critics
Sep 11, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets running back Matt Forte (22) runs the ball against Cincinnati Bengals safety Shawn Williams (36) during the fourth quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
4. A workhorse ready to silence his critics
Running back Matt Forte not only delivered in his first game with the Jets but proved that he’s more than capable of being an effective starter. Against the Bengals, Forte totaled 96 rushing yards on 22 attempts and showed his ability to be a dual-threat.
As a receiving option, Forte totaled 59 receiving yards, five receptions, and had an average of 11.8 yards per catch. It’s safe to say the Jets made a very smart free agency acquisition with Forte as he’s going to be a force to reckon with this season.
Since the Jets’ defense will be a strength in 2016, so will their rushing attack. The Jets are built to be a ground-and-pound offense and well, Forte brings a dynamic presence every single time he’s on the gridiron.
There is no need to worry about the Jets since they will do everything within their power to have a bounce-back game against the Buffalo Bills on Thursday Night Football in Week 2 action. Expect to see this team fight back after their Week 1 meltdown.
Next: 3. Don't let the interception fool you
Sep 11, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) points at the Cincinnati Bengals defense in the second half at MetLife Stadium. The Bengals defeated the Jets 23-22. Mandatory Credit: William Hauser-USA TODAY Sports
3. Don’t let the interception fool you
Many fans are already blaming quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick for this loss as he threw that interception in the final drive of the game by the Jets. Don’t let the interception fool you, before that, Fitzpatrick actually had a decent game.
Against the Bengals, Fitzpatrick totaled 189 passing yards, 19 completions, two touchdowns, and an interception. The Jets’ offense failed to deliver in the red zone but that’s something that will be course corrected this week as they prepare for the Bills.
Fitzpatrick will bounce back and knows that this time around, he wants to beat the Bills in front of a national audience. It won’t be easy but he’s a savvy veteran that is ready to lead this team to their first win of the season.
Remember, the Jets paid top dollar to re-sign Fitzpatrick for this season. They shelled out $12M to secure him for at least 2016 as he knows exactly what to do in order to bounce back.
Next: 2. A head coach that will keep everyone focused
Aug 11, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles during the 1st half of the preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at MetLife Stadium. The Jets won, 17-13. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
2. A head coach that will keep everyone focused
Head coach Todd Bowles at a recent press conference told reporters that he’s done answering questions about the Bengals and rightfully is moving on. It’s a smart decision since he needs to keep everyone on the Jets focused on the task at hand.
It’s not easy to lose in the first week of a new season and prepare for your next game with just a few days in between. Most teams find it difficult to play on Sunday and then get ready for Thursday, while also having it be on the road.
But the Jets are doing exactly that and well, this is yet another obstacle that will test their character. Good teams bounce back, even if they’re only had a few days to rest up and get ready for their next game under primetime lights.
Bowles knows what is at stake in Week 2 as there is no way the Jets can start the new season off 0-2. Expect to see Bowles keep everyone in check and ready to execute against the Bills.
Next: 1. It's only one week
Sep 11, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets defensive end Lawrence Thomas (97) reacts after stopping Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Adam Jones (not pictured) on a kickoff return during the second quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
1. It’s only one week
Let it be known that it’s only one week into the new season. There is no reason to write this season off after the Jets lost a close game to the Bengals.
Sure, they should have won but it is what it is. As always, one has to approach every single game with the “Any Given Sunday” mentality since nobody knows what will happen come game day.
There is still a ton of football left to be played as the Jets still have an opportunity to bounce back. This team is far from perfect at this point in time but hopefully, nobody truly expected them to go undefeated this season.
Overall, there is no reason to panic about the Jets after their Week 1 loss. While it’s disappointing they’re 0-1, the season is far from over. Keep supporting, keep believing, and above all else, don’t hit that panic button prematurely.