Jacksonville Sports Day

McDonald: Who Said These Jets Were Terrible?

Photo by David Pokress/Sportsday Wire

The Jets were supposed to be terrible. They weren’t supposed to win a game this year.

Heck the way the “experts” had it, this team was going to make Rich Kotite 1-15 season look like the 1972 Dolphins.

But here we are four weeks in and the Jets are a respectable 2-2, after today’s 23-20 overtime win against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

So, what happened?

“They’re getting confidence in each other,” said head coach Todd Bowles. “They have confidence individually, but now they are getting confidence in each other.”

If you watched the Jets through the four weeks (And frankly after seeing Week 1 against the Bills you would have to be a diehard) you saw a team coming together. Slow and surely, they got more and more confident in each other and they could do the little things winning teams are able to do.

Today, the Jags got a pick-3 late in the game to tie the game, but the Jets didn’t stop and were able to get the overtime win.

“Three weeks ago, we wouldn’t have recovered from this,” Bowles said. How true. Heck most Jet teams in the past don’t recover plays like that. But this team is able to keep it together.

In the past couple of weeks there’s a lot to like. The Jets move the ball and control the clock. The defense bends, but doesn’t break, while Jeremy Kerley looks like a pretty decent return man.

But before you print your playoff tickets, consider they played a very mediocre Miami team and a Jacksonville squad which just came back from London and may have had some jetlag.

That’s not to throw cold water on everything. The Jets are much better than anyone expected.

Credit needs to go to general manager Mike Maccagnan, who jettisoned a number of veterans, many of whom have done very little with their new teams and picked up young hungry players looking to make names for themselves.

Since this was New York, everyone thought this was a recipe for disaster – at least this season – but Bowles had other plans.

Josh McCown is not the long-term answer at quarterback. Even if he pulls a Ryan Fitzpatrick this season and leads the Jets into double digit wins, he is still not three or four-year solution. And frankly, he isn’t even a next year one, as the Jets need to find their franchise play caller. But this season the 37 year-old journeyman is playing extremely well, so enjoy it while you can.

That said, next week the Jets have the Browns in Cleveland, which is another winnable game, but then the season gets a lot tougher, particularly the second half, where it gets extremely brutal.

So, all this confidence can shatter with a few losses, but right now, Bowles has his Jets playing very well. He was thought to be on thin ice at the start of this season, but now he’s looking more and more like the man for the job.

And that’s what the Jets need. Although this club isn’t there yet, they still are five or six games better than most thought when the season began.

The Jets probably won’t be playoff team this year and probably not even .500. They will be interesting though and that’s a start.

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