The New York Jets are 3-4 and, all told, that feels like a record that is hard-earned and justified. They've played two complete games (Buffalo, Indianapolis), lucked one win out (Miami), played hard but fell short twice (New England, Houston), and have been absolutely drilled twice (Pittsburgh, San Francisco). That's a recipe for a 3-4 record if we've ever seen one. They're still yakking like they're 5-2, though. Bless their heart.
The Jets have continued their multi-year experiment in pleasing beat reporters with easy, quotable story lines by fighting with the Miami Dolphins, their Week Eight opponent. (The game's at 1 p.m. Sunday.) The two teams were battling when they played earlier this year, with Reggie Bush blaming Rex Ryan for his knee injury. Ryan denied that and bashed Bush for saying "what goes around comes around" when Darrelle Revis got hurt.
Now it's Aaron Maybin, occasional Jets linebacker, hopping in, saying the Jets wanted "to knock Bush out of the game," albeit "legally." That started all this back up again, with the Dolphins mocking Maybin and there being more promises of violence and so on and so forth. It's a shame that this all has to end with an actual game.
About that game: It's probably the most winnable game left on the Jets' schedule, along with a home game against Arizona on December 2 and a road game at Jacksonville on December 9. (That's not saying that the Jets will lose all the other ones, just that the rest of the schedule is so tough.) And it's an absolutely vital one. Lose Sunday, and the Jets are 3-5 coming into the bye week, with two road games afterwards. A win evens them out and gives them a fortnight to heal injuries, catch their breath, and figure out the rest of the season. A loss, and this gets out of control fast.
The Jets probably should have lost to the Dolphins in Week Three but caught just enough breaks to sneak by. The key will be the running game, as always: Shonn Greene had a grand old time two weeks ago, but the Dolphins have a better defensive front than the Colts. As usual, the opposition will try to force Mark Sanchez to beat them. So we're back to that story line again. So far, somehow, the Jets have avoided the implosion everyone has been predicting for them all year. Here's betting that the Jets have just enough to avoid it this week as well. Jets 24, Dolphins 13.