With the humiliating loss to the Miami Dolphins in Week 9, the 2016 campaign of the New York Jets is clearly over. The season can be defined with just this one game.
Typical. Now, I could’ve used any other word to sum up this week’s performance, but “typical” seems to fit perfectly. Watching the 2016 New York Jets is no different than watching any other team in the past. It’s honestly reminds me of emphatic Chicago Cubs fan Bill Murray’s 1993 film “Groundhog Day.” Fans are reliving the same season over and over again. The wins and losses might be different, but the outcome is always the same; disappointing. The team builds you up just enough to then break you down in the end. Next, come the tears.
The loss to the Dolphins was , sadly, “so Jets.” They show you just enough to keep fans hooked, disappoint them, and then reel us in again. It’s something supporters are accustomed to by now, and have been for a while. Early on, you could see that this game was going to be a complete dumpster fire. You should’ve also been able to tell that the Jets would take blame for adding more fuel to that fire than Miami did.
One step forward, a million steps back
Taking one step forward, and two steps back are bad enough, but the Jets bring this phrase to a whole new level. They take a million steps back, maybe more.. definitely not less.
It’s a phrase that the Jets might as well trademark and sell in stores since I’m sure ticket sales will be going down (unless they sign Tim Tebow again). I wish I could say it seems like when they make one good play, they follow it with many more negative plays. Instead of saying “it seems,” the Jets make sure that turns into “it’s on our to-do list.” Sure seems like it, huh?
For an example, I’ll use a series of plays that showed why the Jets are the Jets. Miami botches a punt in which the Jets recover and create a touchdown drive on. Jalin Marshall scored his first career touchdown on the drive to give the Jets a 23-20 lead with 5:15 left in the fourth quarter. This is the step forward.
Next, Antonio Allen is called offsides on the ensuing kickoff, which led to a re-kick. What happened next is just so classic. Dolphins rookie Kenyan Drake went UNTOUCHED and brought the kickoff 96 yards to the house, giving Miami a 27-23 lead. This would ultimately be the game-winner. You really can’t make these things up. The defense played well, but the special teams and offensive woes continue.
Some other things to note:
Ryan Fitzpatrick threw a ball right to 335-pound defensive tackle Jordan Phillips for an interception. The man has some hands. Maybe Stephen Hill can learn from him (joking). Phillips would add to the highlight reel by hurdling Bilal Powell in the process.
The Jets were 1/5 in the red zone, bringing them to 41.38% on the year within the 20; good enough for 30th in the league.
Jordan Jenkins dropped a sure pick-six that would’ve changed the game.
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Quincy Enunwa had one catch on four targets for only 25 yards. Fitzpatrick missed plenty of throws, as per usual. But, he did go to Harvard, so it’s all good.
Bryce Petty got some time! Unfortunately, it was short-lived, as Fitzpatrick would return from a brief injury.
Where is the discipline?
The week leading up to the Week 9 matchup, Jets receiver Brandon Marshall had some words for Dolphins cornerback Byron Maxwell. As you could imagine, they weren’t words containing rainbows and butterflies. “He seems like a really nice guy, doesn’t say much on the field, but because he holds on every play, I don’t like him,” said Marshall as per the Media Relations Department of the Jets. But, to Marshall’s credit, Maxwell was called for holding twice against the big receiver. Although he proved his point, Marshall is supposed to be a leader on the team, influencing the younger guys around him to be smart. I feel like if you’re going to make these comments, at least be better than 3-5, right?
The lack of discipline on the defensive side of the ball keeps showing in chunks. Calvin Pryor and Sheldon Richardson both were hit with personal fouls in the game. Pryor was called for taunting after the defense made a big stop. This led to a Jay Ajayi rushing touchdown and a 7-3 lead for the Dolphins in the first. Richardson was called for unsportsmanlike conduct after shoving a Dolphins’ player’s head into the ground after a play. New York committed four personal fouls in total. Acts like this just show you how young and unsteady this team is. They are young, but you have to be smart. Youth isn’t an excuse for not playing professionally.
How about the leaders?
Ultimately, there is no true leader on this team. I don’t see anyone influencing another player after a play goes wrong, or (rarely) right. Fitzpatrick shows toughness in his playing style, but that comes along with being the worst quarterback in the NFL. With that feature, you’re not going to be able to steer many people in the right direction.
Marshall always seems to be coming out after games saying it is his and Fitzpatrick’s fault for the Jets’ play, but the outcome week in and week out stays the same. Darrelle Revis played lights out which was great to see, but he looks so sluggish and uninterested in the game nowadays. Nick Mangold is injured. The only people I see life out of are Bilal Powell and Leonard Williams. Another veteran or new-guy has to step up, but it might be too late.
Successful sports teams need influential leaders. The Jets don’t hold that much-needed aspect. This is why they are where they are; 3-6 looking at another wasted season, yet keeping fans interested. It looks like “Just End The Season” is, unfortunately, alive and well in New York.