While Tim Tebow, unnamed sources, named sources, Woody Johnson, Mark Sanchez and Rex Ryan have been all the headlines surrounding the New York Jets this week, they're still a football team. They're a 3-6 football team, with seven games left, and a game this Sunday. Losers of three straight, the Jets head back to the road to take on the St. Louis Rams.
In the spirit of this week's coverage of the Jets, we're going to use this space to point out that the Jets' toughest opponents on Sunday may be themselves. Their season appears to be crashing down. Depending on who you believe, they're a fractured locker room who is on the verge of totally breaking apart for the second straight year - this season a lot earlier on than last. On Sunday in the Rams, the Jets have an opponent who isn't much better than them, if they're better at all. The Rams are a very beatable team, even for the Jets. But do they believe that?
It helps in every game, in every sport for that matter, to get off to a good start. For some teams it matters more, and you'd be hard-pressed to find a team that needs a good start in a specific game than the Jets do on Sunday. What happens if the Jets go down 7-0 right away? What if the offense goes three-and-out on the game's opening drive. What if - the worst case scenario - Sanchez throws an interception on the opening drive? If the Jets don't jump out to a lead on Sunday, how they react will be very telling as to if they're really as fractured and screwed up as they seem.
The Jets are rightfully underdogs. There aren't too many teams that they would deserve to be favored over at this point. But the NFL is a league in which every week most of the games are close. The Jets, however, have been getting blown out quite consistently this season. With the games just about meaningless in terms of playoff contention, will the Jets show a little fight?
If they won't do it for the team's dismally-faint playoff hopes, well, they should all be playing for their jobs at this point. Maybe that's the motivation Sanchez, Ryan and the rest of the team needs.