The bubble has officially been popped.
Two weeks ago, the New York Jets were runaway favorites to continue doing damage in the AFC, on the verge of greatness, and Super Bowl-bound.
They dispatched of the NFL’s only undefeated team in Tennessee, and finally climbed over the hump in New England.
And everyone was ready to anoint them.
The problems started when the players began to believe their own press clippings. They looked at their opponents on paper, and believed they would continue to climb the standings effortlessly.
Losing two consecutive games should have forced those emotions to level off.
An all New York Super Bowl is no longer at the forefront of everyone’s minds. Right now, Jets’ fans are simply hoping to keep their playoff hopes alive.
But the truth is the New York Jets are already in the playoffs. A three-way tie in the AFC East means the Jets are in a must-win situation every week.
While some other teams have clinched berths—or are in great position to fall into the postseason—New York has two teams nipping at their heels.
Decimated with injuries, the New England Patriots are still in contention. And Chad Pennington’s surprising Miami Dolphins pose the most formidable threat to New York’s January dreams.
But the Jets have the most to lose, which should make them the most dangerous team in the NFL. It’s the Jets that have everything in place to be great.
Take one look at their roster and challenge yourself to find a reason the Jets aren’t comfortably ahead in the division.
Mike Tannenbaum’s offseason spending spree didn’t only bring talent to New York—it brought in resilient winners and competitors! There are first-round draft picks, Pro Bowlers, and championship rings all across the New York Jets.
There’s too much experience and competitive spirit on this team. Fans shouldn’t believe for a moment that these men will allow themselves to continue losing the way they did to the San Francisco 49ers and the Denver Broncos.
Their pride and honor is on the line just as much as the division. It’s an issue that transcends contracts, and means more than securing dollars for personal seat licenses in the new stadium.
A catastrophic collapse of their season would be unacceptable—not just for fans, but for themselves.
The New York Jets are in must-win territory from now until the Super Bowl. The Jets have to return to the level they played at against the New England Patriots and Tennessee Titans.
Every game could mean the end of their season. And with so many winners on their roster, fans have to believe they’re not ready to end it all in 2008.
Angel Navedo covers the New York Jets for Examiner.com. His work can also be found on NYJetsFan.com where he is the Head Writer, and on MyGridironSpace.com—a premier social networking site built exclusively for NFL fans.
He is also a Senior Writer at the Bleacher Report, where he is one of the New York Jets Community Leaders.