As week 17 rolls along, with the playoff picture almost fully set, fans of teams out of the tournament are left to look back at what could have been. The fan base with perhaps the most reminiscing would be New York Jets fans. Just 5 months ago, the end of August, Jet fans were counting down the days until the home opener. A young quarterback, a newly signed all pro running back and linebacker had fans believing this could be the year, maybe not to win a Super Bowl, but to get back to the playoffs, the Jets have not been since 2010. Unfortunately for us, it took all but one game, and a sequence of 3 days to have a once promising season turn into a disaster. The same old Jets.
September 8th, around 3 o'clock, the Jets were leading their week 1 matchup 16-0 over the Buffalo Bills, MetLife Stadium was rocking, Le'veon Bell had just scored his first touchdown in green and white, and earlier in the game their other prized free agent CJ Mosley had an interception for a touchdown. Life was good, and life as a Jets fan was looking as promising as ever, they had a 2 score lead late in the 3rd quarter against a team known for their defense. Hold the Bills to less than 16 points in the 4th quarter and the Jets are 1-0. Too good to be true. Not many people will talk about this because they will say in hindsight two plays can not determine the outcome of the rest of the season but I will tell you how they did for the Jets.
Early in the 4th quarter, the Bills faced a 3rd and 12 from about midfield, Josh Allen dropped back and threw a ball high and incomplete and the Jets were about to get the ball back, with the game fully in their control. Then the stadium saw yellow. Henry Anderson was flagged for a 15 yard roughing the passer penalty and the Bills drive was extended. 2 plays later, on 3rd down, there was a throw down the middle of the field, it was knocked down and the Bills were forced to kick, making the game 16-3. Who cares about that 15 yard penalty right? It only cost the Jets 3 points. Wrong. In coverage on that play was CJ Mosley, who was making that 85 million dollar contract look worth every penny, when he got up from that play, Mosley was grabbing his groin. The groin injury that would end his season. The groin injury that would dictate the rest of the game for the Jets. Mosley was knocked out and the Jets defense could not recover, because Mosley was such a huge part of their defensive scheme to confuse Allen. The Jets were forced into some simple defensive packages and the Bills dominated the 4th quarter winning the game 17-16.
Play 1: Roughing the Passer + Play 2: Mosley in coverage tearing his groin = Jets season over.
With Mosley the Jets win week 1 and are 1-0 and who knows what he means for that defense going forward. Throw on the fact the Sam Darnold gets mono, the league record 65 million dollars of salary cap on injured reserve and you have a recipe for a lost season, which is exactly what 2019 is. 2019 is another long, lost season in Jets history in which they have added countless unbelievable records, like the first team to lose to 2 winless teams in weeks 7 or later. This year was the toughest of my Jets fandom, as I do not think I have been as pumped for a season in my life. The one thing I will say though, is I have become numb to this feeling, sitting here, in week 17, wondering what moves are next, wondering what next year will be like…. Let's just hope it is better than this one.