by Sperm Edwards
Undeserved. Dumb luck. Ill-gotten. Lame. Pathetic. An insult. A disgrace. A joke. A free pass.
I’ve read these things between the second half of the Colts game and today. Here’s what I’ve come up with.
If we win Sunday night we will have won 5 of the last 6. In the 1 we loss we’ll have had over that span it took 3 interceptions of Sanchez, an impossible 3 of 3 missed FG attempts, plus multiple dropped interceptions of our own on Atlanta’s last drive for us to lose by a whopping 3 points.
If Lewis rests his starters, this upcoming one would certainly qualify as a game the Jets should win. The kind the Same Old Jets would always find some way to lose. We beat the Patriots, the Texans which were not such should-win games. We also did take care of should-win games against the Raiders (who also beat the Eagles and Steelers and Bengals), the Panthers (who beat the Cardinals, Vikings, and just ended the Giants’ season), and the Bucs (who also beat the Packers and Saints). Do we demand the Eagles and Bengals and Saints and Packers say they are undeserving of the post-season for losing to such lowly adversaries? I’ll take these last 2 victories in should-win games SHOULD things go down that way.
I’m just saying that it’s not fair to discredit any wins unless it came against the 0-win 2008 Lions or low-win teams whose only wins came against other doormat teams themselves.
Are the Steelers more deserving of getting in after losing to the Raiders, Chiefs, and Browns over their past 6 games? Are the Broncos more deserving after dropping 7 of their last 9 (so far) including losses to the Redskins and Raiders? Please. They should have swept the Bengals instead of the other way around when they had the chance.
The thing to keep in mind is that the top 12 teams make it in, not only the top 4 or just the select few commonly thought of as the best of the best in the current year. There are always going to be flawed or lucky teams making it to the playoffs in any season. I see no reason to piss on it if the Jets end up being one of them now.
If I bought a winning lottery ticket I wouldn’t give the money back because I didn’t “earn” the winnings or because I wasn’t more deserving of winnings than the countless thousands of other ticket-buyers who ended up with nothing. Every victory doesn’t have to be impressive or be the stuff of off-season boasting, but any fan of the team and any player on it should now be happy with the ride while it’s ongoing this late in the season. As enduring Jets fans we should all allow ourselves this pleasure (if we take care of business Sunday), short-lived as the celebration may end up being. It sure as hell would beat the meltdowns we experienced last year or in 2000 that left us with no one to root for after the regular season ended.
So Sanchez is mostly horrible this year for an otherwise very solid team. There is still a team of 50-ish other players who weren’t all horrible, and in many areas were tops in the league, that isn’t less deserving of the post-season because their FO and coaches decided to put an unready QB on the field the entire season. I say good for them, and I hope Sanchez throws 3 TD’s in a supposedly ill-gotten win Sunday night. Then I’ll hope he forgets to suck yet again and throws 5 more the week after that, making fans like myself who advocated early-season clipboard holding for him rethink our positions.
Jets fans don’t get enough success to piss on the few lucky breaks we actually do get. Means to an end, my friends. When Manning & co were pulled we were down by 5, not 25. If we then beat Cincy Sunday night and then get bounced out in round 1 against them, we’ll all have months to lament over how undeserved it all was. If Cincy benches Palmer and others, and we still lose, people who are critical this week be overloaded with ammunition for ripping the team apart. Cross that bridge when, or if, we get to it.
But just the same, I don’t think New Orleans is less deserving of homefield throughout because rookie Mark Sanchez gift-wrapped a 17-plus point swing in their win against us in week 4, and then because they lost to the Bucs with homefield still on the line. Had Miami not lost this past week to a Houston team the Jets annihilated, would they be more deserving than us of being in the driver’s seat despite their offense being outscored 30-10 against the Jets on November 1st? Indy may have been 14-0, but don’t even try to tell me they didn’t get lucky many times when 7 of their wins were by 4 points or less. Even the best teams get lucky breaks. Were they not lucky Belichick coached the end of their matchup like he was playing Madden’09?
Every team who makes the post-season has experienced some luck that season. You can get lucky with the schedule (like us, drawing Indy in week 16 instead of earlier), you can get lucky with other teams missing kicks or throwing picks (as many of our own opponents have gotten), and teams like the Colts were lucky to follow a playoff-season with being so mercilessly awful the year before Peyton Manning entered the NFL draft. Does the perfect timing of them being the worst team in the NFL warrant getting him? There are horrible teams every year and only one of them was rewarded with the man with the brainiac with the golden arm.
If we take care of business Sunday night, I’ll take it and be happy with it. The entirety of the roster and of Jets fandom don’t deserve to be looking in from the outside because we were all saddled with a raw as hell rookie QB and an OC with a head as empty as the backfields he loves to employ on passing plays.
So here’s to a meaningful game in January for us. Anyone saying we’re less deserving than teams looking in from the outside can sniff Rex Ryan’s used toilet paper.