December 7, 2010 11:15 PM
9-3 with four games remaining.
Almost any team would probably sign up for that from the get-go.
It's close to what I picked for the Jets in the pre-season.
So in the wake of Monday night's 45-3 loss to the Patriots, why does it feel so disappointing?
And is it an overreaction to feel disappointed?
Here are a few thoughts:
1) So much of this year's expectations revolved around a home playoff game for the Jets - maybe even two, coupled with a first round bye. After Monday night's loss a wild card looks much more likely - and the expectations were for more than a wild card.
2) Monday night was a playoff-type atmosphere, and the Jets responded by looking terrible. Not exactly making Jets fans look forward to what the playoffs could bring.
3) The Jets are 9-3 through 12 games! They're one of the best teams in the conference! But the Patriots are 10-2 and just put a whooping on them. It's hard to accept that the Jets are good and the Patriots are still in front of them in the standings.
4) I hate to even bring this up, but I'm a Jets fan - I'm conditioned to think this way. The way the Jets came out and played Monday night doesn't inspire a ton of confidence for a strong finish. It is very reminiscent of Promising Jets Decembers of Seasons Past, where the Jets enter the stretch run in first place and fall apart. Sure, they're 9-3. But they come out and play like that again in these coming weeks and they will be 9-7. You like to think that's impossible with this team, but it's there in the back of your mind.
5) Who knows if this was a factor Monday...maybe if Jim Leonhard was out there the Patriots would still have scored 45. But the injuries are starting to set in - key players lost for significant time. It sure looked like Leonhard was missed Monday. And if we learned nothing else from the Jets' time on 'Hard Knocks', it's that they're not a tremendously deep team. This is kind of like worst-case scenario taking shape.
In a Jets fan's world, there's no such thing. It's just called 'reacting'.