Adam Gase Thinks the Jets Can Close Out Season Strong Like the 2014 Panthers...The Comparison is Flawed.
The rest of the season isn’t a waste, so says New York Jets head coach Adam Gase as his walking wounded of a team limps to the finish line of a disappointing season. He thinks that this team can finish strong just like the Carolina Panthers did in 2014, setting them up for a Super Bowl run the next year.
It is an imperfect and flawed example, however, as the circumstances between that Panthers team and these Jets are far from similar.
The Jets are 4-8, an underwhelming record given the optimism surrounding this team a year ago. But it isn’t just the record that is discouraging about this team, it is how they earned some of those losses. From surrendering a 16-point lead in Week 1 to a 33-0 loss at home in mid-season to the New England Patriots to twice handing previously winless teams their first victories of the season, the Jets have found so many difficult and frustrating ways to lose this year.
But this past week, one of those aforementioned losses to a previously winless team, is the one that might just hurt the most. The Jets were manhandled and dominated on both sides of the ball by the then 0-11 Cincinnati Bengals. In losing, the Jets three-game winning streak was snapped and so went all the team’s momentum.
Now with four games left on the schedule, three of which are against teams with a winning record, the Jets are searching for a reason to not just play but believe. Something to make this whole season worthwhile.
“Yeah, you always just want to take it one week at a time and really we have plenty of challenges coming up here in the next month,” Gase told reporters at the team facility on Wednesday.
“Obviously we have a chance to play a home game against a division team, we lost to them last time, so we have a chance to go play these guys again at our stadium and put a good game together.”
Gase spoke as part of his daily press conference at the team facility.
This Sunday’s opponent, the Miami Dolphins, were 0-7 when they met the Jets in Week 8, emerging with their own first win of the season.
The Dolphins are feeling better about their own rebuild, coming off a gritty and somewhat impressive win over the Philadelphia Eagles last week.
Where this leaves the Jets moving forward is to seek a positive note. This has been a season of struggles, from an uncanny number of injuries to just some bizarre circumstances. While the Jets won’t have a winning record (they have had just a single winning season since 2010), Gase is preaching that the results of this final quarter of the season can carry into 2020.
Gase cites the 2014 season and the Panthers as a team that took momentum from the end of a losing season and brought that into the next year where they made the Super Bowl.
The first difference is that Panthers team, who finished the season with five straight wins to finish 7-8-1, nonetheless won the NFC South and made the playoffs. Then in the playoffs, the Panthers won their Wild Card game at home over the Arizona Cardinals.
The Jets are squarely in a rebuild and have nowhere near the roster currently to be a playoff contender. They haven’t had a winning record since 2015 and haven’t made the playoffs since the first season of the decade. The circumstances between the Jets and the 2014 Panthers are not exactly similar.
Oh, and consider that the those Panthers were a more established team, loaded with veterans, who had made the playoffs and won the division in 2013. That 2014 season was building off a pretty good year.
The Jets last year were 4-12. They were nowhere near winning the AFC East.
Those are big differences, their shared losing records aside, from a Jets team that is directionless right now.
“But if you core group of guys that are doing things right and they feel like this is how we do things going into next season, then they know this is how we do it and the new guys coming in, they are leading the charge on that,” Gase said in his Wednesday press conference.
“When that happens, that's a positive thing because it's less learning and it's more, ‘Hey we've repped this, we've done this before, we know how to do it, we know the process, we know how we need to do it to have success’.”
Watch the entire Adam Gase press conference here.