Before the 2008 season, the New York Jets spent an inordinate amount of money to improve their team, signing Alan Faneca, Calvin Pace, Damien Woody, and Ty Law. Later, they would end up bringing an odd fellow named Favre into the fold as well. The message was clear: Coach Eric Mangini and company were all in. It was 2008 or bust. That didn't work, obviously, and when that doesn't work, for most teams, that leads to a rebuilding exercise the next season. This was the Jets' plan: a new coach, a rookie quarterback, a new philosophy. This is still the plan. This is what was supposed to happen.
In the wake of the Jets' 31–14 loss to the Patriots yesterday, a loss that all but eliminates them from serious playoff consideration, it's important to remember that this is not the end of the world. The hot start to the season, the supposed preternatural poise of Mark Sanchez, the goofball tubby head coach, served to distract us, to make us feel as if the Jets really could rebuild on the fly. It is not that easy.
At this point, the Jets look like they have a 6–10 season ahead of them, and if you would have been told that before the season would have started, you would have been all right with that. You would have wanted more, but as long as Sanchez progressed, and as long as there seemed to be a logical leadership structure, that would have been fine. Heck, the Jets brought in a desperately needed potential superstar wide receiver. This is all progress. Even if the coach cries every once in a while.
So, don't worry. Don't let this loss, this now-lost season, get you down. It is not ideal, but it is progress. It's just six more games to hone, to focus, to prepare for next season. Football teams go through this all the time. It was just the Jets' turn. In actuality, it's good news. Right?
Also: You can essentially stop watching the Jets until next season. That's good news, too.