Bye Week Blues
The question that the Jets players, coaches and fans alike need to be asking themselves is will this be the year Rex Ryan is finally able to achieve where he has failed his first two years as Jets head coach? No not win a super bowl, but win the game following their bye week. Jets nation sure better hope that they can, because a loss to the Bills this week would put a huge dent into the once Super Bowl favorites playoff hopes.
For the first time this year the Jets are coming off two consecutive well played games. Against the Dolphins the Jets offense was horrible for the majority of the first half, but once they were able to punch the ball into the end zone, the offense settled down and began to for maybe the first time this year play Jets football. The Following week, the Jets played the first complete game of the year against the Chargers. The defense played well stifling the Chargers potentially potent passing offense. As for the Offense, they not only got back to the Ground and Pound philosophy for the first time since 2010, but they were also able to finally make Plaxico Burress a force in the red zone.
However the Jets are facing one of their most formidable foes of the Rex Ryan era, the bye week. Following their bye week in 2009 the Jets suffered a heartbreaking loss to the Jaguars which concluded with Maurice Jones-Drew making the heads up playing of taking a knee at the one instead of running the ball into the end zone, which cost the Jets a chance to make a last second comeback. Last year, coming off the bye week on Halloween, the Jets offense dressed up as a high school football team against the packers. The Jets lost 9-0 to the Packers in what is more than likely the worst offensive game of the Rex Ryan Era.
Both of those years, as we all well know the Jets were able to make it into the playoffs and into the AFC Championship game. The Jets have a better record coming off their bye then they did in 2009; however they also now have to deal with something that seemed nearly impossible back then, a more than formidable Bills team. The Jets currently sit a game behind both the Bills and Patriots in the AFC East and if the Jets are to have any chance of winning the division, let alone have a good chance of even making the playoffs, they need to beat the Bills this week up in Buffalo.
If the Jets are to come out and beat the Bills then no matter what happens between the Patriots and the Giants this week, the Jets will be playing for first place in the AFC East when New England comes to town next week. Can you imagine that? After being basically written off following their 3 game road skid, with two wins in the next two weeks the Jets will be in the driver seat for the AFC East division title.
In the next four weeks the Jets play in order @ Buffalo, New England, @ Denver and then home against Buffalo. If the Jets are to win these next two games and then more than likely crush the Tebow led Broncos, the Jets will be sitting pretty as they March towards the division title. In the five games following this crucial stretch of games, the jets have very winnable games @ Washington, Kansas City and then @ Miami to end the season. The only two games that they should actually be concerned with is the two week span when they play @ Philadelphia and then a home game against the Giants in the battle for New York on Christmas Eve.
The Bills and Patriots both also have easy schedules down the stretch as well. However, if the Jets are able to take these next two games and hopefully beat the Bills at home, the Jets will be in the driver seat to do something else that they have failed to do under Rex Ryan, win the AFC East. Doing so would go a long way towards helping the Jets get over the AFC Championship hump because they won't have to win three straight games on the road.
All this sounds great and is something that many analysts and Jet fans alike would have thought impossible following the loss in New England. However, it will all be for not if the Jets can't come out and beat the Bills. If the Jets don't beat the Bills they have almost no shot of winning the division and would end up probably having to again sneak into the playoffs if they would even be able to get in.
So for Rex and company, if you really want to be the team that you claim you still are, and if you want to even have the chance of making Rex's prediction come true, you need to say goodbye to your bye week blues and Ground and Pound the Bills all over the field on Sunday.