By Jason Keidel
» More Columns
Those bodies you see on the side of the road are all the folks jumping from the Jets’ bandwagon.
As I predicted on Monday, harsh conclusions would be drawn on Tuesday, regardless of the winner. In just a few hours, the Jets went from the greatest team on Earth to an amalgam of egocentric stars more interested in their stats than the score.
There is no excuse for the appalling performance the Jets presented Monday night, particularly in a game of that import and with ten days to prepare for it. And while we can point to Mark Sanchez or Braylon Edwards or a defense that defaulted before halftime, a bomb this pungent falls on the HC of the NYJ.
But the Jets are still 9-3, a record many teams would give a limb to have, no matter how bumpy the path was to achieve it. And no matter how grotesque they were in New England, it only counts as one game. The Jets barely beat some bad teams, but they won them. And there may be ugly games but there are no ugly wins.
The loss to the Patriots, however, italicizes the meaning of the Miami game this Sunday. If the Jets fall to 9-4 with two road games to follow against Pittsburgh and Chicago, there will be panic – a justifiable gasp as eyes roll back into time.
Rex Ryan, a large, loquacious man prone to malapropisms, compared his team’s loss to the Patriots to the ’85 Bears’ loss to the Dolphins in week 13 There are no similarities other than his father was on the losing side of that game, too.
If Ryan is drawn to historical parallels, he should look to 1986, when the Jets started 10-1 and then lost their last five games, falling far short of the Super Bowl.
A dose of humility over hubris seems the ticket Ryan needs to ride. There’s a part of all of us that tries to be great at something we’re not. Ryan thinks his calling comes from his mouth, and while he does possess more than a little charm, he’s hardly Abe Lincoln at the podium.
It would be easy to tell the team to act like they’ve been there before, but they haven’t. Success is relative, and Rex Ryan needs to know that they don’t hand out hardware in December, that there’s a difference between rah-rah and rambling, between helpful and haughty.
Perhaps Ryan should have looked across the sideline, to the man he admits is much better at the job. Bill Belichick, for all his thorns, doesn’t talk like a man with the three rings, while Ryan leads his three-ring act toward a perilous place filled with more talk than walk.
Indeed, Ryan can even peek inside his building for guidance. Tom Coughlin is the only man to beat Belichick in the Super Bowl. Neither coach cares about bluster, realizing the NFL is a zero sum game of proper attitudes more than platitudes.
This team has talent and, for twelve games, has delivered far more gifts than gaffes. But if the Jets are to handle victory well, they need to learn that they’ve won nothing yet. Tom Brady said it best: speak little when you lose, and less when you win. Had Rex Ryan closed his mouth for a moment, he may have heard it.
Feel free to email me: Jakster1@mac.com
- Keefe To The City: A Reality Check (newyork.cbslocal.com)
- Rex Ryan: ‘NFL Deserved Better Game’ From Jets (newyork.cbslocal.com)
- Keidel: Takeoff Or Landing For Jets? (newyork.cbslocal.com)