Alright, Jets’ fans..I know what you’re thinking.
The Jets travel to winless Cincinnati (0-11) Sunday and you’re getting post indigestion from Thanksgiving thinking about it. You’re saying to yourself that it will be the same old Jets –they have hit a new peak and now will slide back down.
Don’t worry…the Jets will win.
They will win their fourth straight game and carry some momentum back home for another possible gimme when they host Miami (2-9) Dec. 8. That is the same Miami team that was winless (0-7) a month ago, and beat the Jets, 26-18, as Sam Darnold started to look like his old self. The previous two weeks, Darnold threw four interceptions and there was plenty of doubts about
whether he was the Jets’ quarterback messiah. But that was then, and this is now.
Over the past three weeks, Darnold arguably has been one of the best quarterbacks in the league.
He was impeccable in last week’s convincing 34-3 win over Oakland. Over the past four weeks (3-1 record), Darnold has thrown eight touchdowns and almost 1,000 yards with two rushing touchdowns and two interceptions.
The messiah has been resurrected.
During the same time, Darnold has been in lock-step with head coach Adam Gase, as the fantasized matchup has materialized with some creative and timely play calling. Gase also seemingly has better control of the team, having them play nearly to their potential and nearly turnover free.
Defensive coordinator Gregg Williams also has shown why he is highly regarded getting the most out of cornerbacks of Bless Austin, Arthur Maulet and Brian Poole along with linebacker James Burgess. He also has been instrumental in developing linemen Kyle Phillips, Nathan Shepherd, and Folorunso Fatukasi to help form of the league’s best run-stopping fronts.
Cincinnati will turn back to quarterback Andy Dalton, who was benched last month. The Bengals’ defensive unit has been adequate all season, and they have kept their team in recent
touchdown losses to Oakland and Pittsburgh.
Still, don’t worry… but don’t take it lightly.
The Jets need to put this one away early with a steady dose of Darnold and running back Le’Vean Bell, who has showed signs of an impending breakout game. “The last two weeks, especially Cincinnati’s defense, they’ve played well,” said Gase. “They just haven’t won the game. But you see the improvement on tape and that’s what our biggest focus is. “We watch the tape, we prepare, we go practice, we have to go execute. And we’re going on the road in the NFL. Those are never easy games to be a part of. The weather’s probably not going to be great. We gotta be wired in. We gotta make sure we bring our ‘A’ game.”
If not, I hate to once again say that old vaunted phrase.