The Jets came into yesterday's game with the Panthers having lost three in a row and six of their last seven. Every week, they sunk deeper in the AFC, to the point that you had to wonder what the heck — in the wake of them, the Knicks, the Giants, and so on — you were supposed to do with your sports weekends the rest of the year. (We recommend watching the Yankees' World Series DVD over and over.) Then, they won, and all is happy and hopeful again. The NFL is so goofy.
The Jets were as uninspiring as a team could possibly be and still win, and we don't necessarily mean that as an insult. Mark Sanchez was essentially instructed to do nothing with an element of risk larger than "remain on the field" — we're pretty certain that at one point he was wearing one of those collars they give dogs so they don't bite themselves — and it worked. It helped that they were playing the Carolina Panthers and Jake Delhomme, who would have thrown six interceptions had any of his passes been remotely near another human being.
Sanchez was so cautious that he mangled a cliche in a rather epic way.
"You can't make chicken soup out of chicken dung," he said.
Something like that. Because the rest of the AFC lost yesterday — or at least those fighting the Jets for playoff position — and because the Jets' upcoming schedule is so light (Buffalo, Tampa Bay, Atlanta), Rex Ryan, Sanchez and company are suddenly optimistic about the playoffs again. But you can't make chicken soup out of chicken dung.