The Jets Can Make The Playoffs (Is What I Keep Telling Myself)
Do the Jets really have a chance to overtake the Patriots? Look at it this way: the Jets are coming off their best game of the year and they're playing at home. As for the Patriots, not only is Aaron Fernandez injured, but now, thanks to Dum Dum Belichick, "ace field goal blocker" Ron Gronkowski, maybe the best player in the NFL, is out for the rest of the season.
But look at both team's schedule for the rest of the year. The Jets have Arizona at home, Jacksonville and Tennessee on the road, then San Diego and Buffalo ... They could win all of those games, couldn't they?
The Pats are at Miami, then Houston and San Francisco in Foxborough -- that could easily be two losses - followed by a road game with Jacksonville and a home game with Miami.
All right, so the Jets win the Thanksgiving night game and find themselves on a roll while New England, without their much-heralded two tight end offense, get the crap kicked out of them in successive weeks by the Texans and 49ers ...Oh, hell, why am I bothering to fanticize?
You know this isn't going to happen, but, damn, the Jets came so close to whipping New England in OT on October 21. Why can't they whip them at MetLife tonight? But if they do, that's not going to be enough to make us happy about the season. The Jets have got to make at least a run at a playoff spot.
Let's inject some new blood into the offense. Last week Bilal Powell scored 2 TDs against the Rams on plays where it looked as if the offensive line was opening bigger holes than it was for Shonn Greene, That's because Powell hits the hole much quicker than Greene, and given the slowness of the Jets' offensive line, that could be important.
How about using Tebow for some kind of rollout, half-back option pass? How about, when Mark Sanchez gets his bell rung, giving Greg McElroy a chance? You remember him - the guy from Alabama who whipped Tebow and Florida's butt back in 2009 in the SEC championship game? Line the three of them up for a passing contest, I bet McElroy wins.
Of course, none of this matters if the Jets defense continues to be so soggy. The 2012 Jets are that odd team that plays pass defense very well - at exactly 200 yards allowed, they're 4th in the entire league, and this without Darrelle Revis in the lineup - but they can't stop the run. They've given up 142 yards a game,, 30th best or 3rd worst in the league, depending on how you look at it. While watching a Jets game, if you get the feeling that most of the time is consumed by the other team's offense, it's not an illusion. The Jets are allowing the opposition a whopping 35 minutes of possession per game, enough to make Linda Blair envious.
Am I grasping at scenarios which make me hopeful that the Jets' season won't end in a thud Turkey Day night? Of course I am. But there's no better bet out there right now and if they do a belly flop tonight, I think we can, for all intents and purposes, bring down the curtain on the once promising Rex era. And I'm not ready to admit that just yet. If I'm lying to myself, at least let me lie for one more week.