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Jeopardy in Jersey: Part 1

Updated: Oct 23, 2023

By Tomas McDermott

There is good reason to panic in East Rutherford. The Giants were coming off their first playoff berth since 2016, and the Jets acquired future Hall of Fame quarterback Aaron Rodgers. The Giants and Jets have disappointed so far, starting off the season 1-5 and 3-3, respectively. Both teams have lost their quarterback. One of them beat the bruising Bills, beat the soaring Eagles, and scraped a win against the putrid Broncos, and the other narrowly came back against the lowly Cardinals. What went so wrong for these doomed teams?

Week 1: Bills at Jets

The Jets started their season catastrophically, losing Aaron Rodgers on the first drive of the game to a season-ending injury. Rodgers was the best quarterback the Jets had since Neil Armstrong landed on the moon. Against all odds, the Jets managed to stay in the game and eked out a win from a miraculous 65-yard punt return by Xavier Gipson in overtime. The Jets did not beat some team full of scrubs; they beat the Bills, who will always be perennial Super Bowl contenders if they have Josh Allen. Ever since that miracle, the Jets have crashed but have stuck the landing.

Week 2: Jets at Cowboys

To put it simply, the Jets got thumped by the Cowboys. It was not as bad as the other MetLife team, but it was still a bad loss. Future bust Zach Wilson threw three interceptions, and the running game was nonexistent. The alleged best running back duo, Breece Hall & Dalvin Cook, combined for a whopping 16 yards on 8 attempts.

The Jets had something to look forward to that they didn’t have in previous years: a game against the Patriots. This is not your dominant Patriots with Tom Brady at the helm. This is your Mac Jones Patriots that are the definition of mediocre.

Week 3: Patriots at Jets

The Jets kept the game close, holding the Patriots to 15 points, two of them from a safety. Surely, the Jets can outscore the battle of AFC East basement dwellers. Nope. The Jets managed to score a meager 10 points against the same Patriots that got killed 38-3 by the Cowboys and 34-0 by the Saints. The Jets couldn’t do anything right. Their running game was nowhere to be seen, and their passing game was dysfunctional. After that excruciating loss, they had to shake it off because they were about to face the hottest team in the league, the Chiefs.

Week 4: Chiefs at Jets

With the one and only Taylor Swift in the suite, the Jets finally played some solid football. In the first quarter, the Jets let up 17 points, and the offense had laid a goose egg. After that, the defense stepped up, only allowing the Chiefs score six points, and the offense remembered how to score points. At halftime, the Jets were only down 20-12, and it was a new ballgame. The Jets quickly scored and got a two-point conversion to tie up the game after halftime. With 10 minutes left, the Chiefs were ahead 23-20. The Jets were driving down the field and Murphy’s law kicked in for the Jets. Zach Wilson fumbled the snap, and the Chiefs recovered.

The Chiefs were running down the clock, and the Jets got unlucky yet again. With third-and-23, K.C. was in trouble. Patrick Mahomes had enough time in the pocket to write a book, thanks to an egregious hold by o-lineman Donovan Smith. The refs turned a blind eye, and Mahomes scrambled 25 yards for a first down. A couple of plays later, it was another third and long for Mahomes. He aired it out and it was picked off by cornerback Michael Carter, who made a decent return. The comeback seemed promising for the Jets, but there was a pesky flag on the field. The refs called a BS holding on Sauce Gardner. It looked like a typical play, but the refs always let their ego get in the way of the game. The Chiefs ran down the clock. After this officiating disgrace, the Jets finally got a break. They were about to play the Broncos, who had given up 70 points to the Dolphins.

Week 5: Jets at Broncos:

This was an unexpected thriller. The first half was mostly uneventful. Russell Wilson got a safety from an intentional grounding. The Jets were frustratingly inefficient in the red zone. At halftime, it was 13-8 Broncos. On their first possession of the half, Breece Hall broke away for a 72-yard touchdown to get the lead. After three consecutive field goals, the Jets were up 24-13. The Broncos weren’t deterred and scored a touchdown and two-point conversion. The Jets were running down the clock when disaster struck. Zach Wilson threw a pick and gave the Broncos life again. Starting at their own third-yard line, the Broncos were slowly driving when the other Wilson messed up. With 29 seconds left, Russell was sacked and fumbled. The Jets recovered and scored. Ball Game over. The Jets defense carried them this week by recovering three fumbles. This game might have been easy, but they had their hardest challenge yet next week. They were facing the undefeated Eagles, who made the Super Bowl last year.

Tony Adams game-winning interception vs Eagles

Week 6: Eagles at Jets

To be frank, the Jets historically suck against the Eagles. They were 0-12 against them coming into the game. In the first half, the Eagles were playing good football. They were stopping the Jets in the red zone, holding them to three field goals. The Eagles scored two touchdowns and were up 14-9 at halftime. The first score after halftime was a Jets field goal that put them two points away from tying. Jalen Hurts threw another pick, but the Jets yet again couldn’t capitalize. The Eagles drove down the field and missed a 37-yard field goal. With eight minutes to go, the Jets offense stalled and punted. The Eagles ran down the clock and got to a third-and-9 with 1:50 to go. It would be wise to run the ball, since the Jets had no timeouts. Instead, Hurts was INTERCEPTED by Tony Adams. He returned it to the Eagles 8, and the game was over. All the Jets had to do was bleed the clock to five seconds and kick a chip shot field goal. That’s not what happened. Breece Hall scored on the first play, wasting no time. Jets' defense let Hall score, giving the Eagles enough time to come back. After three unsuccessful pass plays, it was 4th-and-long. With the game on the line, Hurts heaved it deep to Devonta Smith, and it was nearly picked off. He bobbled it, and the Jets kneeled the clock out.

Could the Jets still make the playoffs after this mediocre start? It is possible. The Jets have 7 seven winnable games left, but they could upset big teams like we have seen so far. Zach Wilson hasn’t played that badly, but the Jets have been linked to trading for Kirk Cousins. It would be difficult; he has a no-trade clause. It would also definitely be difficult to build chemistry with his team. If he does move to New York, Cousins could win it all with this talented roster. All the Jets need to win is a good quarterback.

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