If you're a die-hard Jets fan, the kind that watched the entire game Monday night and more so the brave souls who drove to New Jersey's MetLife Stadium, a lot dealing with New York City traffic on a weekday, in a driving rain, the 16-13 loss to the hated Miami Dolphins hurt deeply. It was another inexplicable loss in a season that has spiraled out of control, all the way to an embarrassing 2-10 record, something coach Rex Ryan called "a joke" after the game.
For those Jets fans who suffered from this latest defeat, those that wanted to see their team win even though losing would be the best option for the franchise going forward, things aren't as bad as they seem.
I waited some 12 hours to write this column to let everyone see the full point of why Jets fans shouldn't care anymore if the team loses. For those that are still rooting for the team to win (and there's nothing wrong with that, for the record) and still are effecting by the loss as if the team was still alive in the playoff race, ask yourself 12 hours later if you care anymore about the defeat.
Last night, the loss stung. Today, nobody will remember the game, let alone the depressing feeling of a loss. This latest defeat can be looked upon as something necessary for the Jets to finally land a possible franchise quarterback in the NFL Draft. The only way to get in position to draft Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota or Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston is to climb higher and higher in the standings in the reverse. And that's through losing.
Yes, that stinks, but it's what this horrible season has become.
The Jets are currently fifth in the draft order, which likely means, right now, they won't get either of the top two quarterbacks available. The Raiders are currently No. 1 at 1-11, and are followed by four 2-10 teams, in order, Tampa Bay, Jacksonville, Tennessee and the Jets. The Jaguars' victory over the Giants brought them back to the second-tier pack, which benefited the Jets. But having Tampa and Tennessee ahead of them is not at all a good thing. The Buccaneers and Titans both could use a quarterback.
There is only one way for the Jets to start completely over at quarterback and that's through the NFL draft. The free agency quarterback class is weak, as it always is, led by Mark Sanchez. The draft is extremely top heavy, as in there are just two potential franchise quarterback prospects before a big dropoff to Brett Hundley, who hasn't impressed at all at UCLA. There is always the chance a later round draft pick hits, but that's not likely.
If the Jets win one or two more games this season, they won't get Mariota or Winston. Do you really want Geno Smith or Michael Vick as the team's quarterback next season? Nobody should trust Smith to lead a team anymore, with Monday night being the clincher, and Vick should consider retirement for how poorly he has played this season in limited opportunities rather than a starting job next year.
There are no alternatives other than through the draft.
Was that loss to the Dolphins a difficult pill to swallow? Did it hurt knowing the Dolphins took a step closer to the playoffs after beating the Jets on their home turf? Yes, yes it did. But look at it like this: the Jets nearly beat a playoff contender without a quarterback Monday night. Imagine if they had one.
The Jets have a ton of holes to fill on the roster this offseason. They need new offensive linemen, new cornerbacks, new safeties, a new coach and, hopefully, a new general manager. But none of it matters if the Jets don't get a new quarterback. They can get one, but they have to lose to get it.
Remember, when the Jets are on the clock a few months from now at the NFL Draft, hopefully deciding between Mariota or Winston, nobody will care the Jets ended the season 2-14.