Mark Brunell: We were supposed to beat the Jets
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – There’s a saying that I’ve heard since my first year in the NFL: you must win the games you are supposed to win. We were supposed to beat the New York Jets. They are not a very good football team. In fact, I'm sick about it!
How did we lose a game that the Jets tried to give to us? Is it the big runs against our “best in the league” defense? Is it Blake’s poor performance after the first drive? Not giving it to Fournette on third down and shorts? Marquise Lee drop in overtime that would’ve sealed the win? The surprising Paul Posluszny penalty that put the Jets in field goal range? The list goes on, and really it's all of the above.
This was one of the most frustrating losses I’ve watched in a long time. Yes, we fought. Yes, we got back in the game at the end. But once again, we found a way to lose a game that was within our reach. What hurts the most was that it was the Jets. The Jets! Again, they are not a good football team. We needed this one. When you have the opportunity to go 3-1 playing a bad team, you take it. We did not. Too many critical mistakes.
This really comes down to consistency. We can’t seem to put two good games together. Which once again begs the question: who are we? We’ve heard about our defense and all the wonderful stats: first in point differential, tied for second in takeaways, first in pass defense, league leader in sacks…these were posted on Twitter all morning long.
Make no mistake, we do have a good defense. We do have a special running back. Our QB CAN be good at times. But today, we didn't see it. We must find a way to be more consistent.
Good football teams are consistent. They have an identity. They perform week in and week out. It doesn’t mean they win every game. The Patriots are consistent. The Steelers are consistent. The Falcons are consistent. None of those teams will go 16-0, but you can expect that every week, they will come out and compete. Each will find a way to be in every game at the end. They don’t make too many critical mistakes. And that's where we found ourselves: making too many mistakes.
I hate to say it, but as I was watching that game, I expected us to either turn it over or give up a big play. And we did. Being consistent is a mentality. It comes from confidence and a chemistry within the locker room. I don’t think we have that yet, but we need to find it. Soon.
Make no mistake, I like this football team. And it is early. Plenty of time left to find our identity and get consistent And its not about finding different plays on offense or new schemes on defense. Its comes down to the leaders on the team stepping up and simply making plays. Plays that get you a win at the end.
Steelers are next. Not easy, but beatable. Go Jags!
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