SEATTLE — Another season, another year of Gang Green fans being disappointed.
That was made official Sunday afternoon as the Jets suffered their fifth consecutive loss, this time by the Seahawks 23-6. The loss ensured the Jets would miss the playoffs for the 12th straight season, a franchise record.
The 2022 season has been a whirlwind for the Jets organization and their players. This year, no one expected the Jets to make the playoffs as this was a season for developing their young talent and showing marked improvement from Robert Saleh’s 4-13 first season as coach.
They began the season 1-2, without its then-starting quarterback Zach Wilson, who was out due to a preseason meniscus injury. However, they went 4-1 in October.
The Jets were 6-3 at their bye week and were on top of the world after defeating the Bills with the team looking like they were headed towards the playoffs. Everything began crashing down for the team during the second half of the season.
Gang Green is 1-6 since the bye, as not only has the team’s offense been a no-show the last two weeks after not registering a touchdown, but its defense has also slipped.
“We feel like we blew the season,” Jets wide receiver Garrett Wilson said. “We wanted a chance at the playoffs, and this means that we are not going.
“At the end of the day, that’s what we want to do and have a chance to prove ourselves beyond that. We didn’t get there, so we don’t feel good about it at all.”
Sunday’s loss against the Seahawks leaves the Jets with more questions than answers as the season will come to a close in a week. This year was supposed to be the year the Jets found out about Zach Wilson after a mediocre rookie season.
Not only did Wilson not take the next step in his development, but he also took a step backwards in the process. Despite going 5-4 in his nine starts this season, Wilson passed for only 1,688 yards, six touchdowns and seven interceptions while completing an NFL-worst 54.5% of his passes.
Wilson was benched for Mike White twice, the first time following the loss to the Patriots in November. Then after Wilson’s poor showing against the Jaguars on Dec. 22 in the Jets 19-3 loss, the team went back to White for the game against the Seahawks with their playoff lives at stake.
Not only did White play poorly coming off his fractured ribs that kept him out for two weeks, but he had his worst performance of the season. He completed 23 of 46 passes for 240 yards and two interceptions with a passer rating of 47.4.
Now not only will the Jets miss the playoffs, they have quarterback questions once again. Saleh and the team have said they will continue developing Wilson and hope he can mature into their franchise quarterback. But it’s difficult to see the Jets coaching staff going into 2023 with Wilson as their starting quarterback when the pressure to make the playoffs will be mounting.
Meanwhile, White had an opportunity to take the bull by the horns and show why he should be the Jets starting quarterback for not only the last two games of the regular season but potentially a playoff game and the 2023 season. However, he failed to do that with his performance and White will be a free agent after the season’s end.
It certainly didn’t help that the quarterback the Jets gave up on years ago, Geno Smith, outplayed White as he finished 18 of 29 for 183 yards and two touchdowns.
After he spoke to the media at the podium, White sat at his locker with his head down, defeated as the Jets had another opportunity to show why they belong in the postseason party, but they blew it.
“It stinks,” White said about losing to the Seahawks with a possible chance to make the playoffs. “It’s tough, it’s gutwrenching, it’s all the above.
“You can use whatever adjective you want to use to describe it. By no means are there no moral victories. In the grand scheme of things, we are playing meaningful football late in the season.
“But also we are at the point where we don’t care about moral victories, we don’t care if we are playing meaningful games, but we know what we are capable of. I know every single person in this locker room is going to use this game as fuel, myself included.
“Now, it stings.”
Now all the Jets can do now is try and play spoiler against their division rival Dolphins next weekend. Like the Jets, The Dolphins also lost their fifth consecutive game Sunday as the Patriots defeated them 23-21.
Miami still has a chance to make the playoffs, but it would need to defeat the Jets and hope the Patriots lose to the Bills next weekend. The Jets will be playing for pride and to prevent a six-game losing streak entering the offseason that will undoubtedly be full of changes to the team’s roster and maybe Saleh’s coaching staff.
“We have a tremendous young core, I do believe that,” Saleh said. “I look at the first half of our season fully healthy going into the bye week, we are 6-3 and everything is looking up and then one thing leads into another.
“These last few games haven’t been anywhere near playoff-caliber football for us. You lose to a Minnesota team at the last second, you lose to a Buffalo team at the last second, you lose to the Lions in the last second.
“I know we are close. I know we have made a lot of headway the last two years and we will continue to do so.”