With the World Series wrapped up and the NHL and NBA seasons in its early stages, the main focus in the sports world is on the NFL. The first post-World Series NFL game was on Thursday, Nov. 2 between the Buffalo Bills and the New York Jets. For a team that was projected to be the worst team in the league, the Jets dropped 34 points in a primetime game against a division rival to improve their record to 4-5.
For someone who has been an avid Jets fan since the Herman Edwards days, I couldn’t have been less enthused for the 2017 Jets, especially with how disappointing the 2016 season went. I was expecting a miserable season with the team winning a game or two at most, with the silver lining of getting the top pick in the 2018 draft. I appeared to be right after the Jets got blown out against the Oakland Raiders in Week 2 by a score of 45-20, dropping their record to 0-2. The team could’ve mailed it in after that loss and caved into the outside noise that they were the worst team in the league. But then a three game winning streak came along.
Wins over the Dolphins, Jaguars and Browns improved the Jets record to 3-2 and all of a sudden the idea of tanking the season went up in flames. Even with a three game losing streak that followed the winning streak, in which the Jets were competitive in all games, they were still fun to watch and playing good football.
The losing streak included a controversial loss to the New England Patriots, where the Jets were blatantly robbed of a touchdown late in the game by the officials. They blew a lead in Miami against the Dolphins the next week and then lost in the pouring rain to the Atlanta Falcons.
The season could’ve gone downhill after the losing streak, but credit head coach Todd Bowles and the team for not letting up and responding with a dominating Thursday Night Football performance.
Credit should also go to general manager Mike Maccagnan for some of the moves he made this past off season. Maccagnan was criticized for some of his decisions, such as letting go prominent veteran players Brandon Marshall, Eric Decker, David Harris, Nick Mangold and Darrelle Revis.
Take a look at what these players have been doing this season and you will realize that none of these said players have made an impact anywhere else, Marshall signed with the Giants and is out for the season with an injury. Decker signed with the Titans and only has one touchdown and 247 receiving yards so far. David Harris signed with the Patriots and has barely seen any snaps, while Mangold and Revis aren’t even in the league.
Maccagnan also took safeties Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye in the first and second rounds of the 2017 draft. Early results are good so far as Adams appears to have the skill and leadership that you build a defense around. While both of these young safeties have had their hiccups during their respective rookie years, they are both starting and getting their growing pains out of the way, which bodes well for the future.
For fans who advocated for the Jets to tank the season, it should be realized that these are professional athletes who have pride to win games. Just enjoy that the team is having fun (as evident by the defense dancing in the Thursday night victory) and being competitive when they were predicted to be the worst team in the league. The Jets will have plenty of salary cap space and still might get a good draft pick this off season depending on how this season ends. The Jets look like they have a plan for once and the future looks bright.