By Brad Carroll
Even when the New York Jets finally win a game, they find a way to lose. The Jets' 16-11 victory over the Tennessee Titans on the road Sunday night may feel good for the moment, as having three wins on the season is a lot better than having two. But looking into the future, winning this game was the worst possible outcome for the Jets.
If the Jets lost, they would have moved up to No. 3 in the NFL draft order heading into the final two weeks of the season, giving them a shot at drafting Oregon quarterback and Heisman trophy winner Marcus Mariota. But the Jets won and they are now in position to pick sixth, putting them out of the running for Mariota, unless they pull off a surprising trade, and makes drafting even Florida State's Jameis Winston unlikely.
That's a big price to pay for a victory no Jets fan will remember in a few days.
The Jets coaches and players obviously aren't going to play to lose, as they each couldn't care less about where the team will draft in a few months. The coaching staff, led by Rex Ryan, won't even be around in the offseason to get a chance to reap the would-be rewards of taking a quarterback in the first round. So, to them, winning is the only thing that matters.
Ownership might have a different take, but there doesn't appear to be much football sense at the top, with owner Woody Johnson proving his questionable knowledge by giving the keys to the franchise to a general manager with little to no experience running a team. Johnson can fix that by firing John Idzik at the end of the season and starting over with a new general manager and head coach.
If the season ended today, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers would pick first, Tennessee Titans second, Jacksonville Jaguars third, Oakland Raiders fourth and the Washington Redskins fifth. The comes the Jets at No. 6. The Buccaneers and Titans need a quarterback, while the Raiders and Redskins will at least have to think about taking one as well. That leaves the Jets in a terrible spot.
The Bucs will be underdogs in their final two games, against the Packers and Saints. The Titans will be underdogs against the Jaguars and Colts. The Jaguars are actually favored against Tennessee but will be an underdog against the Texans. The Raiders will be underdogs against the Bills and Broncos. The Redskins will be underdogs against both the Eagles and Cowboys.
Then there is the Jets, which will be underdogs against the Patriots and Dolphins.
The Jets should get a very good player at the sixth spot in the draft, that is unless another Vernon Gholston is on the board, but the team desperately needs a quarterback. That dream appears over now and fans might have to be stuck for another season of Geno Smith leading the franchise.
When Dawan Landry stopped Delanie Walker from scoring with no time left after a wild lateral play that netted 49 yards Sunday, the Jets went from possibly having Mariota leading the franchise to once again facing the uncertain reality of not knowing who will be the team's quarterback.
It's rough being a Jets fan.