The Jets sit at 5-3 in a three-way tie for first in the ultra competitive AFC East. The New York Jets are, no pun intended, flying high.
What's even more impressive is that they could be 6-2. The loss to the Raiders almost a win, even though they played their worst game of the year that day.
Wins are wins though, so the team cannot complain. The biggest game of the season may be this upcoming Sunday for the Jets.
The Jets are at home against the St. Louis Rams. The Rams are currently 2-6 and getting outscored 235-125. They are playing while nursing injuries to such stars as Steven Jackson and Drew Bennett.
This should be a very easy game for the Jets, right? They should be 6-3 without much effort at the end of the action on Sunday, correct? They should start to increase their hold on the AFC East, right?
Not so fast!
This is the ultimate trap game for the Jets. When a 2-6 team is coming to town with tougher games ahead on the schedule, the Jets could start to think about the postseason halfway through the 16-game grind. The Rams cannot be overlooked though.
If they are, the Jets will be sorry.
First, the offense is starting to look like it actually is playing the game of football. Marc Bulger is starting to earn his paycheck a bit; Donnie Avery is quickly becoming a dark horse for Rookie of the Year, and the defense is making plays from time to time.
One only has to ask the Redskins and the Cowboys about these facts. They each went into their matchup against the Rams thinking it would be a walk in the park. The Redskins went sleep-walking through a tough loss. Meanwhile, the Cowboys—yes, they were injured—lost to the Rams from whistle to whistle for four quarters of football.
They also have former Saints coach, Jim Haslett, as their interim coach. He is looking for a permanent position in the NFL again. Haslett will do almost anything to remove the "interim" title from his name, so don't take him lightly. He won't be pulling out the stops when looking at the playbook.
As if this is not enough, this is the New York Jets that are being discussed. The Jets, while extremely talented, have always had a tendency to play down to the level of competition. This has always hurt them in past games.
When combined with the recent rise into first place, this game spells trouble for the Jets. The Rams could very well go into their stadium and beat them up for four quarters of play because of the Jets being content.
Will it happen though? Will the Rams knock the Jets down to 5-4, and maybe off their current unexpected perch atop the AFC East?
It’s only Wednesday, so this will be discussed more in a few days. For now, the Jets must practice with high intensity and take nothing for granted. If they do so, they can win. If they don't, it could result in an embarrassing loss.