It’s very easy to blame Nick Folk for the Jets’ heartbreaking loss to the Cincinnati Bengals today, 23-22.
It’s easy. The kicker missed a point after attempt on the Jets second touchdown and they lost by a point.
It makes everything wrapped up in a nice tidy bow.
Jets lose by a point. Folk missed a point. There’s your goat.
But it’s not just Folk’s fault.
“Overall, as a team, we weren’t very good,” said head coach Todd Bowles.
Folk wasn’t the one who didn’t convert on a second and goal with the ball at the half yard like.
Folk wasn’t the one who allowed Andy Daulton a chance to convert on some long gainers, even though he was sacked seven times by the Jets defense.
Folk wasn’t the one who allowed a last second field Bengals field goal to stand, with an illegal formation, even though Cincinnati had eight second on the clock and no timeouts left.
Folk was part of the problem, sure, but he wasn’t the reason Gang Green is 0-1 after week one. A missed field goal and a missed PAT isn’t the greatest of weeks for a kicker, believe me. He knows he could have done better.
“I still take it on my shoulders,” Folk said. “I feel like I let the team down. If we make the extra point and the field goal, they need a touchdown at the end. That would have put us up six, so it’s just frustrating from my end, but we have a game in four days so we have to bounce back pretty quick.
This was a game the Jets needed to win. Cincinnati is a good team, but the Jets could have chalked this up in the win column, which would have made like much easier the next five weeks.
They have a short week this and go to Buffalo on Thursday and then you have four weeks from hell. At the Chiefs, home against the Seahawks and then two road games against the Steelers and Cardinals.
It’s 0-1 now, but with more sloppy play like this and 0-6 or 1-5 isn’t out of the question. Heck right now, you will take 2-4, because you know the schedule lightens up.
But what two games will they win?
Call this team what you want. It’s a work in progress or an unfinished products. Unfortunately, this isn’t like baseball, where you can just wait and trade for a leftfield and he will carry you to the playoffs.
That works for the Mets, not the Jets.
There are still 15 weeks left in the season, which is plenty of time for the Jets to turn this around. There’s no need to close shop at the Meadowlands.
“I don’t want to start 0-2,” said quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. “I think every game is important for us coming off of a loss, but we didn’t want to lose one today, either. Just have to go out there and do a better job.”
However, this is the Jets warning week. They need to get their act together and fast. The brutal schedule dictates it. There may have never been a must win Week 2 game in NFL history, but there is now.
This game wasn’t Folk fault. It was the whole team’s problem.
“You have a game in three days so you have to get ready for it,” Bowles said. “Had we won, it would be just as difficult. We lost the game. We have to regroup. We don’t want to go 0-2. We have to get back to work tomorrow.”
Now, it’s time for the Jets to get their act together.