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Overreaction to a loss? For NY Jets fans, it’s anything but

New York Jets fans, New York Jets
New York Jets fans, New York Jets, Getty Images

Losing to the Chargers was a tough pill for New York Jets fans to swallow

New York Jets fans packed MetLife Stadium for another Monday Night Football showdown. At 4-3, the Jets had an opportunity to pull within half a game of first place. It was the first time that a fan could truly invest since Week 1. The Chargers appeared vulnerable and beatable.

Within minutes, though, the atmosphere deflated. An 87-yard punt return for a touchdown put Los Angeles ahead 7-0.

No big deal, right? A 7-0 deficit in the first quarter is routine. The Jets have certainly found themselves down early an awful lot this season.

After the Giants debacle a week ago, though, Jets fans knew this was different. This is the offense that can no longer run the ball, has no offensive line, has a skittish quarterback who can’t read a defense, and is run by an offensive coordinator who has reverted back to his 1970s-style gameplans.

Overreaction, you say? For a Jets fan, it was not an overreaction, but rather a brutal look at the last half-century.

This 27-6 shellacking was not just one game. It told Jets fans to let go of their hope and lose their dreams for a miracle recovery from Aaron Rodgers’ Achilles tear. It was ‘Same Old Jets’ par excellence.

Ironically, in 2022, the Jets found themselves in a similar position. They were 5-3, coming off a bad loss to the New England Patriots, and facing the Buffalo Bills at home with the chance to pull within a half-game of the division lead. That time, they grabbed the bull by the horns before it all fell apart. In 2023, they couldn’t even last that long.

At this point, even if the Jets beat the Raiders next week (which is far from certain), there’s no reason to believe in this team. It was hard to believe that an offense could look worse than the Jets’ 2022 iteration, but in many ways, this unit against the Chargers did just that. It was so bad that Hall of Fame quarterbacks Troy Aikman and Peyton Manning both blasted the unit.

The NFL season is full of ups and downs, and it’s generally foolish to have an outsized reaction to any midseason win or loss. This one, though, felt like a season-sealing defeat.

Fans don’t owe the Jets any equanimity. The team hasn’t earned it.

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7 months ago

The overreaction is understandable given the history of the team and the PTSD of the fan base. Not being snarky here. Going into the game, I thought this kind of defeat was one of two possible outcomes. The trigger men for the offense (Hackett and Zach) are both substandard at their jobs. Hackett has gone 25 straight games showing poor play calling. Without Rodgers, there’s no need for him as a play caller. Zach got drafted into the worst environment for him to possibly succeed. The defense is legit and is being wasted for a second straight year. Personnel wise Saleh seems unwilling to make bold changes on offense. IMO 9-8 is the best this team can do this year.

Last edited 7 months ago by Psi
7 months ago

As a Jets fan, who’s been a Jets fan longer than the columnist has been alive, I can say without a doubt there has been a gross overreaction to this loss. I was disappointed with the loss, not disheartened. The Jets, in Zach Wilson, have a good QB. The running game has to reemerge of course, it’s been nonexistent for 2 weeks. The only concerning issue is the offensive line. Billy Turnstile Turner didn’t help out his QB at all on Monday night. The Jets are 4-4, not 1-7, but to hear some people talk they are 1-7 or are going to end the season 4-13, well they won’t. The Jets were a 10 win team (+/-1) before the Aaron Rodgers, they still are. Remember the Jets probably win Monday night, if the O-line holds up a second longer, or a couple more passes are caught, or someone doesn’t commit an untimely penalty, or if the Wilson’s don’t fumble, or if the defense recovers the fumbles it caused or doesn’t drop an interception. The only thing I’m worried about is how the Jets are going to contain Max Crosby Sunday night, otherwise I have no worries about my New York Jets going forward because it a week by week league and I expect the Jets to beat the Raiders.

7 months ago
Reply to  JRussSha

I’m starting to wonder about the OC Nathaniel Hackett. He made what seems like a last second (maybe panicky?) decision to yank Mitchell out of the RT position, the only position he’s played in the NFL, and insert Turner, and both Mitchell and Turner were atrocious. Over the last couple of weeks, he’s brought in Cook for one play, Cook runs for a solid gain between the tackles, and then he yanks him, making you wonder what was the point of using him at all? In general, he doesn’t stick to the running game enough, especially with how the OL is struggling with pass protection. Even though Zach has improved, he looks kind of demoralized out there, like on one play in particular, he had acres of space to run in for a first down, but just flicked the ball to a running back or receiver who immediately got tackled, ending the series. The Zach of 2021 would have kept that ball and run, but now it looks like he’s second-guessing every little instinct he has. The entire offense is starting to stink, and let’s face it, that’s exactly what happened to the Broncos last season when he was the HC, and that team is currently looking much better in his absence.

Jonathan Richter
7 months ago
Reply to  DFargas

I’m beyond wonder. I’m certain Hackett stinks.

Jonathan Richter
7 months ago
Reply to  JRussSha

Wish I could like this 100 times. Old cliches are there for a reason. It’s a long season. A marathon, not a sprint. Try to keep an even keel, don’t get too high or too low. You’re never as good as you look when you win and you’re never as bad as you look when you lose.

Zach has NOT been the dumpster fire everyone is portraying. With a healthy O line we’d be 6-2 and in first place right now. The only thing that is absolutely beyond reach is a 14-3 record. Anything else is still possible.