NFL Week 3: New York Jets Fans Need to Temper Expectations for Good and Bad
Yes, that was the same team in both games.
But more importantly—you should not have been surprised.
There is a reason I picked the Jets to dominate the Bills and lose to the Steelers before the season began. The Jets match up excellently against the Bills and very poorly against the Steelers.
Fans and pundits alike tend to react too strongly to wins and losses. Here are three reactions you should not have to the Jets' season thus far, even if it is tempting.
3. The Jets Crushed the Bills: Mark Sanchez Is the Next Aaron Rodgers
New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez played great against the Bills in Week 1. This, however, did not teach us a whole lot. In his career, Sanchez has dominated the Bills every time he has had the opportunity.
In his career so far, Sanchez has lost to the Bills once in overtime and beaten them the other six times they have met. In the last five meetings, Sanchez and the Jets have put up 35.8 points per game. Was 48 really that impressive when only 34 of those points were scored by the offense?
After a summer of the national media bashing the Jets, their expected success in Week 1 seemed amazing. It was like watching a decent movie after your friends spent the whole week telling you it's the worst movie ever made.
Sanchez was never as bad as many pundits would have you believe—not even close. However, he is not suddenly Aaron Rodgers simply because he beat up on the Bills for the sixth time in a row.
2. The Jets Lost by 17 Points: They're the Worst Team in the NFL
The Jets were ripped apart in the media after their 27-10 loss in Pittsburgh. After beating the Bills for the umpteenth time, the Jets went into the Steelers game with far too high expectations. Playing on the road against a likely playoff team without your best player, you should expect to lose.
Yet somehow the spread was small and people were riding high on the Jets. Now the loss has had a spring-back effect, causing fans to worry and reigniting discussions about starting punt protector Tim Tebow.
The Jets are 1-9 all-time in Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh is a tough place to play, and the Jets construction matches up poorly against Pittsburgh. This is in large part due to the way quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who escapes pressure and finds wide receivers late in plays.
You can safely bet that the Jets will plummet in the power rankings this week. However, they should stay just where they were.
The only reason to feel worse today about the Jets, than you did on Saturday, is if you had unrealistic expectations about what the Revis-less Jets were going to look like in Pittsburgh.
1. Sanchez Had a Bad Game: Tim Tebow's Role on the Team Has Changed
Do not be surprised to see Tim Tebow articles around the web this week. The only way to avoid that would have been for the Jets to go 16-0.
If you are wondering whether or not Tebow actually has a chance of playing at quarterback any time soon, the answer is still no.
The people whose opinions actually matter are general manager Mike Tannenbaum and head coach Rex Ryan. Both of them are still as crystal clear with the media as they have always been on this subject. Coach Ryan even got a little bit annoyed with the media for the repeated prodding of the same questions. Said Ryan (via Kimberley Martin of Newsday):
Look, I was all for bringing Tim Tebow in here, because I know what he does. There will be more [impact plays for him]... I expect some big things in the future from Tim Tebow. I was upset with the loss. I'm not worried about a question about Tim Tebow.
When asked about not using Tebow in the fourth quarter, Ryan added, "By then, we're down several points, so I think you need to throw the ball in those situations."
In Rex Ryan's mind, Tim Tebow is not even an option in a passing play. He is a Brad Smith-esque running back. To Rex Ryan, the question "Did you consider Tebow?" meant, "Did you consider running the ball?"
It is no coincidence that Tim Tebow has thrown the ball zero times so far this season. He has a role on the team, and that role does not include throwing the ball. Mark Sanchez will have more good games and more bad games this year. However, that fact will not change.