A lof of NFL teams like to have their bye weeks scheduled during a crucial mid-season crunch when injuries start mounting up and players just need an extra week to allow their battered bodies to heal a bit more. For the New York Jets, having a bye week after Week 6 couldn’t have come at a more fortuitous time.
The 1-4 Jets are reeling after another hard loss in London to the Atlanta Falcons a week ago Sunday. After a big home win, the Jets again fell flat on their faces despite some improved defense and Zach Wilson didn’t tank and seemed to improve a bit more with each offensive series. Little victories don’t usually add up to big W’s in the NFL and the 2021 season is on the line starting this coming week against the New England Patriots. No, the Patriots are not like the old Tom Brady-led Pats but they are still a solid team and sitting in the second spot in the AFC East with both the Jets and the Dolphins fighting from a view of the cellar.
As is customary with a bye week, what is going on right with the Jets? The answer to that question may be a loaded one since the real question is there anything going on right? Take a hard look at the 2021 New York Jets – a rookie head coach, a rookie QB, seven rookie starters on the field and one third of the roster is on the IR right now after only 5 games. The good news is that this team has at least a win this season (go ask the Detroit Lions how they’re feeling right now) and a team that shows glimpses of improvement each week. However, glimpses of improvement don’t win football games. GM Joe Douglas inherited a lot of this mess coming in and taking over the front office in the summer of 2019. Douglas got rid of Sam Darnold and brought in a rookie QB in Zach Wilson. While this swap-out seemed to be crazy a few weeks ago, the Carolina Panthers have sputtered and lost three in a row. New head coach Robert Saleh seems to be the calming force in the storm known as an NFL season but his staff has to be scratching their heads and drawing up things in the dirt to try and pull out a couple more wins this season.
In all reality, the 2021 season, for all intents and purposes, will be a season to get all of the Jets rookies up to speed in the NFL and prepare them to handle the 2022 season better. It’s hard to write off a season and yes crazy hot streaks can happen but let’s also be real – it will be hard for the Jets to catch the Buffalo Bills or even surpass the Patriots in their own division let alone compete for a playoff spot. An optimist will tell you that there are still 12 regular season game to play and a lot can happen. A pessimist will tell you that there are still 12 regular season games to play and a lot can happen. The realist in me and most fans says that let’s just see the Jets make it through the 2021 season the best and healthiest they can, learn something about the NFL and come back stronger and more experienced in 2022. The glass isn’t half full or half empty, it’s just there and you have to drink what’s in it and move on.