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By: Billy Riccette
To go from 7-4 to 7-8 in the midst of a playoff pursuit can be deflating for any franchise. It becomes easy to get caught up in all the negativity that seems to be closing in around you. Head coach Robert Saleh is doing his best to keep a positive attitude around One Jets Drive, especially with the Jets still in the playoff hunt after getting some fortunate results on Christmas weekend even after losing on Thursday against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
“We’ve played four teams that are all in the thick of the playoff hunt — two teams playing for No. 1 seeds, two teams playing for that last playoff spot,” Saleh said. “So, in my mind, we’re getting such valuable experience with regards to playing playoff atmosphere football, and we’re about to do it again in Seattle on the road.”
“It hasn’t gone the way we want it to, but the learning about us as coaches, the learning about our players, the things that we’ve learned about our schemes, just all-encompassing, there’s a lot to learn off of,” Saleh added. “Not all of it has been good. It’s always tough, but through adversity is where you find out the most about yourself and where you have the most growth, so that’s the way we’re kind of attacking it.”
As Saleh would likely tell you, three of the four losses have been by within eight points and two of those were to the two teams Saleh was referring to with being in the No. 1 seed hunt (Buffalo and Minnesota).
The Jets undoubtedly have dealt with plenty of adversity and challenge, not the least of which has been having three quarterbacks start a game for them this season. They also likely realized that one of those quarterbacks is not the future of this franchise, despite being the No. 2 pick just two years ago.
Despite all that, the Jets have still surpassed their Vegas win total from the preseason of 5.5 and have won more games this season than in 2020 and 2021 combined. In addition, the Jets are in the playoff hunt going into Week 17. Very few thought that would even be a possibility heading into the season.
Sure, things felt bleak after last Thursday dropped the Jets below .500 for the first time since they were 1-2. But as the great Yogi Berra once said, “It ain’t over ’til it’s over.”
By the way, if you’re wondering how Woody Johnson has been through all of this, Saleh said: “Woody, he’s been good. He wants to win like all of us do. We’re all trying to search for answers.”
Originally posted on Jets Wire