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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