The Jets are on to Cleveland — with an unhappy quarterback — and they’re taking their season with them.
In the time it took to play three long hours of dreadful football — truthfully, it didn’t feel like much more than three days — the next game coming up
Sunday in Cleveland against the winless Browns transitioned from a crucial showdown for the first pick in the 2017 draft to the Jets actually having a chance to work their way back into the wild-card race.
“I never lost hope,” Todd Bowles said.
Table for one, please.
The Jets are 2-5 after breaking their four-game losing streak with a 24-16 victory over the Ravens. Note to the NFL: Can the Ravens come back to MetLife Stadium a few more times this season? They revived the Giants’ season last week and were nice enough to do the same for the Jets.
So, after losing to the murderers’ row of the Chiefs on the road, the Seahawks at home and the Steelers and Cardinals away, the Jets have finally hit a soft spot in the schedule.
Any chance to salvage the season before Halloween was contingent on beating the Ravens.
Holding Baltimore to six yards rushing, picking off Joe Flacco twice and an angry Ryan Fitzpatrick providing a solid relief appearance after Geno Smith hurt his right knee get them to Week 8 still breathing.
Ryan Fitzpatrick should have never took a shot at the Jets brass.
(Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
After playing Cleveland (0-7 on the way to 0-16), they’re at Miami (3-4) and have the Rams (3-4) at home and then the bye. That’s a combined 6-15 for those without calculators. The Jets have a solid chance to get to 5-5 before the final six games, which includes two against the Patriots.
“Once you break down the schedule, it looks pretty good for us,” Darrelle Revis said. “It looks like we have a window there where we definitely can win games and definitely be in a good position by the bye week and that’s something we know, but we can’t get too ahead of ourselves.”
Just two teams have recovered from a 1-5 start to make the playoffs. The 1970 Bengals were 1-6 and fought their way into the postseason in an era when there were 14 regular season games and four playoff teams per conference. Cincinnati won its last seven games. Last year’s Chiefs are the only team to make the playoffs after a 1-5 start in a 16-game season with six playoff teams per conference. Kansas City ripped off 10 straight victories in a stunning turnaround.
“It’s a case study for us, right?” Brandon Marshall said. “It’s a blueprint. We just got to continue to move forward and stay together.”
Fitzpatrick made a big mistake after the game when he tossed a hand grenade — more accurate than most of his passes — at the front office and coaches, guaranteeing this will be his final season with the Jets. He made himself a distraction and Jets Nation is not going to be sympathetic.
He was benched after the 1-5 start and this was his first game as a backup. Fitz, the Harvard man, is a very smart guy, so he knew what he was doing when he was asked about his emotions of last week with the possibility he might not be the quarterback again. He then leveled Woody Johnson, Mike Maccagnan and Todd Bowles. His comments would have been more appropriate after the season. At this point, after a victory and with no indication when Smith will be ready or if he will get his job back, what Fitzpatrick did was selfish.
“The biggest thing in this game, in order to last, is to have belief in yourself, because when the owner stops believing in you and the general manager stops believing in you and the coaches stop believing in you, sometimes all you have is yourself,” he said. “That’s kind of something I’ve had to deal with before, something I’m dealing with now.”
Does he feel he should start? “I think I should start every week,” he said.
Geno Smith injures himself, giving Fitzpatrick a second chance at the starting job.
He said he felt the Jets’ braintrust stopped believing in him. “Yeah, when you get put on the bench, that’s the reason why,” he said.
Fitz had to already know there was a lack of trust and faith from Johnson, Maccagnan and Bowles. That’s what led to his four-month contract stalemate. If they believed in the quarterback, they never would have offered him a three-year deal with only one season of starter’s money. They wound up compromising at $12 million for one year, which gave him just a six-game cushion.
The Jets feared all along that the Fitz who melted down in the fourth quarter of the must-win final game last season in Buffalo with three INTs is who he would be in 2016. They didn’t want to invest long-term dollars when that’s who Fitz has been in his journeyman career.
The nightmare came true when Ryan Sixpatrick tossed six interceptions in the third game in Kansas City. Other than Week 2 in Buffalo when he threw for 374 yards and a TD in the Jets’ 37-31 victory, he has not been the player who tossed a franchise-record 31 TDs in 2015. In the 1-5 start, he had five TDs and a league-high 11 INTs and was last in the QB rankings.
In Fitz’s jabs at his bosses, he failed to mention that at $12 million he has been the most overpaid player in the NFL through the first two months.
Maybe this will eventually work out as originally planned. The Jets will jump over a bunch of teams, Fitz will lead them into the playoffs and Christian Hackenberg will be starting next year.
They’re on to Cleveland with an unhappy quarterback.
Source: NY Daily News Headlines Sports News