All the good vibrations from a loss two weeks ago at the New England Patriots are gone for the New York Jets, who now face an era of uncertainty.

A once vaunted defense has been mediocre (to put it kindly) the past two games, exposed in their pass defense in particular the past two games. The offense is a giant question mark as well given the health of quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. Factor in that their opponent, the Jacksonville Jaguars, are refreshed coming off a bye week and had an impressive win two weeks ago against the Buffalo Bills makes this far from an easy game for the Jets.

A game that, at 4-3, is close to must-win if this team seriously wants to challenge for a Wild Card berth.

Three Things to Watch from the Jets in Week 9

Thumbs Up

The torn ligaments in Ryan Fitzpatrick’s left thumb surely haven’t healed all the way but the Jets quarterback is going to be the starter for this Sunday’s game. The injury was bad enough to knock him out of last Sunday’s loss at the Oakland Raiders, something that put the entire offense on their back foot for the rest of the first half. Is an injured Fitzpatrick really better than a slightly dinged up Geno Smith? Fitzpatrick’s injury is bad enough to require surgery at some point.

“I’m extremely confident. I don’t want to put the team in a position where I’m going to go out and hurt the team and turn the ball over or try to be a hero because something is compromised,” Fitzpatrick said. “I want to go out there and help the team. If I can do that without putting me or the team in a compromising position then I will and I think I’m going to be able to do that.”

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Cromartie Bounces Back

Against the Raiders last week, Antonio Cromartie might have put in the worst performance of his NFL career. Playing opposite Darrelle Revis, Cromartie will necessarily be tested as opposing quarterbacks are likely to throw away from one of the game’s best cornerbacks. But against the Raiders, Cromartie was terrible in coverage and his tackling was even worse than that. He is showing a diminishing skill set since training camp and needs to bounce back in a major way for the jets defense to click like it is supposed to. 

Jaguars Got Some Bite

Two weeks ago against the Bills, it was the Jaguars who put together an impressive comeback win in London. Having lost their previous four games coming into the Bills game, it would have been easy for Jacksonville to have folded when they were down in the second half but instead they showed incredible resilience and character.

“For our players to bounce back like you said go out there and there’s a lot of lessons from that game. We got out to a big lead and they came back, and then to fight back I think, shows the resolve of our team,” Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley said. “Very pleased with the overall performance and what we gained from that.”

It might just be a building block for the Jaguars program.