The New York Jets had started to give their fans optimism with their 2-1 start, and some were even dreaming of a winning season and a playoff berth. Those dreams came crashing back to reality Sunday, as the Jets were blown out 38-13 by the Tennessee Titans. The Jets were very poor in all facets of the game, and they looked like the dysfunctional team everyone expected them to be.
Geno Smith had a rough game, and his turnover problems continue to plague the team. Santonio Holmes and Stephen Hill were both injured, the offensive line struggled, and Antonio Cromartie and the secondary were torched by Jake Locker. Combined with the ongoing penalty issues, the Jets looked like a mess Sunday.
Despite the bad game, at 2-2 the Jets are still not in bad shape as far as their season goes. However, things are about to get a lot more difficult. The next five weeks of their schedule are brutal, as the Jets play at the Atlanta Falcons and Cincinnati Bengals and home against the Pittsburgh Steelers, New England Patriots and New Orleans Saints. The Jets will only be favored in the Pittsburgh game, and they will be hard pressed to win any of the other four.
If the Jets go 1-4 in those games, they will be sitting at 3-6 heading into the bye, and there will be a lot of conversation about Rex Ryan’s job security. The Falcons, Patriots, Bengals and Saints are all significantly better football teams the Jets, so losing all four of those games is a distinct possibility.
If the Jets want to have a successful season, they need to win at least two of their next five games. They should beat the Steelers, but the other matchups are difficult. Upsetting the Bengals looks like the most likely scenario, although the Jets did play the Patriots very tough in their Week 2 loss in Foxboro.
The schedule eases up after the bye week, so if the Jets can get there only one game below .500 they will have an opportunity to chase a winning record. However, they must find a way to survive these next 5 weeks. The most important thing for this team right now is to stop the turnovers and penalties. They are beating themselves, and they aren’t good enough to overcome these mistakes.
Obviously this is looking way down the line, but the Jets have to understand the importance of the next few games. Their season is teetering on the edge, and it won’t take much for it to fall off the cliff.