The chatter all week around the New York Jets was that this team had a chance to be 5-0 heading into a Week 7 game at the New England Patriots, their old nemesis. The wheels of that bandwagon fell off with a 24-17 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles that felt much worse.
After all, there was nothing but positives to report outside of some injuries to the Jets that were worrisome. The team was 2-0, the offense was better than advertised and the defense was leading the league in turnovers.
But the rebuilding job isn't quite as far along as might be envisioned, losing on Sunday to an Eagles team that was 0-2 coming into Week 3. It was self-inflicted wounds, an ugly loss in a game where they played down to their opponent's level.
Four turnovers, a touchdown given up on special teams, missed tackles and dropped passes on third down, not to mention a running game stuck in neutral. It wasn't a good afternoon as Jets head coach Todd Bowles got his first loss with the team.
"We turned the ball over and we didn't take advantage of plays. There were a bunch of things that we didn't get our fits right in the first half," Bowles said after the game. "We didn't make enough plays, we gave up a special teams touchdown."
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It wasn't that the Eagles were that good – it was that the Jets were that bad. Repeatedly, in particular in the fourth quarter, Philadelphia let the Jets back into the game. And each time it seemed, the Jets found a way to gift it back to them.
After two weeks of near flawless performances, including a +8 turnover differential, more was expected of these Jets. Instead, for at least one week, it was same old, same old.
"I think we just came out a little flat. Didn't come out as fast as we should have," wide receiver Jeremy Kerley said. "Those guys played a good game. We should have converted earlier. There was a third down I should have converted on."
It was the sloppy, undisciplined sort of game that typified former head coach Rex Ryan's teams the past four seasons. Sloppy play, untimely penalties and turnovers killed the Jets in this game.
Perhaps it was the result of too much hype. It seemed as if after two wins to start the year, everyone was talking about the Jets as being the breakout team of the season. There was a lot of talk about this game and with it being at home and a 'WhiteOut' it meant that there was a bit of extra spice to the feel around MetLife Stadium. The Jets were poised to have a great season, everyone was saying.
Two weeks ago, the Jets sent their fans home early in the fourth quarter, celebrating a blowout win in Week 1. Now Jets fans streamed to the exits early as their team looked lethargic, even as they made it close in the game's final quarter.
"Just being at home, having the crowd in it. You could feel the buzz and excitement pregame of the 'WhiteOut' and all that stuff. To come out and disappoint them, it's tough," quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick said. "Now we know we're not going to go undefeated this year with the loss and we've just got to continue to put our heads down and work. Not let this affect us in a negative way. Put our heads down and continue to put in the work and hopefully we'll see the results."