All is not lost

Lately I've been thinking about reasons why some NY Jets Fans seem to never be truly satisfied. I don't know if it's because we're in the big apple or what, but everyone seems to find it necessary to write off the Jets based on one single game!<BR><BR>

They lost to the Washington Redskins 16-13 last week and already Jets Fans are saying we're doomed this year, that RB Curtis Martin is showing he's declining due to age, that LB Mo Lewis needs to retire, and that QB Vinny Testaverde will never get the job done. What happened to team spirit?

I seriously miss the days when people would look at a loss as just that, a loss. Nothing more than an "L" in your Standings column, but not anymore! Everyone is just ready to pick apart our beloved Jets and say everything they've done has been a mistake. Honestly people, it's just one game, that's it! If you look at the rest of the AFC East, the Miami Dolphins lost (and I loved every bit of it), the New England Patriots got demolished by the Buffalo Bills, and as you know, the Jets lost. So right now, it's a three-way tie for second place between the Jets, Patriots, and Dolphins, with the Buffalo Bills number one. It's just Week 1 and yet people think that's a basis to write off the Season? Give me a break! If it's one thing Jets Fans should always believe in, is hope. We've made it to the NFL Playoffs two years in a row, and there's nothing in my mind that will make me believe we won't make it for the third straight time.

If you take a look around the NFL, you'll see that powerhouses like the Oakland Raiders, Green Bay Packers, Philadelphia Eagles, and the St. Louis Rams all lost! Plus some teams even did far much worst than the Jets performance last week! Don't think all is lost because in reality, only God knows where NFL teams will be come Week 10. If anything though, we'll have another Season filled with parity since who knows who'll step up, whether an NFL powerhouse or even the Cincinnati Bengals.

It's always good to give your team at least a few weeks to get a good feel of what kind of team you'll have for this Season. For us, it's the same thing. RB Curtis Martin might have had an off night against the Redskins and that's ok. I'd never judge this coming Season for him on just one game, I know he'll get his 1,000+ yard Season. LB Mo Lewis too had an off night and he'll get better, trust me. Plus remember, he's coming off that hip surgery and all, so obviously he too will need a few weeks to get into the groove of the real NFL Season. Finally, QB Vinny Testaverde is a 17 year veteran who hardly got any snaps during the Preseason, so of course he'll need some time to get things in order. He was doing pretty good for the first half against the Washington Redskins, it was after the half that things didn't progress with the Jets Offense and I'm not blaming him, or Martin, or any of the WR's. I'm not even going to blame Offensive Coordinator Paul Hackett, I'm just saying give this Offense a few weeks to develop and watch the fireworks start setting off!

Did you all see that helmet-to-helmet hit FS Jon McGraw did against the Redskins? I'm glad to say he's fine now and will be ready in the starting lineup against the Miami Dolphins, he was actually having headaches two days in a row after that game! All reports have indicated though that it's not affecting his gameplay at all, so that's a great sign. The Jets go into that Dolphins game without any other injuries, except of course to QB Chad Pennington, who is out due to a broken wrist.

Speaking of the upcoming Jets/Dolphins game, here is what I believe are the key strategies to use to come away from our Home Opener with a victory:

- STOP THE RUN! We need to stop the run, RB Ricky Williams didn't do too well last week so all signs indicate he's going to want to make up with that, so I expect the Dolphins to have a majority of running plays. If we can stop the run and shut him out, it'll make things much easier.

- OPEN IT UP! QB Vinny Testaverde needs to hit guys like WR Curtis Conway or WR Santana Moss with a deep ball of like 30+ yards at least once or twice, not only will it tire out their secondary, it compliments everything else. Such as our running game!

- RUN MARTIN RUN! RB Curtis Martin should hopefully redeem himself to the media and any naysayers by having a topnotch performance. If he can get 100+ yards in this game, we're walking away with our victory.

- INTERCEPTIONS! Finally, the Jets have a good statistic in that if they get at least a turnover or two, our odds of winning significantly increase. Last week Fielder was intercepted by former Jet CB Marcus Coleman, it totally demoralized him, and at the end of the game too! If we can get a few interceptions off him, we're set!

There you have it, look for a great game between these two bitter AFC East rivals. Both teams go into this game with a loss from the week before, so they'll have the passion to put everything they have into this game. Not just for this game, but this may very well be the stepping stone for better things to come for whichever team walks away victorious.

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