The Jets, like most teams, have this 24-hour rule, where regardless if you win or lose, that game is forgotten about the next day.
They will have a tough time forgetting the 15-10 loss at the Bucs on Sunday. They had a chance to reach .500 but instead dropped to 4-6, and their playoff chances took a big hit.
Now the Jets must simmer on their bye week thinking about what went wrong.
“I think it was definitely a missed opportunity,” wide receiver Jermaine Kearse said. “A chance for us to go on the road and get a win before a bye week, now we kinda got to sit through this bye week with a sour taste in our mouths. We just gotta use this time to get our bodies back and reenergize ourselves. We got six more games left, it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish, and we have an opportunity to finish strong we know we got some tough games coming in, we just got to prepare.”
After the bye week, the next two games are daunting for the Jets, who play home games against the Panthers and Chiefs. If the season ended today, both of those teams would be in the playoffs. On Monday night, the Panthers rolled over the Dolphins, 45-21. Cam Newton, who threw four touchdown passes, led an offense that produced 548 yards and 30 first downs.
“If you watched [Monday night], they’re flying around the field,” quarterbacks coach Jeremy Bates said of the Panthers.
Flying around the field wasn’t part of the Jets’ DNA against the Bucs. The Jets’ offense was stale, going 3-for-15 on third down, producing just 2.9 yards per carry on the ground and allowing six quarterback sacks on Josh McCown.
The Jets’ leading receiver in the game, tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins, had all six of his catches in the fourth quarter.
Starting cornerback Morris Claiborne, who played 16 snaps before re-injuring his foot, said he couldn’t figure out why the team was flat while watching from the sidelines.
The next day in the film room, it didn’t get better.
“It was more frustrating than what it was [Sunday],” safety Marcus Maye said. “We saw all the areas that we beat ourselves in and we saw where we left plays out there on the field. Just watching everything and watching it overall, you get to learn from it.”
Penalties continue to haunt the Jets. They have been penalized 81 times, second-most in the league and were flagged eight times for 77 yards on Sunday. It’s something Todd Bowles has tried to correct for the majority of the season, whether it’s having certain units run sprints or another form of punishment during practices.
This stretch of games where the Jets have lost four of their last five equates to inconsistency. During that stretch, the Jets lost a pair of double-digit leads and a lead in the fourth quarter. But on Nov. 2, the Jets dominated the Bills, 34-21, to end a three-game losing streak.
It pushed the Jets into a comfort level for the Buccaneers game but they came out flat, failing to score a touchdown until 28 seconds remained in the game.
And now the Jets move to the bye week waiting for their next chance to creep back to .500.
“The same thing — 24-hour rule,” Bowles said. “We saw the tape, we learn from it, look at ourselves in the mirror. When we come back, we have six games to go. We have to be ready to go. Some people can get healed over the bye week. We’ll do our own work as coaches. They’ll do their due diligence as players to stay healthy and stay out of trouble. We’ll come back and get rarin’ to go to get ready for Carolina.”