Bad Teams Don’t Have Must Win Games; Jets vs Giants
Bad teams don’t have must-win games. The Carolina Panthers do not have must-wins. On the contrary, bad teams’ fans will, at times, root for their team to lose so that they are set up to select earlier in the draft. It’s an odd position to take, considering there are no sure things in the NFL draft. Teams may be better off in the long run not picking so early. Another odd belief is that must-win games don’t come early in the season. Wins and losses count equally in the NFL, whether they occur in September or January. This isn’t college football. Playoff eligibility isn’t determined by a bunch of people in a board room, considering how well a team is playing to close out the season. Missing the playoffs can easily be attributed to dropping a very winnable game early in the schedule. What this means is that the Jets are a team that will have must-win games, and those must-win games can be early in the season. The Jets vs Giants game is a must win for Gang Green.
The Giants are 2-5. They are banged up, and they have only scored 47 points in the last five games. None of the teams the Giants played over those five games are as talented on defense as the Jets. This isn’t a gimme. The Giants five losses have come against solid teams. The G-men have lost to the Cowboys, 49ers, Seahawks, Dolphins, and Bills. They have beaten the 1-6 Cardinals and the 3-4 Commanders. Beating the Jets would be the best win of the season thus far for the Giants. The Jets cannot allow that to happen. The Jets need to add their name to the list of quality teams who have beaten the Giants.
The Jets have too much to play for to drop winnable games. Losing this game would be leaving money on the table. This is a game that, if it goes wrong and the Jets miss the postseason, the team will look back on and say, that game is one of the big reasons we didn’t get to where we wanted to be. The Jets already have a game like that. Week three against the Patriots is that game. A second one would be devastating. The Jets are a playoff contender, and they sit just one game back in the loss column in the AFC East. The Giants are going nowhere. They are already four games behind in the division, looking up at each of their division rivals. The Jets are favored this Sunday in what is technically a road game, and they have had an extra week to get ready. There are no excuses and no room for error.
The Jets had must-win games last year and lost them. They were involved in meaningful games, and they let each opportunity slip away. This team will have those opportunities again. This week is their first. There are a lot of fans who dislike the term must-win game. I’ve never understood that. Embrace it. The history of this franchise is light on games of relevance. There have been entire seasons without games of any significance. Bad teams do not have must-win games. It means you are relevant. It means you are good. It means you have a chance. Poker players are fond of saying: “a chip and a chair”. It’s about staying involved. If you have one chip, you are alive, and you have a shot at staying around long enough to “cash”. Cashing means you lasted long enough in a poker tournament to win some money. Fourteen teams cash in the NFL. The Jets have a chip and a chair. The Jets shot at cashing begins with a win, a must-win, this week.
What do you think about the upcoming Jets – Giants game? Check out the JetNation message board and see what other die-hard fans are saying.