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From the Bench: Jets Flying High

November 22nd, 2010 by Editor

Teams down on their luck — those who have had difficulty over the years — are sometimes referred to as a franchise with a “losing culture.” For years, the New York Jets have been one of those teams (the video below just proves that point). Since their first Super Bowl victory, all the way back in Super Bowl III (!), they’ve seen their New York counterparts, the Giants, win three championships. Their rivals, the New England Patriots, have become a veritable NFL dynasty over the last decade — and that’s a tough pill for the fan base to swallow. Last year looked to be the same old-same old with a rookie QB (Mark Sanchez) and a rookie head coach (Rex Ryan), when suddenly in the last few weeks of the season the pendulum started to swing the other way. Ryan started talking with a little swagger in his voice, and Sanchez matured before our eyes. The team found ways to win games, whereas in the past it felt as if they were constantly snagging defeat from the jaws of victory. This change in attitude propelled the Jets to a surprise appearance in the AFC Championship Game where they held a halftime lead before losing to the more experienced and, admittedly, more talented Indianapolis Colts.

Despite the loss, those final weeks signaled something bigger. The losing culture that for so long plagued the New York Jets franchise was dissipating. To say that the team came in with high hopes this season would be an understatement. After all, the team was proclaiming “Super Bowl or bust!” this time around. Despite a disappointing setback in Week 1, the Jets have been on a serious roll. At 8-2, they now have the best record in the NFL, thanks in part to a miraculous comeback yesterday: After squandering a seemingly comfortable lead in the fourth quarter — a demoralizing turn of events that would have sent most teams packing — the Jets marched down the field with 49 seconds left and no time-outs to score the game-winning touchdown against the Texans with just 10 seconds left on the clock. Had this team been the Jets of old, they would have folded and chalked the loss up to bad luck or an inability to finish, but not this Jets team. The Jets have a new identity, and a new culture.

They win.

Michael Rosenblum for Hulu

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