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Jets Need Win or Face Further Self-Destruction

Rex Ryan's branding of Jets' 'anonymous sources' as cowards - as accurate as it may have been - was exactly what the New York side didn't need heading into this weekend's clash with St. Louis

The New York Jets are flat-out headed for disaster. At least that’s what the team seems intent on demonstrating to Fireman Ed and the rest of the Gang Green faithful.

Early wins over Buffalo and Miami went so far as suggesting that the team would rebound from last season’s disappointing 8-8 season and make a charge for the postseason, particularly as the New England Patriots’ start to the season can best be described as erratic.

But a recent stretch of five losses in six games has left the Jets looking all but dead in the water. While the team – were it to win out this year – could finish 10-6, which might well be enough to make the postseason in the weaker AFC, there has been little to offer any such hope that this is anything but an outrageous pipe dream.

This week’s off-field antics have done nothing to install any hope or confidence in anybody overseeing the Jets.

First anonymous players gave their two cents, suggesting that Tim Tebow was not even considered a real quarterback by his ‘teammates’ while others were highly-critical of starter Mark Sanchez. With an obvious rift in the locker room – anybody remember a similar feeling last season? – Rex Ryan called those that shall not be named a bunch of ‘cowards’ which, let’s face it, probably isn’t the best way to contend with the problems at hand. And then, Jets owner Woody Johnson denied that Tebow’s signing was not a publicity stunt. When an owner makes a statement like that, you can’t help but think the exact opposite.

The Jets’ record of 3-6 is its worst to start a season since 2007, a year that saw the New York side for 4-12 overall. This season’s team will be looking to ensure that a current four-game losing streak doesn’t become a rival for the six-game losing streak incurred within that season .

The last time the Jets started a season 3-6, the team finished with the year with a 6-10 overall record. The present-day Jets should be warned; that side lost its 10th game of the season also.

This weekend, with Mark Sanchez still at the helm, the Jets will visit St. Louis (3-5-1, 3-2 home) and look to snap a four-game skid.

The Rams, despite what their record might suggest and in spite of last week’s non-result, have had some good results this season, particularly at home. This is the sort of team that offers a tough test to teams in the Jets’ predicament. Subsequently, the Rams have moved to 3½-point favorites over the Jets this Sunday.

The Jets will be up against it in this match-up. St. Louis is 6-3 ATS this season, compared to New York’s 4-4-1. The Rams also have a historical edge over the Jets, having won nine of 12 contests between the two sides.

The Jets were victorious the last time the two sides met (2008), knocking off the Rams 47-3 and snapping a seven-game losing streak in the process. New York has not beaten the Rams on the road since November 15, 1970, which was also the first time these two franchises met. That game was played at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, during the days of the L.A. Rams. New York has never won in St. Louis, which includes two games against the Rams and a 1971 match-up against the then-St. Louis Cardinals.

Anything less than a win on Sunday afternoon will all but condemn the Jets – if they are not already condemned – to the league’s basement and an early pick in next year’s draft. Anything less than a win could, but probably won’t, mean that fans will finally get to see Tebow take the field, or Sanchez lose the starting job, depending on which way you see this particular race.

Elsewhere in the AFC East…

This weekend, New England (6-3, 3-1 home) hosts Indianapolis (6-3, 2-2 road) in what is being billed as a return of the heavyweight contest made popular during Peyton Manning’s days in Indianapolis. The Patriots opened as eight-point favorites, a number that has subsequently increased to nine. The over/under has seen movement also, jumping from 53 to 55.

A win for the Patriots would put the team a full three games ahead of Miami (4-6) and Buffalo (4-6) who met on Thursday Night Football. The game line opened even before Buffalo took the favorite (-2½) tag ahead of kickoff. The game went in the bookies’ favor, with the Bills knocking off the Dolphins. The final score of 19-14 saw the total (46½) go under, a minority result for both sides this season.

Next week…

The Jets host the Patriots in the scheduled Sunday Night Football slot but that game could become a victim of the NFL’s flexible scheduling and be played out earlier in the day.

Buffalo hosts Jacksonville – who faces a tough one in Houston this weekend – while Miami welcomes a Seattle side that is already 2-0 against the AFC East and will be coming off a bye week.

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