Considering Tuesday night is almost over, it is time to shake off those good feelings from the Jets surprise victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers and turn the focus to another difficult road game this week, against the 10-4 Chicago Bears.
Momentum is a key thing in the NFL, especially at this time of the year. We saw this firsthand last year, when a 7-7 Jets team built up some confidence in the final weeks of the season and then got hot at the right time to reach the AFC Championship Game.
There really isn't a better way for this team to build confidence than by winning back to back games over two playoff teams and two likely division winners, if Pittsburgh can handle their business. The environment in PIttsburgh last week and Chicago this week are playoff type atmospheres, which are excellent preparation for another long January run. The Buffalo Bills are playing far superior to their 4-10 record as well and will provide the Jets a nice challenge in week 17. There is a big difference from entering the playoffs at 11-5 or 10-6 with help from another team and charging in at 12-4 on a 3 game winning streak. What are those people who yap about the Jets being lucky or mediocre going to say if they beat a 10-3 Pittsburgh team in their building, followed by beating a 10-4 Chicago team in their building?
This is the time of the year for Brian Schottenheimer to build on his performance last week and keep defenses guessing with creative, smart play-calling. It is time for Mark Sanchez to start stringing together strong games. It is especially time for Rex Ryan to dial up those blitzes he is famous for and come after Jay Cutler and that shaky offensive line.
The Jets must avoid stubbing their toe this week in Chicago. 12-4 is the record that this team should be and for that to happen, they must handle their business on Sunday. Hey, maybe New England will choke away their last two games and the Jets will win the AFC East...we can all dream, right?