They consistently play hard, they consistently build early leads, and they consistently find ways to lose time and time again in the fourth quarter.
Sunday’s game against the Carolina Panthers was really a microcosm of the entire season.
The Jets built a lead and had a very good chance to beat the Carolina Panthers, who are without question one of the better teams in the NFC.
At 4-6, it was a game the Jets desperately needed if you wanted to believe that this team had a reasonable and realistic path to the postseason.
It was all there for the taking, but just like many other games this year, the Jets wilted when the game mattered the most.
Just like Buffalo in Week 1, just like Miami, just like New England and, yes, just like Atlanta.
The script never changes. The Jets lead, they inspire and they find a way to screw it up.
On Sunday, all three phases of the game were to blame.
Offensively, Josh McCown’s inability to protect the football led to the Panthers go-ahead touchdown on a fumble recovery.
On special teams, the Jets allowed a punt return for a touchdown that stretched Carolina’s lead to double digits.
Defensively, the Jets allowed the Carolina Panthers to extend drives due to a lack of discipline, racking up costly penalties that allowed Carolina to eventually score.
The same sort of ridiculous penalties that have been a constant throughout any fourth quarter collapse the Jets have had this year.
The Jets season at 4-7 is officially over.
This team has played hard all year and they should be applauded for that. However, when you continue to lose the same way, it’s an indictment on the team, the coaching staff, and everybody involved with the organization.
Over the next five games, the Jets need to show me that they’ve learned from some of these hideous mistakes.
It’s obvious that long term they need a quarterback, but if Todd Bowles wants to remain as the Jets head coach, these sort of mistakes need to be put to bed.
It can’t be same old, same old over the final five games, or it will be difficult to make a case for Bowles, who sports a 9-19 record over the last two seasons, to return.
Maybe Bowles and the Jets can petition to the NFL to end games after three quarters?
The effort is there, the execution in crunch time is not.
You can listen to me on Sunday from 2 to 6 a.m. on WFAN Sports Radio 660/1019 FM. You can also listen to me on Sunday from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. on CBS Sports Radio.
JJ’s Week 13 Unlocks
(Season Record: 27-32-1)
• New Orleans -4
• Minnesota +3
• Green Bay -2
• Seattle +4
• Cincinnati +6