The New York Jets went into Cleveland and lost in the most agonizingly painful way possible.
There are days when it is difficult to be a New York Jets fan. And then there are days when being a Jets fan honestly makes you want to second guess your allegiance.
The Jets vs. Cleveland Browns game was a prime illustration of the latter. Although I knew it was a classic trap game, even I could never have imagined how painful, how soul-crushing, how devastating the Jets loss in Cleveland would be.
I’m honestly without words, but am going to try to come up with some anyway.
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Let’s start with the fact that the Jets will now be known as the team that helped Cleveland end a 19 game non-winning streak. If you thought the Butt Fumble was harsh, Jets fans, prepare yourselves for a whole new level of media scrutiny and embarrassment.
Every team has bad games right? While a loss to the Browns is embarrassing, how bad can any loss during Week 3 of the regular season be?
For both the Jets and the Browns, this game has little to do with this game. It doesn’t even have anything to do with this season.
Jets, beware: Browns are winless in 19 consecutive games (0-18-1), trying to avoid becoming 4th team in NFL history to go at least 20 straight w/o a win. Last team was 1976-77 Bucs, who set record by losing their first 26 games in existence. #Jets
— Rich Cimini (@RichCimini) September 18, 2018
It has to do with the 2018 NFL Draft and the future of these two teams for the next decade.
To make sense of that, let’s dig into the game. The Jets were set to exit the first half cruising to a 14-0 lead. Browns starting quarterback Tyrod Taylor was completely ineffective, going 4/14 with an embarrassing 19 yards passing.
Whether it was due to an injury or a lack of effectiveness or both, Taylor left the game right before the close of the first half. In came Baker Mayfield, otherwise known as the No. 1 overall pick and the first quarterback selected in this year’s draft.
Mayfield came in and lit up the Jets, leading the Browns to a comeback 21-17 win.
Even worse for the Jets, their rookie quarterback Sam Darnold (who was taken two picks after Mayfield) was atrocious.
Of course, the blame doesn’t all lie on Darnold. The coaching was awful yet again. The team made a litany of embarrassing errors, including boneheaded penalties and three turnovers.
The Jets fell to 1-2, and with a brutal matchup in Jacksonville next week, it looks like their season might be over before the leaves even change colors. Jets fans have endured many hard times, but the one thing that they have always had is hope.
We knew that someday if we stuck around long enough and if we kept the faith, our team would be good. We believed that someday our Jets would again hoist the Lombardi Trophy.
I no longer do.
I’ve seen this team whiff on too many quarterbacks in the draft. Darnold may be the guy, but after tonight’s debacle I can’t help but think the Jets made the wrong choice yet again.
And there is nothing more Jets-like than watching your top quarterback prospect being embarrassed on the national stage by his 2018 draft counterpart.
Being a Jets fan is a lot like being a nihilist. You know there’s no hope. You know your team will never win. But you keep going anyway. Nothing reminded Jets fans more of that grim reality than the Cleveland Nightmare of 2018.