The Jets are not making the playoffs in 2016.
This isn’t a prediction, it’s now officially a fact. For the sixth straight season, the Jets will watch the playoffs from the comfort of their living rooms.
This much was confirmed on Monday night, when the Jets showed a sparse home crowd, and also a national television audience, just how bad they really are.
The end for a team isn’t really official until a team’s mathematically eliminated from playoff contention. Well the Jets, after losing 41-10 to Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts at MetLife Stadium, can stop holding onto hope and begin embracing reality.
Another bad year. No playoffs. Same ol’ Jets. What’s next?
It is one thing to be embarrassed on Monday Night Football once in a season, the Jets managed to do it twice in 2016. This one, arguably, made their 28-3 October loss to the Arizona Cardinals look like a blip on the radar.
When teams find themselves far away from playoff aspirations, which consumed them in Week 1 but are now nothing but faded fantasies, they can either play for pride or mail it in.
This isn’t to conclude that the Jets getting their clock cleaned by the Colts means they quit on the season, but it would’ve been difficult to also find any signs of a team playing for pride.
The Colts jumped on the Jets right from the start, the first quarter was a plethora of mental errors and examples of poor execution. While Ryan Fitzpatrick and the offense were looking inept, the defense was being dismantled by Luck with ease.
One quarter was in the books, the Jets were trailing 14-0. Twenty minutes into the game, they’d already committed three personal fouls. This game was over before it started.
With the Jets trailing 31-3 in the third quarter, Bowles turned to Bryce Petty to replace Fitzpatrick at quarterback. By this point, the damage was done.
“For the first time this year, we got our ass handed to us, and it’s very disappointing,” Bowles said afterwards.
Bowles may have been putting it nicely. He should’ve just came out said what he was really thinking. If he wanted to pick up the podium and throw it, maybe he should’ve. Maybe fans need to see their team’s head coach show some of that fire they always hear about but rarely see when he’s on the sidelines.
The television cameras did manage to catch Bowles chewing out his defense in the first half, but where was that fire during the week of practice? Was it there then?
If it was, then his players didn’t get the message. Not with how they came out to start the game.
The defense looked slow, old, and a step behind Luck and the Colts the entire night. This is the same defense projected, way back in Week 1, to be one of the league’s best.
Lately the only projections seem to be when Darrelle Revis, and Revis Island, will officially go out of business and call it a career, and will it be on his terms?
Revis struggled at times to keep up with Colts wide receiver T.Y. Hilton, but while that’s an image Jets fans are beginning to accept, he wasn’t the only one on that defense struggling to keep up.
“The whole game we played like s-t out there,” defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson said.
That’s Wilkerson this time putting things rather mildly when asked to describe the effort, or lack thereof, from the Jets.
Bowles, after the game, confirmed Petty will be the starting quarterback for the remaining four games on the schedule.
Good for Petty, he gets a chance to show what he’s got. But, again, the fact that Bowles waited this long to make a switch from Fitzpatrick simply can’t be ignored and must factor into any evaluation of how the head coach performed this season.
What’s Jets owner Woody Johnson thinking after having to sit through that game while sitting in his private suite with Vice President-elect Mike Pence?
In Bowles, this is Johnson’s head coach, the one he has all the trust in to get things turned around for his team. Does he still have those same sentiments after watching his team sink to new levels of futility?
The personal fouls, the brain cramps by the defense, the inconsistent play at quarterback, lack of leadership, this is all a reflection on the coaching. Bottom line.
Questions must be asked. Decisions must be made. This Jets team must and will go through changes in the offseason.
A 10-win season last year for Bowles, even though a game short of the playoffs, shouldn’t be ignored. That, however, was last year and expectations were for improvement this season, not the opposite.
If Bowles wasn’t already one of those questions, he should be on that list now.