Back from the dead.
There was nothing positive coming from Jets camp the last few weeks. Terrible, listless losses to division opponents, coupled with “Tripgate”, had everyone thinking the Jets were chaotic, out of control and all but finished.
Just maybe the Jets have turned the corner. One game doesn’t make an entire season, but going into Pittsburgh and coming out with an improbable 22-17 win transformed doubt into optimism. “This football team is resilient…Our team responded,” Jets coach Rex Ryan told reporters. “This win may surprise a lot of people, but it didn’t surprise us.”
Where did this come from? It came from the Jets realizing -maybe for the first time this season- that simple is better. You don’t have to throw 44 passes. You can stick run even when trailing.
The Jets played within themselves, especially on offense. Offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer was under fire for being too predictable and trying to make Mark Sanchez into Brett Favre. Sanchez ran the Jets offense with precision. He made and completed the easy throws. More importantly, he didn’t try to do more than he needed to. This was his first interception-free outing in eight games.
This brings us to Sunday. The Jets travel to Chicago for a big showdown with the Bears. A loss to the Steelers would’ve put enormous pressure on the Jets (10-4). Now you can take the word “must” out of the conversation. The Jets still need to win, but they’ll be a little looser.
The hope is that the past few weeks have humbled this team. Maybe to the point where we don’t have to hear how good or how tough they are every five minutes. The Jets team that showed up against the Steelers is the squad we saw in the playoffs last year and earlier this season.
Hopefully that Jets team will hang around for more than just a week.