This past Sunday night, the Jets had an opportunity. An opportunity to show not just their fans, but everyone who follows football that they should be taken seriously. That the Jets are a team who not only want to go back to the AFC Championship for a third straight year, but win and go on to the Super Bowl. The Jets and Patriots both stood at 5-3. All they needed to do was win in convincing fashion against their AFC rivals.
But they didn’t
The Jets lost 37-16 and now sit wondering if they can still make the playoffs. Albeit there are seven games left in the season, but which Jets will show up the rest of the year. The Jets who claim they are Super Bowl contenders who defeated the Cowboys, Chargers, and Bills in convincing fashion? Or will it be the same old Jets the fans are used to seeing from years past. Only the players can determine which version of them will be ready at game time.
The fans are salivating for a championship. Rex Ryan has made predictions, guarantees, and comments about how this is the Jets year and the team that will bring home a championship. Maybe it is time for Rex to stop talking and come through on his promises. Everyone loves how outspoken and confident he is. But all that bravado does not win game or transfer that attitude to the players. The players need to believe in themselves and show that on the field, not Rex Ryan.
For the past few season, Rex has reached out to the fans for support. Season ticket holders get a pre recorded call at the beginning of the season as well as pleas throughout the season. The fans are always there for the team. But Rex has not delivered back to the fans. Rex Ryan also took the opportunity in his postgame press conference to apologize to Jets fans after he challenged them earlier in the week to make this past Sunday’s game difficult for the Patriots.
“I thought we’d play a lot better. I thought we had really improved, I really did. I think we did improve, but when you make those types of mistakes – you fumble a punt, you have a poor timeout … time management was an absolutely critical error. That’s my responsibility. I own that one. You make that many mistakes against that team, there’s no chance. “
The playoffs are not coming up soon, for sure, so the Jets aren’t eliminating themselves from the AFC playoff picture by any means but Rex Ryan recognized, whether it was in jest or not, that the Jets division title chances took a big hit on Sunday night.
“It looks doubtful right now. What am I going to say? Maybe I should guarantee the fact that we’re out of it. The last time I did that, we made the playoffs. Yeah, we don’t have a chance.”
Maybe Rex should not guarantee anything. Maybe Rex should impose a media blackout on himself. Maybe he should just coach and let his actions speak louder than any words he can say. But once again, his words this past Sunday seemed to get him in trouble…..again. This time, getting caught on tape using profanities at a fan during halftime.
On the video, Ryan and the Jets’ players and staff are seen walking into the tunnel. A fan yells out to Ryan, “Belichick’s better than you,” and Ryan tells him to shut up, adding an expletive for good measure.
This team and their coaches need to resolve any issues they have to make their play playoff worthy. The fans are tired of the talk and empty promises. Please back up that talk with convincing play on the field every game. Show the fans that you REALLY want to go and win a Super Bowl. Not just say it. The Jets show flashes of brilliance, but not often enough. Is this the players fault, or the coaches?
The fans have heard enough. It is time for the Jets to live up to expectations. It is time for Mark Sanchez and Darelle Revis to lead the team convincingly. To show they are a Super Bowl caliber team and not just a playoff contender, which they do not look presently. If they could not beat the Patriots and the worst ranked defense in the NFL, now do they expect to make it to the playoffs?
Impose a media blackout on yourselves. Focus on winning and not talking. Rex Ryan may be a great coach. But he needs to show everyone he can back those words up with actions. Will three times be the charm? Rex said they were going to win even before the season started. Actions speak louder than words. Show us you can win, do not tell us.
Shut up and play.