The Jets’ 35-27 loss Sunday to the Panthers ended their hopes of making the playoffs this season. Yes, they are still mathematically alive, but it would take a five-game winning streak and help from plenty of other teams to make it. Anyone want to bet on that happening?
The Jets players and coaches are still saying the right things.
“I don’t think any guy on this team has shut it down,” wide receiver Jermaine Kearse said Monday. “I think we’re still feeling confident that we can get some wins and consistently do it and get a little streak going to finish off the season and see what happens.”
That is the way the players and coaches should be. As for the rest of us, we can start focusing on 2018 and figuring some things out about the future of this team.
Here are the five biggest questions that need to be answered over the final five weeks:
1. Is Todd Bowles the right guy to lead this team?
There is no question the Jets have surpassed expectations this season. Bowles deserves credit for that. He made sure his team ignored the outside negativity in the offseason and has gotten his players to play hard all year. They have been in every game they have played.
However, the Jets continue to falter in fourth quarters and commit way too many penalties. They are 19-24 in Bowles’ three seasons without a playoff appearance. Over the final five games, Bowles needs to win a few more games, have his team continue to fight each week and it would help if the team cut down on the penalties. Jets owner Christopher Johnson will have to answer one question at the end of the season: Is the arrow pointing up? If he feels like it is, Bowles stays. If it’s not, Bowles goes.