Are you really so committed to the cause of the tank that this didn’t bother you? Have you really shut off all your feelings, all your emotions, all your stored-up hatred of the New England Patriots that this loss — this 30-27 loss, the most Jetsian of all Jets losses — didn’t keep you awake a little last night?
If so … well, as they say, God bless.
Because this is in almost every circumstance the kind of loss that makes you question the very notion of caring about sports. This is the kind of tease, the kind of taunt, that goes the other way at the last second — literally, the last second — and leaves you nauseous.
The Jets were up 20-10. They were up 27-17. They had the game in their hands — or, more specifically, in the veteran hands of Joe Flacco. Joe Cool had played a terrific game for the first 3 ½ quarters. He’d thrown three TD passes. He’d become a hero in Jacksonville, Fla., where the Jaguars — the Jets’ chief competition for the No. 1 overall pick — reside.
Then, he must have looked around.
Must have taken a look at his green vestments.
And thought to himself: How can I best fit in around here?
Here’s how: Rather than melt the clock with a seven-point lead, I can throw a ball up for grabs into double-coverage. The Pats may not be very good this year but they are still stocked with players who can make winning plays. Interception.
Here’s how: With the ball back in a tie game, and the Pats seemingly willing to take their chances at overtime, I can take a gruesome sack on second down, the single biggest reason there was just enough time for a game-winning field goal.
Now, maybe you are grateful for Flacco for doing all of this. Maybe you are so dead inside as a fan that you truly do embrace the notion of 0-16, of Trevor Lawrence, and maybe, five years from now, you’ll look back fondly at all of this.
If so, good for you. I guess.
The Jets are not yet in the conversation for the worst football team in NFL history. There’s still a lot of losing to be done before they can join the pitiable ranks of the 2017 Browns and 2008 Lions, who went 0-16, or the ’76 Buccaneers, who went 0-14, or the ’60 Cowboys, who went 0-11-1, or the ’82 Colts, who went 0-8-1.
Lots of (bad) ballgame left, as they say.
But the Jets did exit Monday night’s tilt with their ancient rivals from New England in fine shape to take a few more steps to make a real go of the race for worst team in New York’s pro football history. For 76 glorious years, that has been the solo purview of the 1944 Brooklyn Tigers, who played 10 games and lost them all.
That was an odd season for sure. On Oct. 30, coach Pete Cawthon resigned with the team sitting at 0-5 when he had a loud argument with GM Tom Gallery that nearly came to fisticuffs.
“He kept sabotaging me,” Cawthon said of his boss. “I couldn’t take or tolerate the interference any longer.”
Gallery offered the job to line coach Ed Kubale, who (not surprisingly) was reluctant to sign on: “This thing came like a bolt out of the blue,” Kubale said. “I’ll sleep on it and go to Brooklyn in the morning.”
When morning arrived, so did a dubious decision: Kubale would be joined by end coach Frank Bridges, and they would serve as “co-coaches.”
“We have played stinking football,” Cawthon declared. “If the new coaches show promising results they will return.”
(NOTE TO CHRISTOPHER JOHNSON: if we can’t have entertaining football, can’t we have cool front-office intrigue like this?)
That would make as much sense as anything else. Like not caring about losing to the Patriots. The Patriots!
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