As Landry pushed Walker out-of-bounds at the 9 yard line yesterday to preserve a 16-11 win, I couldn't help but feel jubilation. Yes it was a meaningless game and yes in the grand scheme of things it probably didn't change anything. Rex Ryan is still likely out at the end of the season, the Jets still need a lot of players to become a Championship team and no, Geno Smith is not a pro-bowl quarterback based on not turning the ball over. However it's a win and I watch football games to cheer for my team to win.
I popped on Twitter to give some thoughts on the performance and look for a few sound-bites from Rex Ryan. However I was presented with a wall of absolute abuse aimed at the team for winning. Pointing at this being another indication that this team was a joke, they should have tanked it, even when they win they lose etc etc
Although I completely understand the sentiment, I couldn't help but be really disappointed. Even if we win out this year, Rex Ryan is still getting fired. Even if we win out this year, Geno will face QB competition from somewhere next year. Even if we win out this year, we know we need to infuse a lot of talent on this roster to make it competitive with the AFC East champions, the New England Patriots. However there is absolutely no guarantee that having the #1 overall pick will ensure we receive a franchise player.
I took a quick look at the percentage from NumberFire's algorithm yesterday and it now gives the Jets a 0.02% chance of receiving the 2015 NFL draft's number one selection. Miniscule.
Jacksonville Jaguars - 31.6%
Tennessee Titans - 31.4%
Tampa Bay Buccaneers - 25.7%
Oakland Raiders - 10.4%
Washington Redskins - 0.9%
New York Jets 0.02%
We won't be selecting #1 overall. Which likely means we won't be getting Marcus Mariota, the newly crowned Heisman Trophy winner. Now you all know that I like Marcus as much as anyone and I think he'l be a great player at the next level. Will he be a Andrew Luck or a Peyton Manning? Probably not. In fact there are no QB's in this draft that have that kind of blue-chip talent. Lets not forget that at one point Geno Smith was widely considered the #1 overall pick and the guy everyone would be fighting over. I'm not saying Marcus of Jameis will wall like that, but it's possible once the full evaluation period is up and the interview process has been completed.
I wouldn't want any team to throw a game to get a player who we simply can't be sure is a franchise guy. I don't want that culture in my locking room, it sends the wrong message. I want a team who at 3-11 comes out and fights for their QB. Who throws their bodies on the line to protect a lead in a game that really doesn't matter. Would it be nice to draft Mariota? Absolutely. However we're not in a position where if we draft one player we're instant contenders.
You evaluate Mariota and you evaluate Winston and every other QB in this draft. If you think one of them is a Franchise Quarterback, you do absolutely everything you can to land him. Whether that means you have to move up 5 spots and give away a kings ransom or wait for your guy to fall to you, you simply can't be thinking draft strategy in December.
We may get to the draft and after extensive evaluation decide that neither Mariota or Winston have the talent we require to take us forward. With a top 10 pick you're going to get a talented player, or at least a player who is deemed talented by draft analysts and scouting professionals.
I love Mariota's potential, however I'm not arrogant enough to categorically confirm 100% that either Marcus or Jameis are Franchise Quarterbacks, we simply don't know, which is why you shouldn't be so down on the Jets winning a football game, after all....that's why we watch football.
I'll finish this article with a quote from Rex.
"Tough you-know-what," he said. "Real fans -- real Jet fans -- want to win. It doesn't matter what pick you get or whatever. If it were Peyton Manning out there, I could understand it, but I don't think Peyton Manning is out there. But either way -- you know what? -- we're going to fight every game. We're going to fight next week, too, against New England, and we're looking forward to it. Jets fans want to win. Are you kidding me?"