Remember earlier this summer when the thoughts of the Jets making the playoffs this year appeared to be very realistic?
It was going to be Sam Darnold tutored by whisperer Adam Gase to emerge as one of the top quarterbacks in the league and new defensive guru Gregg Williams devising a defense that would wreak havoc on the league.
Admit it, you do.
Jets’ fans in the tri-state area and beyond already had some pre-holiday playoff plans prancing in their heads.
Flip forward a few months and the once 9-7, 10-6 fantasies have become nightmares for the 1-7 Jets.
The Adam Gase calls to the coach’s guillotine have increased daily, and issues and injuries that began in late August continue to surface daily.
The latest involve useless big-ticket cornerback Trumaine Johnson going to the IR list –maybe a blessing in disguise to eventually release him – and Le’Veon Bell’s sudden knee MRI that could be the ending of his season. Promoting former Eagle running back Josh Adams from the practice squad isn’t a good sign. Bell may have decided that he has had enough of this mess.
Don’t be in rush to chase Gase…at least not yet. The Jets still may be able to salvage something here.
If Bell is 100 percent Sunday and the offensive line can find itself against the hapless Giants in the “Droopy Bowl” in what used to be called the preseason“ Snoopy Bowl,” the Jets will win.
Yes, they will beat the Giants with a healthy Bell at Met Life.
It won’t be pretty, but Darnold and Bell should be able to piece together enough to further tatter an already shredded Giants’ defense. That’s the one with newly added Leonard Williams, who didn’t play any different in blue than green Monday night against Dallas.
Williams will need to concoct one of his all-time schemes to rattle turnover machine Daniel Jones, and the Jets’ offensive line should be able to give Darnold time to regain his form that recently lost against a Giants’ pass rush that is online with or maybe worse than the Jets.
If they do win Sunday, the Jets have a rematch with the Dolphins plus games with the Bengals, Redskins, around hosting the Raiders over the next month.
A win Sunday could be the first step in changing the culture.
We did see some spirited and productive play in their lone win against Dallas.
That is, if Bell plays. If he doesn’t, Darnold will need to steal the show in a literal tossup.
Gase will need to be creative with Jamison Crowder, and little-used Ty Montgomery and Bilal Powell, whose versatilities haven’t been to their full potential.
If Gase can’t, the chase is on. The Jets’ last regular season game is Dec. 29 in Buffalo.
Todd Bowles survived until the final gun at New England last Dec. 30.