For a New York Jets franchise that won two games last season, the next step forward does not have to be taken so literally as winning three games in 2021.
But the Jets have lost three straight games and six of their last seven in yet another forgetful campaign, sinking to 3-11 heading into Week 16.
The debut seasons of head coach Robert Saleh and Zach Wilson have been less than auspicious. The supporting cast hasn’t done much to inspire, either.
Moving forward, the last three weeks of the season are about showing some signs of life — whether that means Wilson showing that he is capable of being the franchise’s quarterback of the future or Saleh getting at least another win or two to prove that he’s the right man to patrol the sidelines at MetLife Stadium.
And as silly as this might sound, Sunday’s meeting with the Jacksonville Jaguars is as much of a must-win game as the Jets have experienced in years.
This is a golden opportunity to take advantage of the league’s worst team (2-12) to build some confidence around the organization.
Since a shocking upset of the Buffalo Bills in Week 9, the Jaguars have lost six straight, failed to score more than 17 points in a game, and fired their head coach in Urban Meyer.
Despite drafting Trevor Lawrence No. 1 overall — one pick ahead of Wilson — the Jaguars’ offense is the worst in the NFL, averaging just 10 points per game over their last eight outings.
It’s done nothing to support a defense that has been mediocre at best, having allowed 30 or more points in four of their last eight games.
Granted, they’re considerably better than a Jets defense that has allowed the most points in the NFL this season.
But seeing Wilson get the upper hand over Lawrence could do wonders for the organization — even coming away with the false sense of satisfaction that they got the right quarterback out of the 2021 draft.
Wilson has struggled this season, completing just 56.2% of his passes for 1,911 yards with six touchdowns and 11 interceptions. Lawrence, who has played in four more games, is completing his passes at a 58.1% clip with 2,945 yards, nine touchdowns, and a league-worst 14 interceptions.
Football fans are getting a lump of coal the day after Christmas with this sort of matchup, but a win for the Jets would at least suggest that they are trending away from where the Jaguars are currently stuck in.