Regardless of the result - and, yes, I know many of you wanted to keep losing for draft positioning -- what we all wanted to see over the remainder of the season were some encouraging signs for next year and beyond. Unlike last week, this time around, we didn't need to look too hard to find them...
Bent: Multiple young players either made key contributions or saw their playing time increase, which will make enduring these games a lot more enjoyable, even though they'll probably continue to lose. It also previews what we might expect to see next season, as the Jets seem set to rebuild around youth rather than higher-priced veterans.
Maybe the loss means the Jets might not be able to get as good of a prospect in the next draft -- or might need to give up more picks to get one. Then again, perhaps the fact that some players showed improvements means that will enhance their own value, which could help net the team some picks down the line to help offset this or fill needs from within.
Ultimately, you have to be pretty terrible to end up 3-13, so I'd rather see the Jets establish themselves as having some semblance of a nucleus to add any draft talent to.
Dec 11, 2016; Santa Clara, CA, USA; New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles on the sideline during the fourth quarter against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi's Stadium. The New York Jets defeated the San Francisco 49ers 23-17. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
Over the last three weeks, the Jets are going to face their three divisional rivals with a chance to play spoiler. It's never fun to lose to those teams, even if the loss benefits the team in the long run. But these are three games which should be much tougher tests than the one they just overcame.
Since the Rich Kotite era, the Jets have only won fewer than six games on three occasions and they've ended up with exactly four wins in each of those seasons. In fact, other than those two Kotite years, you have to go back to 1977 to find a season where the Jets won less than six without ending up with exactly four. They've never had a 5-11 season, although they did have four five-win seasons in a row -- their only four -- in the mid-sixties.
So, perhaps history suggests that might be the last win the Jets manage this season. However, if they continue to be competitive and younger players keep showing signs of promise, maybe the season can still end on an encouraging note anyway.
In this week's BGA, I analyze Week 14 performances by Todd Bowles, Bryce Petty, Bilal Powell, Wesley Johnson and the offensive line, Quincy Enunwa, Muhammad Wilkerson, Darron Lee, and the special teams, among others, all of which you can read by clicking here!