By Brad Carroll
The New York Jets hit another low point of their season Wednesday afternoon when a fan spent nearly $1,000 to fly a plane over practice with a banner saying "Fire John Idzik." The message is one nearly the entire fan base believes in and one we've been pushing since the offseason, when it was truly obvious the general manager had no idea what he was doing.
We've written a ton about it, and you can read our latest column here, but for the fans to unite like this, including a group of fans who will be purchasing billboards around MetLife Stadium with the same "fire John Idzik" message, has to have owner Woody Johnson at least thinking twice about his misguided hire two years ago. Idzik might survive this season, but he shouldn't, based solely on his track record of horrible free agent signings, and lack of them, and an embarrassing draft record.
On the field, the Jets welcome the Pittsburgh Steelers to town Sunday, a matchup that has the potential to go extremely badly on a number of fronts. First, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger could continue his unreal streak of throwing six touchdown passes in back-to-back games with not much effort against the horrible Jets secondary. He could get eight on the Jets if he wanted to. Second, there is a great chance the crowd at MetLife Stadium will resemble more of Heinz Field North, as the perfect storm could erupt, as Steelers fans invade the stadium with frustrated Jets fans quick to sell off their tickets to get back money from this lost season. Third, the Steelers are simply a better team than the Jets and the scoreboard could get real ugly, real quick.
Of course, all that is good news for Jets fans, who are best served by their team losing the rest of their games and getting no worse than the No. 2 pick in the NFL Draft. That should assure the team will select either Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota or Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston. That is, of course, if the team has the right people in place at the top of the organization to make that easy decision.
Knowing the Jets as we all do, they could botch the whole thing. But anyone with half a football brain must realize the Jets need a franchise quarterback in the worst way.
For Jets fans, there will be no scoreboard watching with postseason intentions, but rather scoreboard watching for getting higher in the NFL draft order. Here is your guide to this football Sunday and what Jets fans should hope to see happen. It starts with a Jets loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Jets lose to Steelers: The Jets are only six-point underdogs, and should keep the game close throughout with an inspired effort, but with a collective secondary that would have trouble starting for Mississippi State, a ninth straight defeat should be in order. This could be the worst possible matchup for the Jets, as Ben Roethlisberger is the hottest quarterback in football, throwing 12 touchdown passes the last two weeks, against Indianapolis and Baltimore, two teams that are infinitely better than the Jets. For the Jets, if Michael Vick continues what he did last week, which was play well enough to stay on the field, than Geno Smith will never get back on the field this season. And that is a great thing.
Raiders beat Broncos: Yeah, it's not going to happen, as the Broncos are Super Bowl contenders and the Raiders are 0-8 this season. The more realistic thing to watch for Jets fans is how Raiders rookie quarterback Derek Carr performs. The better Carr plays this season, the less likely the Raiders are to take a quarterback, which benefits the Jets. The Raiders will be tough to jump for the No. 1 pick.
Buccaneers beat Falcons: The Jets are actually in competition with both of these teams for draft position, but the Falcons (2-6) won't be drafting a quarterback, as they are set with Matt Ryan. The Buccaneers, however, are desperate for a franchise passer and could be the team that ruins the entire draft plan for the Jets and their fans getting a big-time quarterback. Tampa Bay (1-7) upsetting the Falcons at home would be a huge lift for the Jets.
Titans beat Ravens: Tennessee is 2-6 and will be in the market for a franchise quarterback as well, so the Jets would love to see the Titans beat Baltimore on the road. It's not likely to happen. The Jets play at Tennessee in Week 15.
Jaguars beat Cowboys: Jacksonville is 1-8 and play at Dallas Sunday, but with first-round draft pick Blake Bortles on the roster, it would a huge shock if Jacksonville took a quarterback this year. So, the Jaguars success or failures this season shouldn't effect the Jets. Unless, of course, a team trades up in the draft and jumps the Jets.
The Rams' upset victory over the 49ers last Sunday was a huge result for the Jets, as St. Louis improved to 3-5. The Rams need a quarterback, but that victory over San Francisco likely dropped them out of the top five of the draft. St. Louis is at Arizona.
Read our Jets-Steelers game predictions here.