The NY Jets fell short in their preseason opener against the Cleveland Browns on Thursday, losing by a final score of 21-16. It was the Hall of Fame Game — a celebration of the NFL's elite that also happens to coincide with a football game played by third and fourth-stringers.
There was no Aaron Rodgers in this game. The Browns didn't play either of their top two backup quarterbacks. In fact, essentially every starter and most key backups were watching from the sideline for the most meaningless of four exhibition games these two teams will play this summer.
Despite this, FS1's Craig Carton was livid that the Jets were unable to secure the win. Carton called the game a "must-win" for the Jets, while his co-host, former Jets wide receiver Plaxico Burress, insisted that these were the "Same Old Jets" after all.
Of course, Burress admitted moments later that he didn't watch a single snap from the game. That didn't stop him and Carton from bashing the Jets' inability to finish games.
"[The Jets] don't know how to win," Carton insisted as he was egged on by his co-host. "We saw that last year when [they] were 6-4 with six games to play, and [they] lost all six."
You have to respect the commitment to the bit here. Carton knows what he's doing. This level of asinine football commentary is honestly impressively bad. It doesn't get much worse than this. Great work.
Below is the full clip of Carton's doltish rant if you feel like losing a few brain cells.
There is no such thing as a "must-win" preseason game for the NY Jets or any team
I mean, what else is there to say here? Referring to a preseason game — the most meaningless of four preseason games! — as a "must-win" legitimately feels like someone is telling a joke. But no, this was a serious discussion. This was actual football analysis that was aired on television.
The most notable players in Thursday's game for the Jets included their backup quarterback, a few backup edge rushers, and a couple of offensive tackles competing for starting jobs.
Tim Boyle and Chris Streveler played quarterback for three quarters of the game. The majority of the players on the field will not be on the roster come Week 1. In reality, both teams' primary focus was avoiding injury.
Carton missed that memo, though. So did Burress, who numerous times insisted that it "doesn't matter" that Rodgers, Quinnen Williams, Sauce Gardner, and every other starter didn't play.
Apparently, the Jets still don't know how to "win games" (whatever that means). Apparently, they should be embarrassed for losing a "must-win" preseason game.
Or maybe Craig Carton just isn't someone who should be taken seriously in any context. Yeah, it's probably that.