What's Wrong With The Jets

What’s Wrong With The Jets

Saddle up, folks. This is a long one. The Jets tricked me into writing a 6,500 word, eleven page essay on their failures.

We are halfway through the biggest season ever, and the Jets look like the worst team in the NFL for the second consecutive year. Ignore the fact that the Jets don’t have the worst record in the league; they have the worst scoring differential per game in the NFL at an average -15.0 margin (they were also dead last in 2020 with an average -13.4 margin), with only the Houston Texans (with one fewer win) keeping them company at an average -14.4 margin. The team that just crushed them- the division rival that began its rebuild at the exact same time as the Jets in 2018- has the best scoring differential per game in the NFL, holding an average +16.1 margin, with the Patriots- another division rival that began its rebuild at the exact same time as the Jets in 2021- coming in third with an average +9.8 margin).

I don’t want to analyze the players on the field who are issues; we all know who needs to be replaced next season, and we all generally agree on what kind of upgrades we’d like to see in 2022. The Jets have more deficiencies on their roster than strengths, and instead of highlighting what the players are doing wrong, I’d instead like to examine what this organization is trying to achieve.

Obviously, priority No. 1 for 2021 was the development of our fresh-faced rookie QB Zach Wilson. We all knew it, which is why we as a fanbase were willing to tolerate a losing season provided that there was evidence that this team was achieving its goal. The goal of a season, however, is not and cannot be just the development of one player. We have seen examples of QBs looking good enough to justify a down season, but not its outlook for the future of both the coaching staff and the front office.

Justin Herbert is one of those examples, as although he looked like the future of the Chargers with a record-setting rookie season, it was not enough to save the job of HC Anthony Lynn, who was fired after a 7-9 season (average -5.7 margin when they hit 3-9 before winning four games in a row to close the season). This was a decision I completely supported because his game management and the general tenor of his losses did not speak well of his coaching abilities. Baker Mayfield, similarly, managed to look good enough in his rookie season to provide hope for the Browns, even after a midseason firing of HC Hue Jackson (who should have been fired after 2017, finally canned after an average -5.1 margin through 8 games) should have impacted Baker Mayfield’s progression for the negative. After all, the Browns fired both their HC and OC in the middle of his rookie season, yet he only looked better after being separated from two people who were so very clearly not NFL caliber coaches (Jackson is currently the OC at Tennessee State, OC Todd Haley is currently the OC at Riverview High School in Florida).

So we were prepared for losing, but we wanted to see enough to justify our faith in GM Joe Douglas and rookie HC Robert Saleh. Thus far, what evidence have we seen that either one is going to lead the Jets out of the dumpster and into the light? I don’t want to relitigate the details on whether or not you think Douglas has done a good job (I don’t) or if you think there are valid excuses for his shortcomings (I might); the fact of the matter is that this is a results-oriented business, and the results of his tenure have been poor, and it’s unlikely that enough changes in the final eight games of the season to erase the sting of what this first half has been.

Again, let’s not discuss what the players are doing and instead examine what the organization is doing. At this point, it does not matter what you thought of the decision to trade Sam Darnold and draft Zach Wilson; assume for a moment that the Jets had to draft Wilson no matter what at 2nd overall and every other decision that they have made since the end of the 2020 season was to support him. If we understand that the first priority of this team in 2021 was to develop Wilson, we need to figure out the Jets’ philosophy when it comes to doing so.

When Adam Gase was hired in 2019 (to the widespread condemnation from Jets fans), the organization declared that Gase was the man best-suited to turn Sam Darnold into the franchise QB that we have searched for since Joe Namath departed. How did they do that (or fail to do that, more aptly)? They did not hire a QB coach, they provided him a long-rested Le’Veon Bell and well-meaning Jamison Crowder as weapons and (outside of Chuma Edoga and Trevon Wesco) only drafted defensive players despite not bringing in any other offensive talent in free agency. Douglas had minimal resources to use when he was brought in following Maccagnan’s firing, which is why I am fully willing to give him a pass for 2019’s failures (and not give him much credit for its successes).

However, when it became clear following the 2019 season that Darnold still had much more room to grow, the organization had to build around him again to see if he could take that next step to becoming a franchise star. Additionally, the team (at least in June of 2020) had some aspirations of at least finishing on par with their 7-9 record of the previous season. They had one of the toughest schedules in the NFL, and I needed at least five wins to prove that the team-building exercise was a success. Obviously, there was absolutely no success to be found, but it was not for a lack of trying.

For the most part, I strongly liked the philosophy with which Douglas attacked the 2020 offseason. Adherent to his philosophy, he signed four OLM to multi-year contracts, three of them with outs after one year if it became clear that there were better options available (I wish he had exercised the outs on Alex Lewis and Greg Van Roten, but that’s a separate issue). He also re-signed three Jets coming off career seasons in Neville Hewitt, Jordan Jenkins and Brian Poole (I would have preferred a multi-year deal for Poole, but I still applauded the signing). Though these were one-year deals, I believe it is important to reward players on your team for playing well with raises and opportunities to earn higher-salaried contracts, even if they are not with your team.

This is almost entirely counter to what the Jets did this past offseason. Forget what you think about the signings (I disliked most of them anyway); the contracts he gave out- with three exceptions- were all one year deals. Of the three multi-year contracts the Jets handed out in free agency, only Sheldon Rankins’ contract has a feasible out after the first year; both Corey Davis and Carl Lawson cannot be feasibly released before next season begins. Considering how poorly Davis is playing this season and the fact that Achilles injuries can permanently alter a player’s career, that sounds horrifying. This is not to say that you shouldn’t commit to players you believe will improve your team, as even knowing what I know now about Corey Davis’s start with the Jets, I still believe that this was a reasonable contract to give to him. This is to say that they should not have given out so many one year contracts.

And practically all of the one-year contracts given out were to players who either washed out of their previous teams (Lamarcus Joyner and Jarrad Davis, two signings I strongly disliked) or to veteran players who could not realistically be expected to be long term options in New York (Vinny Curry and Tevin Coleman, two signings I actually liked). There was practically nobody to be re-signed from the 2020 team except for Brian Poole again, and it’s not like people were banging the table for him to come back after missing the second half of the season. All of this made me reflect on what had changed, as the teardown took away a lot of what made the 2020 process so encouraging for Douglas’s future as GM. This is not how a good culture is built, and that right there is a trigger word for survivors of the horrid 2020 season.

Building a culture is not the same as winning; yes, winning usually means that you have built a good culture, but you need to get the former to get to the latter. The Jets had a great camaraderie in their 2008 team that led to a lot of winning in 2009 and 2010, but the winning in 2015 did not sustain a toxic culture enough for them to have a winning season in any year since. Jets fans in 2021 did not expect to see wins, but the fruits of a culture developed by a GM shedding the players he did not want, picking his own HC and coaching staff, and building the team in his own image.

What culture do we have now and how is it different from what we saw under the failed Gase era, or even the Bowles era? Our team is about as undisciplined as it was toward the end of the Bowles era, with the Jets committing 64 penalties in 9 games. The fact that they’re only 14th in penalties committed is irrelevant; we would be 3rd in the league if you included penalties declined or offset, and one of the teams in front of us in Miami hasn’t had their bye week. The penalties almost always seem to come at the worst time, when the game is still technically within reach.

The effort from a lot of guys on this defense also lacks urgency like it did during the opening half of the first and entirety of the second Gase seasons. Player talent has nothing to do with discipline, yet the Jets insist that they have all the right players to give them the winning culture we haven’t seen in a decade. The Jets have decided that their defensive scheme will cover up the lack of talent behind the front four, going so far as to prevent any pre-snap audibles to the play call from veteran defensive signal caller CJ Mosley. The defense is clearly not functioning properly, yet the Jets continue to do nothing to improve it, leading a lot of guys on that defense to not want to try when their coaches do the same.

Without any controversy, I think that we can all agree that this is Douglas’s team. The only Maccagnan holdover that Douglas could not easily be rid of is Mosley, and I’m certain there were options for him that could have been explored had Douglas truly wanted him off the team. Any other Maccagnan player- including and especially Maccagnan’s final first round pick Quinnen Williams- could have been cut or traded this offseason had Douglas deemed it necessary for the future of this team. By my estimation, the only Maccagnan holdover who is playing well enough to justify his current contract is Foley Fatukasi, and he’s playing on a 6th round pick’s contract.

I know I said I did not want to bring up individual player’s performances as a reason for this team’s failure, but I feel it is important to more closely examine what is happening with Quinnen Williams and how it relates to the team-building that Douglas is attempting. Quinnen Williams is currently 23 years old (set to turn 24 the day the Jets play the Eagles), coming off a sophomore season where he could have easily been named to the Pro Bowl as an alternate had it been played, and is playing in a season where he needs to show that he is a long-term player for this Jets defense operating under a brand-new scheme. He is young enough, skilled enough and hungry enough to be playing 75% of defensive snaps at a minimum. Through nine games, he has yet to even eclipse 70% of defensive snaps.

The Jets need to decide this offseason whether or not Quinnen factors into their long term plans, as the fifth year option (currently projected to be around $10.3 million by Over the Cap, possible for him to get up to $16.6 million if he is somehow named to the Pro Bowl in 2021) must be decided upon by the 2022 draft. This is an underachieving defensive line that already has over $40 million in dead cap committed in 2022, plus more if they draft an edge rusher early next year as seems to be popular among Jets fans. There is no room for a $10+ million IDL who barely gets more playing time than his backup on this team under that budget. Quinnen is also eligible for the first extension of his career after his third season comes to an end; what happens if an underutilized, above-average player decides that he is tired of the so-called culture the Jets are trying to build and is unhappy with Joe Douglas not wanting to extend him to a contract of his liking? The same thing that happened with Jamal Adams, that’s what.

I still struggle to understand the logic behind this coaching staff’s rotational philosophy on the DL. This is a 2-7 team in need of a major reconstruction this offseason; any young player on a multi-year contract like Quinnen should be getting the bulk of the reps to see if they are a part of this team’s future. I liked the trade for Shaq Lawson at the time, but since there is no real chance that he will be on this team next year, there is absolutely no reason for him to be playing more snaps than JFM like he has in each of the Jets’ last three games, especially with his lesser production.

Combine the fact that we have a poorly-constructed roster with an ill-defined coaching philosophy and you get the disaster that has been the New York Jets. This would all be worth it, though, if we could feel confident in the convictions that both Douglas and Saleh have put forth, yet it is impossible to even do that. Legitimately, it is difficult to pin down what exactly this organization believes in considering how many times they have flip-flopped on every criticism leveled their way.

When they drafted Zach Wilson, he was their unquestioned starter, set to line up under center Week 1 from the first day of training camp (and, remember, Zach Wilson didn’t show up for the first two days of training camp because of a contract dispute). Mike White may have shown that he could have started as well, but the Jets purposely made sure that Wilson received every first-team rep he possibly could, making it clear that there was no contest and that he needed to start immediately to develop.

After Mike White posted one good game as a starter for the team, they wavered, suddenly deciding that there would be value in letting Wilson sit and learn even if he was fully healthy. As recently as a week ago, Saleh said that there was no guarantee Wilson would start if White continued to play well, a flagrant far cry from everything he had said in August.

Additionally, this team insisted all offseason and preseason that they liked the QB room as it was, not seeing the need for a veteran QB presence if all they had to do was prepare Wilson themselves. The tragic passing of Greg Knapp notwithstanding, the Jets had nobody on their offensive staff who had ever been tasked with calling plays at the professional level, nor any players on the sidelines who had done so, setting up Wilson to lean on people who themselves had yet to find their footing. And no, Josh Johnson does not count as a veteran voice; he has mileage, not success.

As soon as Wilson was injured, however, they changed their mind again, panic-trading for Joe Flacco (who could have provided the veteran voice with on-the-field play-calling experience that the Jets lacked) despite their earlier claims that their QB room did not need any help from someone like him. Do I care about a 6th round pick? No, but it was an asset that the Jets forfeited because of their lack of foresight. Making matters worse, Flacco could not have been less interested in returning to the Jets, taking a whole three days to drive two hours to Florham Park so that he could begin practicing for his season debut three games later.

Finally, as far as Wilson’s play goes, Saleh has repeatedly changed his mind on what he expects to see from his rookie QB. Upon his drafting, he told Wilson that he would be lifted up by his team, not the other way around. Debate the performances of the pieces around him all you want; one thing you can’t argue is that the Jets put the worst possible combination of coaching voices around him, something that took them six games to recognize. They traded for Flacco to come in and serve as the veteran voice (and play if need be), then hired Wilson’s personal QB coach John Beck to serve much the same purpose (minus the playing possibility) the next day.

I honestly don’t understand why they wavered on all of these convictions after holding firm to them for months. These were things that us fans highlighted all preseason as issues, yet they steadfastly insisted that they would stay the course. That is, of course, up until those convictions were put to the test by Zach Wilson’s injury, at which point they changed their minds about everything and retreated. I think we can all agree that Zach Wilson was probably not ready to start Week 1 considering that in his five complete games, he has looked mediocre or outright horrible in four of them compared to one great performance in the other. Rookie mistakes are rookie mistakes, but as much as he has the possibility of making a throw that makes you say "Wow, that’s my quarterback," he has an equally likely possibility of making a throw that makes you say "Wow, how is that guy my starting quarterback?"

Yet, the Jets need to go back to starting him assuming he is healthy. Why? Because after learning on the bench for three games with three different quarterbacks playing in his stead, it is now time to see if he can apply what he has learned to actual game action. He has already had both a starting stint to get game experience and some learning time on the bench (or even in the booth with Mike LaFleur). After that, he should theoretically be ready to return against the Dolphins (or the Texans, if he needs one more week to recover from his injury) better than ever.

If he doesn’t, and he continues to struggle against the bad teams that remain on the schedule, then that leaves two devastating possibilities: either the Jets are failing to develop Wilson or Wilson is failing to do what it takes to be developed. Which possibility would you prefer? Both of them would be gigantic black marks on the ledger of this regime.

Alternatively, he could actually look like he has improved during his time off the playing field and firmly justify all of the actions this staff has taken to develop him. What lesson would that tell us, though? That the team’s stubbornness to adequately prepare him at the start of the season cost him the chance to play better? That the only thing Wilson needed to develop was time on the bench, which the Jets refused to give him until his injury?

It wouldn’t be the worst thing, obviously, considering that a well-playing Zach Wilson would help conceal a lot of the issues that we have taken umbrage with about this organization. Like I said, Wilson’s development was the top priority of the season. It is not, however, the only priority.

At the end of the preseason, I expected a 4-13 season from the Jets (after lowering my expectations from 6-11 after Carl Lawson’s injury). That may still happen, but the win record wasn’t my primary bar for this season to be considered a success. Yes, I would have been upset with a 2-win season regardless, but even if the Jets exceed my expectations and get to 5 wins this year, I would not view it as a success if the tenor of the losses continue to look like they have had thus far.

If you’ve watched every game, how many games can you honestly state gave you hope for the future? The two wins, definitely, were fantastic days for us as fans, but I’m struggling to commit to others. My definition of a blowout is any game where you need an onside kick recovery to have any realistic chance of winning. By that criteria, all seven of the Jets’ losses this season have been blowouts. Even worse, all but the Panthers loss were games decided by halftime (ignore the box score; if you honestly thought the Jets would win the first Patriots game at the half, I’ve got a bridge to sell you). In summary, the Jets either win or get blown out with no in-between results.

Why? The inexperienced coaching staff gets out-coached in almost every game. Again, the Panthers loss was the only really respectable loss on our schedule, and the first Patriots game was practically blown in the first quarter by Zach Wilson after picks on back-to-back throws to start the game. But the rest of the games have revealed a deeply disturbing schism between where we expected this coaching staff to be and where they actually are.

In both of the Jets wins, the team needed the starting QB to already look like a franchise QB in order to even compete, despite neither Wilson nor White ever playing in a regular season game before September. If not for Wilson managing to escape the confines of a terrible play call or White knowing where he wanted to throw the ball before every snap and finding the open routes underneath, the Jets likely lose both games in humiliating fashion. We love to play the what-if game about the losses to the Falcons and Patriots (the first one, at least) about controversial officiating calls that went against us early on in the game that led to opponent scoring drives, but what would we be saying right now if the Jets were winless? If this team were 0-9 and we had all these same issues without the positive of having already seen Zach Wilson light it up in one game against a depleted Tennessee secondary?

I think we would be saying that this team desperately needs to win the game against the 3-7 Dolphins team currently favored by 3 points to win on the road at MetLife, that this team desperately needs to have Wilson look like a player who deserves to start in this league, even if he didn’t look like a franchise QB right away. And essentially, that’s the situation we’re in right now, since practically every other priority has fallen by the wayside.

That’s not to say that there have been no positives on the team this season. For sure, second-year CB Bryce Hall and rookie CB Michael Carter look like starters on this team for years to come, but the issue is that so few others on this defense look like they should be starting on this team next season. We’re stuck with Mosley barring an unforeseen trade, and cutting him would not be advisable until after the 2022 season for cap reasons. The DL entered the season with high expectations that it has not lived up to outside of one game against the Titans and maybe half a game against the Broncos.

Saleh might be a rookie coach, and I would typically never advocate firing a coach in the middle of his first season unless he committed a felony, but there should be no guiding principle demanding that a coach should necessarily get a second season. Steve Wilks was hired by the Cardinals in 2018, fired and replaced by Kliff Kingsbury in 2019, and was hired and fired as defensive coordinator by the Browns within the next year. I don’t think anybody in Arizona regrets firing him, considering that they are 8-2 right now and the presumptive favorite to earn a first-round bye three seasons later with their new coach. Similarly, the Browns fired Freddie Kitchens after a single season in 2019 and replaced him with a man in Kevin Stefanski who would be named NFL Coach of the Year in 2020, his first ever season as a head coach at any level. Freddie Kitchens is currently a "senior offensive assistant" with the Giants.

Sometimes- as evidenced by the fact that the vast majority of coaches get fired, sometimes getting replaced by better coaches even when fired after one season- you simply have the wrong man for the job, and there is very little that would make me think that we have the right man right now. This coaching staff has repeatedly looked inept, failing to prepare their players to play football each week and failing to make halftime adjustments since the bye week.

The thinking should not be "give them more time so they can show us something." It should be "show us something so that we can give them more time."

What has this coaching staff shown us? Poor game management, poor clock management, failure to maintain discipline, failure to make halftime adjustments since the bye week, failure to properly recognize and utilize talent, you name it. There have been next to no positives from this coaching staff. OC Mike LaFleur has called only one good game (the Bengals), DC Jeff Ulbrich has either refused or been unable to modify his gameplan from what has failed to stop opponents’ offenses, and it continues to infuriate me that STC Brant Boyer is still here.

No, I don’t at all expect perfection from my rookie coach, and I expect that he would improve with time and experience, but the mistakes he has made are not just those of a rookie coach, but of a guy who has never even tried to manage a game of Madden. And it’s not like experienced coaches automatically become better at game and clock management; Adam Gase never improved his clock management despite his five years as a head coach in the league, Anthony Lynn seemed to actively get worse over time in his four seasons, and even Mike McCarthy- a Super Bowl champion and fifteen-year head coach in the NFL- still displays some of the worst clock management in you’ll ever see.

And similarly, what has this front office shown us? With the team not even standing by its own offseason convictions and instead bowing to all of the concerns we shared with them, it is difficult to determine what their intentions are. Do I support some of the things that Douglas has done? Yes. Do I support all of the things that he has done? No. Does it matter? Maybe. It only matters if the GM is smarter than we are. If he isn’t, then there is no point to him, and you could just have an exercise in team-building by democracy, putting forth a fan vote on Twitter on who this team should sign or not sign.

I don’t want that. I want the GM to be smarter than me, the fanbase and all other GMs in the league, but if you ignore the entire 2019 season and say his tenure only began in 2020, he has posted the second-worst record in the NFL in his time as GM, only better than the Jaguars who- despite all of the offseason and midseason drama involving their coaching staff and organizational philosophies- figure to have more of a positive outlook right now than the Jets because at least their rookie QB is playing well enough to provide hope. I assume that Joe Douglas is smarter than me because I don’t work in football, but that is a pretty low bar to clear.

What does a successful season look like for this team? You could argue that this team hasn’t had a successful season since 2017, when they went 5-11 in a year where they were expected to compete for the first overall pick and displayed a collection of young talent that they thought could be used as a good core for their next drafted QB to lead to the playoffs. 2018 was a failure in that the team regressed from the previous year, even with their rookie QB Sam Darnold showing promise toward the end of the season. 2019 was a failure in that Darnold did not look like he had improved from his rookie season in any meaningful way and that the team was not at all good on offense despite their investments on that side of the ball. 2020 was a colossal failure on every front, the team even failing to properly tank as the first overall pick was within their grasp in late December.

I ask again, what does a successful season look like for this team? Is it five wins? Is it Zach Wilson looking like the star the Jets drafted him to be? Is it Saleh and Co. looking like the coaches the Jets expected them to be? Is it all three? I’m genuinely curious as to what other Jets fans think, because I can’t properly define what that is after nine games. All I wanted was for this team to look better than Gase’s team and look like they belonged in the league, yet it somehow looks worse than 2020 despite getting two wins earlier in the season. They just needed to not be the worst team in the NFL for the second consecutive season, yet that task seems impossible for this franchise.

Saleh is supposed to be a leader, a calm, collected coach who can motivate his players even when they are down and out. Yes, the Bengals victory was a great comeback win, but where else have we seen signs of players being motivated behind losing efforts? Several players on this team complained about the Patriots running up the score in their second matchup, immediately showing everyone else that the Jets are prone to getting their feelings hurt if they score a lot of points on them. Demoralizing your opponent is as sure a way of achieving victory as any, which is why we’ve seen every team since then try to throw the ball late with leads. It backfired on the Bengals when Shaq Lawson picked off Joe Burrow for this team’s first interception of the season, but the Colts and Bills have done the same with next to no consequences.

That also brings us to the question of what Saleh is even supposed to do on the sidelines. He doesn’t call plays on either side of the ball, even with many of us asking him to try taking a more active role in the defense. He doesn’t seem to orchestrate coaching adjustments, at least not since the bye. He also doesn’t seem to be too focused on speaking with Zach Wilson even when he’s been fixed to the sidelines all game, allowing LaFleur, Beck and the other players to handle much of that duty.

So is his job only to decide what to call on the coin toss, when to go for it on 4th down and when to use timeouts and the challenge flag? If that’s the case, then he’s not doing a good job at his very simple game day responsibilities. His 4th down attempts have been sparing at best and his game mismanagement has been on display almost weekly. Dallas has this same coaching conundrum with Mike McCarthy, but the Cowboys are winning games in dominant fashion, so it’s easy for them to ignore. For us, all we get from Saleh is a lap running up some stairs hours before kickoff.

This is not me accusing Saleh and his staff of being useless. I am certain that they do their work during the week for practices, but the problem is that none of it is translating from the practice field onto the playing field. The Jets have looked unprepared to play each and every week since the bye, and that first loss off the bye in particular was the most troubling, considering how much time they had to prepare for a team they had already played earlier in the season. Saleh and Ulbrich vowed that it would never happen again, but not only has it now happened twice since, but it is now expected to happen again.

Whether or not your intention at the outset of the season was to tank, there is no legitimate excuse to ever lose a game by six scores like what happened in Foxboro. The 2020 Baltimore Ravens suffered a COVID-19 surge shortly before Thanksgiving, prompting a six-day delay of the game where the team could not practice together as they prepared to take on their 10-0 division rivals on the road. 18 of their roster- including their starting QB, all but one of their starting skill position players, a starting C and two starting DL, not to mention the coaches who had to miss the game- were out of the game. If any team in NFL history ever had a valid excuse to lose by six scores, it was that Ravens team. Instead of rolling over, though, they kept it to within five points by the end of the game with third-string QB and "TikTok sensation" Trace McSorley.

And yes, I still want to support this team. It’s insane that anyone would do it, but us Jets fans are insane people. I want a dramatic turnaround to occur, but if it was ever going to happen, the Colts game was that opportunity. The schedule might be getting lighter as we head into Thanksgiving week, but do you know what all of our remaining opponents have in common? All of them beat the Jets in their last head-to-head matchup, and only the Buccaneers in 2017 couldn’t do it by double-digits.

This team has gotten worse since we played any of them. All of them know they can beat us, including the Texans, who we will play on the final Sunday of November as they have their first home game following their bye this past weekend. The Jets have never beaten the Eagles in the entire existence of the franchise, losing all ten regular season games against them (and only winning two preseason games that I could find in a quick Google search). The Buccaneers have improved exponentially since we last played them, the Saints are still a force to be reckoned with even without Drew Brees or Jameis Winston, and the Bills just ended the Mike White era in crushing fashion. Which of these games do you think they will win? Which of these games will they even compete in, if that is something they can manage?

I’m not calling for Saleh and Douglas to be fired. Not yet, at least. I’m very close to getting there. Beating the Dolphins and not looking like the worst defense of all time this weekend will go a long way toward bringing me back from the edge.

Here’s what I am thinking right now; the Jets have been bottomfeeders for five seasons now and they have their last, best chance to avert that fate from repeating for (essentially) the sixth straight season. If not for a terrible defensive pass interference call that benefited the Jets against the Dolphins at home in 2019, the Jets would have finished as the 4th place team five years in a row. If they lose to the Dolphins this weekend, it will all but secure their 4th place finish in 2021. Is it an imperative that they avoid this fate? Not necessarily, but that is my current bar for success in 2022, so managing it this season would at least be a good omen for next year.

If they lose to the Dolphins (and especially if it’s another blowout loss, no matter who the starting QB that day is for either team), it then becomes a one game, do-or-die decision. The Texans entered the season as betting favorites to earn the first overall pick in next year’s draft, and that was by design. They have one win this season, coming over last year’s preseason betting favorite to earn the first overall pick in this year’s draft in the Jaguars, and Jacksonville looks like they’ve improved since their early-season struggles. Prior to the season starting, I regarded the Texans game as a free win. Now, it looks like the final resting place for this regime.

If they lose their next two games in a row and if at least one of them fits my bar for a blowout loss, that will be it for me. I will be on the "fire everybody" train. It will be the ultimate proof for me that this organization is not smarter than we are, that every criticism we leveled at them for their convictions and their philosophies- like starting Wilson immediately with no camp competition or proven veteran on the roster- was entirely valid, and that their arrogance in ignoring us is the final thing that should seal their fate. Unless they then go on a rampage in the final six games and end the season with at least five wins (and at 2-9, what expectation could you possibly have that they would), there would be no redeeming this staff, no redeeming this front office.

I don’t want it to come to this, but the Jets are leaving me with little other recourse. They don’t compete in a way that is much worse than last year. In 2020, their biggest point margin of defeat was the Seahawks game where they lost by 37 points. They’ve already lost by 41 points to the Patriots, and if you think Tom Brady and the Buccaneers plan to take it easy on us in January, I have a second bridge to sell you.

I am begging the Jets to actually show up. Please, meet our meager expectations and don’t force us to begin contemplating a future without you so soon after we dumped our belief in you. We would thank you for getting us high draft picks next year, but you won’t be part of the selections.

Please, turn the plane around before it crashes into the abyss.

This is a FanPost written by a registered member of this site. The views expressed here are those of the author alone and not those of anybody affiliated with Gang Green Nation or SB Nation.