In a strange way Dan Leberfeld

Obviously it was a devasting loss for the Jets and their fans.

But in a strange way there might be an off-the-beaten-path silver lining to what happened.

Sometimes, when an organization, that is struggling, has a big win or two at the end of a bad season, it can create false bravado and perhaps cloud some of the decision-making in the off-season.

One time, a Jets coach in trouble, won the last game of the year against a division rival, and they kept him for the next season.

If he lost, he likely would have been fired.

He eventually was fired.

So this loss, while painful to the Jets and their faithful, could help their brass stay even-keeled, not get a false view of certain players and others, and make the tough decisions necessary this off-season.

Like with the defense. While they did a decent job at times against Tom Brady, he ended up throwing for 410 yards and three touchdowns. That is the bottom line. Is that a good day of pass defense? Perhaps not.

So instead of making a big deal about an underthrown pick to Mike Evans, and a few other decent plays, look at the totality of Brady’s work in this game, and know you need major changes on defense.

They need a #1 cornerback, a game-wrecking edge-rusher and a dynamic coverage linebacker.

Think about the game Rob Gronkowski had. He had seven catches for 115 yards. Of course he’s destined for the Hall of Fame, but the guy runs now like he’s pulling a freight train, yet he was consistently wide open. How does that happen? You aren’t going to shut the guy down totally, but why was a player who doesn’t run nearly as well as he used, pulling away from linebackers and defensive backs with such ease?

This game was a slap upside the face to the Jets. It was painful, but it might have been a blessing in disguise.

Instead of people spending the week telling us how great this player or that player is on social media, it will cause them to really do some deep thinking of what needs to be fixed, from a player personnel standpoint, and from a coaching operation standpoint.

The Jets football czar Joe Douglas has got to be livid at what happened at the end of that Tampa Bay game, from the failed fourth-and-2 QB sneak to the the poorly played two-deep shell on Cyril Grayson’s game-winning TD.

He’s quiet now, but expect a lot of noise (activity) in the off-season, a lot of changes.

This might be the most important off-season in recent Jets history.

They have a lot of work to do, and plenty of tools to work with – tons of premiums draft picks and cap space.

The end of the Jets loss to Tampa Bay was a reminder of all the work that needs to be done, and if people patting them on the back all week (and beyond), for beating the defending Super Bowl Champs (playing without both star edge rushers, Lavonte David, Chris Godwin and Leonard Fournette), it might have impacted their thinking entering a huge off-season.

January 3, 2021

Premium will return by 9:30 pm on Wednesday.