So it would appear the Jets’ Super Bowl-less streak will extend to 54 seasons, but let’s give them a more realistic shorter-term goal, shall we?
Figure out a way to look functional on offense before they visit the Steelers on Oct. 2 or whenever Zach Wilson ends up returning to the field.
Because it really does not matter how bad Joe Flacco looked at times in Sunday’s season-opening 24-9 loss to the Ravens at MetLife Stadium or whether the fans who chanted backup Mike White’s name eventually get their wish.
What matters is that when second-year quarterback and would-be franchise savior Wilson shows up, the Jets have an infrastructure around him that will allow him to develop further and keep him healthy.
Sunday’s display wasn’t any of that.
Yes, the Jets had 378 total yards, 24 first downs and a garbage-time touchdown, and Flacco somehow threw for more than 300 yards.
That was a mirage. The patched-together offensive line had a poor game, allowing 11 quarterback hurries. There were dropped passes and two turnovers and, really, just a general malaise most of the day.
The special teams were awful and the defense, while it played well and with spirit early, gave up crushing big-yardage plays.
But again: Assuming Super Bowl contention is sometime in the future and that getting Wilson straight is Job One, he will need more help than what Flacco got.
Yes, Wilson will be able to run away from some of the trouble in which the lead-footed Flacco found himself. But not all of it.
“We just didn’t execute,” rookie right tackle Max Mitchell said. “I don’t really have an answer for you there. We just have to play better.”
Mitchell said he was responsible for some of those hurries, but his far more established colleague at left tackle, George Fant, had a tough day at the office. After the game, he sat for a long time on the chair by his locker, staring into space.
Running back Michael Carter, who dropped a sure touchdown pass late in the game, defended the work of offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur, saying, “Mike called a hell of a game. We just have to make the plays that he calls. As much as people are hard on him, [expletive] that. We have to make plays.”
Carter added, “I think it’s monotonous to say, because you hear this a lot, but it’s the details, man. We have to get better at the little stuff, stop the drops, clean them up, things like that.”
It is a longstanding NFL tradition for fans and journalists to overreact to Week 1 victories and Week 1 losses.
So sure, the Jets can salvage their season, especially with a defense that looks as if it could be pretty good.
That was the official mantra in the locker room, as it should be.
“I hate that it feels like we just lost the Super Bowl, because it’s not that,” Carter said. “We’re 0-1, and we can go 1-1 next week. Sixteen teams, if my math is right, are going 0-1 this week.”
Safety Lamarcus Joyner added, “We performed really well against a playoff team. It was very inspiring. I don’t feel like we’re the same Jets. I feel like we have to clean up our mistakes.
“It’s Week 1. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers went to the Super Bowl and they lost six games [actually five]. They all weren’t pretty.”
And this from linebacker C.J. Mosley: “We’re not worried about what the outside world says. We’re not worried about the expectations outside our building.”
That’s good, because there were not many outside expectations when the opener began, and there are fewer now.
If the Jets lose to the Browns in Week 2, the pressure will be on coach Robert Saleh to go with White in Week 3 against the defending AFC champion Bengals — the team against which he led the Jets to an upset at MetLife last season.
That would be fine, if it helps get things settled and organized.
Wilson supposedly will be back under center relatively soon. Running for his life is not the welcome back he wants or that the Jets need.