Let's be as clear as possible about this: There is absolutely no reason for the Jets to lose tonight to the Miami Dolphins. The Dolphins weren't very good before quarterback Chad Henne got hurt; now they're trotting out poor overmatched Matt Moore against a defense that will be salivating. The Jets haven't been home since September 18, back when the St. Louis Cardinals were three and a half games behind the Atlanta Braves with ten games to go. (Ahem.) It's the first Jets Monday Night game since last December 6, when they were trounced 45-3 by the Patriots. They've lost three in a row at home to Miami. Everything points to a win. But ...
Fact is, the Jets have lost three in a row, and even though those losses were to three quality teams (Oakland, Baltimore, and New England), on the road, it tends to put a team in a poor state of mind. (Hence, all the Scottenheimer and wide-receiver bickering.) This is how seasons go downhill fast.
The Jets should win tonight. But if they don't, they might be toast. Don't think they don't know it either.
[Coach Rex] Ryan admitted that he won't need any additional motivation for his players Monday night. "We look in the mirror and we see 0-3 in our last three (games)," he said. "In baseball, you got 162 games, so basically when you lose a (football) game, that's almost like the equivalent of a 10-game losing streak," Ryan said. "So we're on a 30-game losing streak, if you will. So that's how desperate you feel to try to get a victory."
There doesn't seem to be a sense that the fans have turned on the Jets, though, honestly, it has been so long since they played a home game that, well, how would we know? As usual, a lot of this will come down to the Jets winning the turnover battle; the Jets need to get back to their ball control offense and big-play defense. There have been signs of that over the last few weeks, during the losses, but it hasn't come together. Hence the losses.
Mostly, it would behoove the Jets to get off to a big start. Because if this game is tight late, and the doom starts to set in ... well, the best way to forget about three straight losses is to get an easy win, which is the opportunity the Jets have tonight. The worst way to forget about three straight losses is to make it four. It's a silly game against a lesser team, but this could end up being one of the most important games since Ryan came to town.