New York Jets Being 9-2...No Apologies Necessary

Leslie MonteiroSenior Analyst INovember 26, 2010

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - NOVEMBER 25: Head Coach Rex Ryan of the New York Jets watche the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at New Meadowlands Stadium on November 25, 2010 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Jets defeated the Bengal 26-10.  (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Chris Trotman/Getty Images

In the beginning of last night’s NFL Network telecast, Bob Papa asked Joe Theismann and Matt Millen if the Jets are the real deal. Both of them answered no, and they kept rambling on all night long.

It isn’t just them. On sports radio, talkies complain the Jets are having lapses in games. They expect that team to demolish opponents every game.

It’s amusing. Only in New York, Monday morning quarterbacks complain about style points. Name any other town that complains about their football team being 9-2.

Fortunately, Jets fans have been satisfied, and they should be. The Jets are not perfect, but what other team is? No one is dominating the NFL this year.

It’s hard to be 9-2 in the NFL these days. As the Jets can attest, every game is hard, yet they find a way to win these games. That’s what matters at the end of the day. Last year, folks ripped them for losing to teams they have no business losing, so critics can’t have it both ways by saying they are beating only bad teams.

From this perspective, this is a good team that will get better. They have the foundation that can win football games. They know how to win games, and that can go a long way in hoisting the Vince Lombardi trophy.

This team is not perfect. Their defense can let their guard down after a big lead. Their offense has been inconsistent at times. Their special teams struggle once in a month. Rex Ryan needs to know clock management.

Here’s the deal though. The elite teams have the same issues. The Patriots are winning now, but their defense does not scare anyone. That’s why the Jets have a good shot of beating the Patriots next Monday night.

As great as the Ravens, Falcons, Steelers, Packers, Saints and the Eagles are, they have been inconsistent this year. Let’s not attack the Jets only.

It is amusing people praise the Giants this year. Never mind they have been overrated all season long. They beat teams they should be beating, but no one will complain about it. It’s funny how that works.

One wonders if critics have an agenda with Rex Ryan. Most of them are waiting for the chance to rip the guy after a loss, and some are giddy about it.

No one likes it when Ryan or players on his team talk, so when the Jets win or lose, people will either critique or gloat. That’s what bitter people do.

It may be far-fetched to think that way, but then again, how come no one rips other teams? Somehow if the Jets had choir boys that were winning, not a peep would be heard.

Let’s hope the Jets don’t use outsiders as motivation. This type of stuff is for high schoolers. Their performance should inspire the team to improve and get better.

They have an opportunity to make an impression this month. The Patriots, Dolphins, Steelers and the Bears will get the Jets to step up their game. That means Ryan will have his team pay attention to detail. Their defense will improve and not take plays off. Their offense will be clicking.

Looking at the talent of this team and how they played all season, look for them to step up and be better than what they showed. They shouldn’t bow down to the four teams they are playing this month. They are better than them.

This is a team that expects to win the Super Bowl this year. This was a team that went to the AFC Championship Game last year. They were 40 minutes away from going to the Super Bowl last year.

There’s no reason for the Jets to all of sudden get exposed. Mike Tannenbaum made additions this offseason in an attempt to accomplish their goal. So far, it worked out fine. Jason Taylor, LaDainian Tomlinson and Santonio Holmes performed well.

The leadership has been there all season. Those guys never let up. They prepare every week, and it shows in their victories.

Their stinkers came against the Ravens and the Packers, and that’s what folks harp on. It’s unfair to judge the Jets on that. There were circumstances in both of those losses.

When the Jets played the Ravens on Opening Night, Mark Sanchez did not get reps in the preseason. It wasn’t a coincidence he struggled against the Ravens after not playing for so long.

In the Packers game, the Jets were coming off a bye week. Football teams struggle after a week off.  Players vacation for a week, so they are going to forget their routine after coming back.  It results in bad practices and bad performance on Sundays or Mondays.

It’s hard to judge the team based on that. The best way to judge the Jets is December. This is their time. They know what’s at stake.

The players and the coaching staff believe, but results matter more, especially in this town.  If the Jets lose to the Patriots and go on a slide, cynics will start speaking their mind. It’s just the way it is.

There are long-time Jets fans who suffered disappointment. They want a reason to believe. It’s up to the team to do something about it.

Next Monday night will be a revelation. The nation will watch two great teams go at it. This will likely be the preview of the AFC Championship Game.

The division, homefield and respect are all on the line. There will be more pressure on the Jets than the Patriots.  

Here’s hoping the Jets win just to spite those haters.