The Jets came into this season with big goals, not just big dreams. They didn't hope to contend, they knew they'd be a contender. They thought last year's 10-win, near-miss season was a building block -- just the start of something big.
But whatever they built will have come crashing down with alarming speed if they don't beat the Seattle Seahawks at home this Sunday afternoon. Because if they lose this game and fall to 1-3, they will have lost more than just any tiny shot they had at winning their division. They will have lost the ability to consider themselves playoff contenders.
Because if they lose, they are not.
No, they're not eliminated, obviously, but how can anyone actually take them seriously at 1-3, when they're staring at trips to Pittsburgh and Arizona in their next two games? They'd be 1-3 going on 1-5. And they would have failed to do the one thing they absolutely needed to do in their brutal first six games of the season.
Of course if they win on Sunday they'd be 2-2 and will have regained momentum, and then if they could just steal one of the next two games … First things first, though. The Jets need to hold serve at home and beat the Seahawks. Can they do it?