Okay, I know the Jets aren’t going to win the Super Bowl this season. However, there is reason to be hopeful if you are a New York Jets fan. The New York Jets faced many obstacles heading into the 2006 NFL season. The Jets ended last season with a 4-12 record, finishing in last place in the AFC East. Their former coach, Herm Edwards, went to Kansas City, leaving the Jets with a coaching vacancy. The New York Jets hired 35-year-old Eric Mangini to replace Herm Edwards. With a rookie head coach in place, the Jets were not sure what to expect. In addition to questions about their new coach, the Jets also faced other difficult questions. How could the Jets win without their star running back, Curtis Martin, who was out with a knee injury? Would Chad Pennington be healthy enough to be effective at quarterback for the New York Jets? There were a lot of questions, but not many answers heading into the 2006 NFL season.
With a third of the season over, there is some good news for the New York Jets. Although the Jets are not tearing up the NFL, they are playing well, with the exception of their embarrassing loss in Jacksonville. The Jets have won two tough road games and have been competitive against AFC powerhouses Indianapolis and New England. The New York Jets were in the game until the very end against both the Colts and the Patriots. In fact, they were one defensive stop away from beating the Colts. The Jets could not stop Peyton Manning and the Colts from a last minute scoring drive, but then again few teams could. Heading into the 2006 NFL season, nobody would have thought the Jets could be competitive against the Colts. Despite a disappointing loss to the Colts, this was a good sign for the New York Jets.
The Jets may have gained some confidence from the Colts game, but they quickly lost it in Jacksonville. The Jets were 2-2 going into Jacksonville, but were destroyed by the Jaguars 41-0. Jacksonville is a good team with a tough defense, but this loss was just plain humiliating. The Jets did not look like the same team that played New England and Indianapolis down to the wire. The loss to Jacksonville proved that this Jets team will be inconsistent. The Jets rebounded from their loss to Jacksonville with a home victory over the Miami Dolphins. The win against the Dolphins improved the Jets’ record to 3-3.
With a .500 record at this point in the season, the New York Jets are doing better than most people expected. Looking on the bright side, the New York Jets have perhaps the best schedule in the NFL from here on out. With the exception of games against Chicago and New England, the Jets play eight teams that they could easily beat. The New York Jets face Detroit, Cleveland, Houston, Green Bay, Buffalo, Minnesota, Miami, and Oakland. These opponents are mediocre at best, and the Jets can compete with all of them. The question now is which team will show up. Will it be the Jets that almost beat the Colts, or the Jets that were blown out by the Jaguars? We will have to wait and see.
The good news for Jets fans is that Pennington has looked sharp, with the exception of the Jacksonville game. The Jets have been able to move the ball on offense and have been putting points on the board. If Chad can stay healthy, the Jets have a good chance to finish 2006 with a winning season, and possibly make the NFL playoffs. Realistically, the New York Jets could get a win in Miami this year. The win will be against the Dolphins, however, and not in the Super Bowl. Hey, after last season, a chance to make the playoffs is good news for Jets fans. As a lifelong Jets fan, I’ll take all the good news that I can get.