There truly is one memorable moment where all of Jet Nation came together to unite in a chorus of joy and celebration. Let’s start with the closer……..again.
Henry Ruggs and David Carr. We really did think that you had changed our destiny and that 0-16 was going to happen.
However, Adam Gase had other plans. Let’s pick this up in Week 9.
Monday Night Football. 0-8. Welcome The Patriots. This smelt like a disaster on National TV and it almost was, but now how you would think it would be.
This was the chance to get the win and Joe Flacco and Breshad Perriman looked electric in the first half. With the Jets up 2 scores after a great catch from Jamison Crowder, the fanbase was starting to believe that Dark Hoodie had conspired to keep us from the #1 pick – but alas the Jets were going to Jet. A bad interception from Joe Flacco give The Folk Hero a chance to win the game – to which which he duly obliged.
The best week of the year was Week 10 – the bye week.
A trip to Los Angeles saw the Jets again as heavy underdogs but this is were we started to see the spark that would help the team in the back-half of the season. Boyer and Williams really got their units to step up. The run defense really started to take shape and Boyer’s men pulled off some good special teams plays to keep the Jets around. The offense as usual was the weak link, and the back-end of the defense couldn’t keep up with Herbert and the talented Chargers receivers. Ultimately, the Jets fell by just a score, and they had a little belief they could get a win.
Week 12 was the return game against the Dolphins, who themselves were surging and making a late push for a Playoff place. We faced a familiar friend again in Ryan Fitzpatrick and while the defense battled, Sam Darnold again missed receivers and had 2 bad interceptions that stopped the Jets from ever really getting close enough to threaten the Dolphins.
Week 13 – had that trap game feeling, or the chance of the upset. We crushed the Raiders just one year previously and they had been humbled by Atlanta just a week earlier. This team struggled on the East Coast, in early games, and Paul Guenther looked like he was under manned, and out thought. The Raiders had this game in the bag as the Jets had no answer for the dominant Darren Waller but The Raiders started to make mistakes. Firstly, Gase finally turned to Josh Adams and Ty Johnson and the Raiders had no answer for the running back combination and then when Henry Ruggs fumbled at his own 35 yard line the Jets had a chance to take a late lead. The running back duo pounded away and suddenly the Jets just needed a stop for the win. the Raiders drove and then stalled and it looked like the Jets were assured victory, but their play calling and clock management give The Raiders less than a 0.5% chance of a win. But the odds makers never factored in a Zero Blitz from Gregg Williams. Ohhh Boy, what an ending
The Henry Ruggs touchdown is one for the ages and I would be remised not to run it back one more time.
“At the start of my career, I heard that for seven years: You have 24 hours to get over it, I think the only time I’ve ever been involved in a loss like this was to end a playoff game, so I could be pissed as long as I wanted to because nobody cares.”Gase told ESPN’s Rich Cimini.
The Jets were shell-shocked and forced to go to the West Coast for the Jamal Adams bowl. That’s right our courages Blitz Boy was now determined to kick the sand in the faces of our downed heroes. The Jets were ill prepared and unable to be competitive. After a few good defensive performances and the emergence of a run game in our last outing, this game had the feeling that the Jets had quit and the locker room was fractured. However, we were wrong.
Week 15 – man, this is hard to write about. In full disclosure, I didn’t eat after this game and I drove around Nashville for 3 hours just thinking “WTF.” It was a surreal moment as a Jets fan and the ramifications of the Jets getting the win were more apparent after Zach Wilson had his worst performance (albeit a fairly strong outing) against Coastal Carolina the week previously, and just 24 hours before Justin Fields had his worst game against a good Northwestern defense (with his Top 2 WRs out and suffering a thumb injury on his throwing hand). This mean’t it was all about Trevor Lawrence who looked exceptional against Notre Dame in the ACC Championship.
The game itself felt weird from the jump. Everything favored The Rams but Jared Goff looked flat. The Jets defense was up for this and they stopped them early in often and didn’t allow The Rams to get into a rhythm. The Jets offense found its running game again and Frank Gore did just enough on every run to get that first down to keep moving the chains. Darnold again struggled but played the roll of game manager. By the time The Rams snapped out of their offensive funk it was too late and Sean McVay’s play calling was suspect. In the end the Jets held them off and celebrated like they had won the Super Bowl. Great for the players to avoid the stink of 0-16 but at this moment it was devastating for a fanbase who had endured the worst of seasons and with nothing to play for but draft positioning, this could only be viewed as a franchise altering failure.
The Jets were riding high and with the likely #2 overall pick secured, as Jacksonville were determined to be smarter than the Jets, the team felt like the pressure was off. They caught a lucky break as the Browns offense was destroyed by COVID-19 as their starting WR core was missing as were 2 of their starting linemen. The Browns could never find rhythm on offense and the Jets crushed the guys who had stepped in off the street.
Week 17 – was always going to be a horrible match-up as the 2-win Jets faced the 6-win Patriots. The game had no spice and was really being contested between two poor teams with nothing to play for. The jets had their moments but Sam Darnold showed why everyone questions his ability to be the franchise savior at QB, with two terrible interceptions that allowed the Patriots to pull away late.
9. Patriots @ Jets L 27 – 30
10. Jets @ Chargers L 28 – 34
12. Dolphins @ Jets L 3 – 20
13. Raiders @ Jets L 28 – 31
14. Jets @ Seahawks L 3 – 40
15. Jets @ Rams W 23 – 20
16. Browns @ Jets W 23 – 16
17. Jets @ Patriots L 14 – 28