Jets CEO/chairman Christopher Johnson told Newsday on Tuesday he’s pleased with how the Jets, who have gotten off to a 3-3 start, are progressing.
“I think so, yeah,” Johnson said after the first day of the NFL owner’s meetings. “We’ve shown some progress and I’m happy about it.”
Three weeks ago, Johnson told Jets beat writers he wants to see progress from his team and that victories, while needed, wouldn’t necessarily be the determining factor in deciding the long-term futures of coach Todd Bowles and GM Mike Maccagnan.
The Jets could have moved into first place in the AFC East last Sunday but lost to the Patriots, 24-17.
“Be a lot more excited about 4-2, right now,” Johnson said with a smile.
The Jets have exceeded the expectations of many NFL experts and even their fans. There were many predictions of a two- or three-win season, but the Jets already have three wins heading into a road game against the Dolphins on Sunday.
Some Jets players said a victory over the Dolphins might open discussions about — wait for it — playoffs.
“Oh yeah, without a doubt,” defensive end Leonard Williams said.
In Sunday’s loss to the Pats, the Jets were hurt by a controversial replay ruling that negated a fourth-quarter touchdown reception by tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins.
A touchdown would have cut the Jets’ deficit to four points pending the extra point. Instead, the Jets’ defense needed to get the ball back for the offense, which it did twice. But it wasn’t enough as the Jets eventually lost.
“The energy, the way we fight through adversity, even after that controversial call with the ref, and the touchdown,” Williams said. “The defense was still able to go right back out there on the field and get a three-and-out against a great offense that was trying to close the game on us. It was little things like that where I’m looking at my team and I’m very proud and being able to fight through adversity with a young team. The thing I love so much about this young team is that it has a lot of passion. We have a lot of passion, a lot of fight and that’s what’s going to get you there.”
Reaching the postseason seems like a reach given what’s left on the schedule. Of the 10 remaining opponents on the Jets schedule, nine have records that are above .500. Only Tampa Bay, 2-3, has a record under .500.
Yet, the Jets are playing with such confidence that talking about making the postseason isn’t out of the question.
“I come into every season, thinking the same exact same way,” defensive tackle Steve McLendon said. “We’re going to be the champs this year. I feel like that every year, that’s just my way of thinking, always having a positive mindset. Headed into a positive direction, always try to stay focused on task. In order to be a playoff team, we have to beat Miami.”
Jets coach Todd Bowles also is pleased with the progress the team has shown, but cautions about playoff aspirations.
“It’s a long way off,” he said. “We’re going to play one game at a time. Playoff talk, for me, is not valid at all. We’re just trying to beat Miami next week.”
Notes & quotes: Jets linebacker Demario Davis and left tackle Kelvin Beachum attended the NFL owner’s meetings on Tuesday. Beachum and Davis were part of the discussions regarding player protests against police brutality and social injustice against minorities . . . Jets are 31st in the NFL with seven sacks, just one of three teams not in double-digits this season.