With a one-score win over their directionless crosstown rivals, the New York Jets have uncovered newfound confidence.
At 2-7 following their 34-27 victory over the New York Giants in the most highly anticipated Snoopy Bowl in four years, the Jets secured their first victory Sunday since a Week 6 nailbiter over Dallas. Despite their standing in the standings — New York is closer to the No. 1 overall pick than the No. 6 seed in the AFC — the Jets are not giving up hope of a playoff run. At least, their quarterback isn’t.
"We need every win from now on because we’ve still got a chance. I mean, if we get on a roll here and we win out, we’ve got a chance at the playoffs," Jets signal-caller Sam Darnold told reporters after the win, per The Record. "Guys in this locker room know this. They know that, and we’re really excited to continue to get back to work. That’s what it’s about."
Darnold’s optimism might reek of a Lloyd Christmas pipe dream on face value, but the second-year QB is not technically wrong.
If New York wins out, the Jets would be 9-7 and right in the thick of a tight AFC wild-card picture. The Jets have a relatively easy upcoming schedule, too; they face Washington, Oakland, Cincinnati and Miami over the next four weeks, opponents with a combined record of 8-28. Entering Week 10, New York had the third-weakest remaining strength of schedule in the league.
But the Jets have had opportunities to turn their season around already, and against supposed inferior competition, too. Just last week, New York lost to a previously winless Dolphins side, throwing away a surefire victory and an opportunity to make a run at 10-6. The Jets have not shown signs of being a sleeping juggernaut either; save for Sunday’s scoring outburst (34 points), New York has averaged just 12 points per game and still scrapes the bottom of most offensive categories.
This win might change things though, says Darnold. Asked if he thinks the Jets turned a corner with their up-and-down defeat of their crosstown foes, Darnold responded, per The Athletic, "I think this team did."
Whether more wins are around that corner remain to be seen.
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