Bye weeks allow football teams time to regroup, take a few days off and recover from any injury problems they have. Some teams get burned by getting byes too late in the season, and others have bad luck when they get theirs only a few weeks in. The Jets had no complaints about their open date. Not only was it scheduled at the midway point of the season, it capped a three-game stretch against three below-average NFL teams. But after scraping by in the first two of those games, the Jets fell flat in a 20-13 loss to Cleveland on Sunday and enter their bye at 4-4.
Chad Pennington and the Jets offense can take plenty of blame. He completed only 11 of 28 passes for 108 yards and two interceptions. His struggles limited the Jets to only 193 yards of total offense. This came against a team that ranked 22nd in total defense entering the game. To be fair, the Browns had the 10th-best pass defense, but part of that has to be that teams found it so easy to run on them.
The Jets came close to tying the game late, but Chris Baker was ruled to be out of bounds when he caught Pennington's best throw of the night. The ruling wasn't cut and dry -- Baker was pushed out, and replays showed that the officials might have missed the call. Of course, had the Jets played better, they wouldn't have been in that situation.
The news gets worse for the Jets. In two weeks, they face New England on the road before hosting Chicago. They are likely staring a 4-6 record in the face, and by the time they get Houston at home on Nov. 26, the Jets could be almost a month removed from their last win. Today's loss might have cost them a playoff berth -- a win wouldn't have guaranteed anything, though -- and it will leave a sour taste in the team's mouth for the next 14 days.
Photo of Cleveland's Brodney Pool pushing Chris Baker of the New York Jets out of the endzone for an incomplete pass by AP/Mark Duncan