How close are the Jets to their first Conference Championship in 12 years?

Jets quarterback Mike White (5) celebrate with teammates.
Jets quarterback Mike White (5) celebrate with teammates.
AP Photo/John Minchillo

Super Bowl LVII is set and the New York Jets aren’t participating in the game for the 54th straight year. Of course, no one expected Gangb Green to make this year’s Super Bowl in the second season under Robert Saleh, but it’s still disappointing we’ve gone close to 50 years without a chance at a championship for the Jets. 

Both the Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs got to this point for several reasons. Kansas City houses the best quarterback in football while the Eagles have overwhelmed their opponents since week one. 

For the Jets, both teams offer a unique lesson that Joe Douglas, Robert Saleh, and the team can emulate going into 2023. Let’s take a look at what lessons those might be. 

Kansas City Chiefs – Mahomes is great, but defense wins championships

It’s easy to say that Kansas City won on Sunday because their quarterback was better than Cincinnati’s. It’s also easy to say that the Jets will always lose a game like that because they don’t have a quarterback as good or better than Mahomes. 

That just isn’t true though. The Chiefs traded away All-Pro wide receiver Tyreek Hill in the offseason and many thought that the move was the beginning of the end of Kansas City’s dominance. What people forget to realize though is that with the available cap space, the Chiefs then built their defense from scratch. 

Kansas City’s defense, because of the latest acquisitions, has become a dominant unit. Their 11th overall rank is the highest the group has been since Andy Reid’s first year there and they’ve come up huge in the playoffs. 

Holding Jacksonville and Cincinnati to under 20 points in back-to-back playoff games is impressive and says more about their defense than offense. 

The Chiefs are in Super Bowl LVII for a reason. The Jets could learn something from this. 

While having an All-Pro quarterback is excellent, championships are still won on the defensive side. 

Philadelphia Eagles – K.I.S.S. – Keep it Simple Stupid

All season long the Eagles have dominated their opponents. With Jalen Hurts at quarterback, the birds are 15-1 and have one of the best defensive units in the game. 

But the lesson that the Jets can take away? The Eagles make everything look simple. If they are running the football well, they keep on doing it. If Hurts is winning through the air? Philadelphia will continue to throw the football. Third or fourth and short? Here’s a quarterback sneak for you.

Philadelphia should teach the Jets and new offensive coordinator, Nathaniel Hackett, that keeping things simple can work out. 

Instead of trying to outsmart your opponent, finding what works and overwhelming a team with that success makes games easier to handle and wins pile up. 

The Eagles have overwhelming edges in the trenches on both sides of the field. The Jets are already looking to emulate that thought process but their offensive playcalling could be helped just by keeping it simple. 

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