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No reason for Jets to apologize for tanking

Leslie Monteiro



New Jets CEO and chairman Chris Johnson came out of his bunker and spoke to the local media Wednesday afternoon. It was the least he could do just to show that he is paying attention to the Jets’ 0-2 wretched start.

He did not say much, but his comment about the Jets not tanking raised eyebrows. Someone should have cued the laugh track when he mentioned that. He can’t possibly think Jets fans are bunch of rubes, right?

We will give him the benefit of the doubt that he knows Jets fans know what the team is doing in tanking by releasing veterans in the offseason. He had to approve Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan’s idea of tanking to get a quarterback in the 2018 NFL draft, so Jets fans have to know the team’s plan for next year.


Don’t expect Johnson to admit it publicly or he would be in trouble with the NFL. It does not matter what he said. Actions speaks louder than words, and the Jets have made it clear that winning is not a priority. The goal is to be 0-16, and there is no reason for them to apologize for it because they have no choice but to do it for them to get a quarterback they can build around.

Watching Matthew Stafford will the Lions to a 24-10 victory over the Giants on Monday night at MetLife Stadium by completing 15 of 21 for 122 yards and two touchdowns, that’s the type of quarterback the Jets need for the future. They need a franchise quarterback that they can grow with.

So far, so good for the Jets when it comes to tanking. They not only lost the first two games, but they have been awful in those games. This is what the Jets front office envisioned when they had that plan. They are on track to be 0-16.

The Jets offense has been pedestrian. They have scored points to the point they scored more than the Giants have in their two games by outscoring their New York counterpart 32-13. They have done all they can with what they have to work with.

It’s the Jets defense that has been a problem. They have given up 13 plays of 40 yards or more in their first two games, and they have not tackled it when it comes to giving up big plays. Their cornerbacks have been torched by other team’s wide receivers. If this is the way the Jets defense plays all year, they are a cinch to be winless. The defense was supposed to be their strong suit, and it hasn’t happened so far.

The Jets play the Dolphins on Sunday in their home opener at MetLife Stadium. That’s a game the Jets can win since it’s a divisional game, and they always find ways to beat the Dolphins. This could be their chance of getting their first win. If not now, it could be next week when they play the Jaguars at home or when they play the Browns.

The Jets could possibly go 3-2 in the next few weeks, and that’s something the Jets fans are worried about. Three wins, and there’s a good chance the Jets may not have that opportunity to get a quarterback.

Jets fans have embraced tanking. They know the importance of having their next franchise quarterback. But the players and the coaching staff don’t feel that way, and it’s understandable why. These guys are paid professionals that work hard, and they want to see their work be rewarded by winning. They don’t want all those losses on their record. Plus, those guys may not be around next year, so what do they care if the Jets don’t get a quarterback.

Outside of the Joe Benignos and Jody McDonalds and Ira from Staten Islands of the world, tanking would constitute a successful season. Not only would the Jets draft a quarterback, but they would clean house by firing Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan and Todd Bowles. Even though Johnson said they are both safe, he has the right to change his mind, so it’s not fait accompli.

The Jets season is only interesting if they go 0-16. Four to seven wins does not make them any better or watchable. No one will notice if they win a game this year.

The Jets front office knows it. So does Johnson. Definitely, the Jets fans and season ticket-holders.

Only in the Jets’ world, a winless season can be a success. It’s how low the Jets have gone as a franchise. Even worse than the forgettable Rich Kotite’s Jets 1-15 season in 1996.

The Jets are not making any apologies for it.

They get it.

Leslie Monteiro is a syndicated sports columnist who writes about the Tri-State area teams for the Upstate Courier. He is based in Fort Lee, New Jersey, and can be reached on Twitter @MongoGoesInSane.