Playing with house money against a playoff contender, the Jets started Week 16 with an opening onside kick — because why not?
There will be no trip to the playoffs this season for Todd Bowles and the New York Jets. That doesn’t mean the team is packing it in with two weeks left in the season. In fact, unlike most teams who are now simply jockeying for draft positioning, the Jets aren’t going to simply lay down arms and give up.
This is the time of year when spoilers are made out of bad teams looking to play Scrooge to other team’s Christmas story. Los Angeles Chargers fans are hoping that after an 0-4 start, the team can sneak into the playoffs and cause some chaos. That won’t happen, however, if the Jets are able to beat them and pick up another surprising win this the season.
Clearly playing for blood on Sunday, Bowles started things out as aggressively as you possibly can with an onside kick on the opening kickoff.
— New York Jets (@nyjets) December 24, 2017
That’s not in the Christmas spirit, but it’s also what good coaches do in that situation. There’s no incentive for the Jets to play any other way than with reckless abandon. They aren’t going to the playoffs, Bowles might not be employed next season and most of the players are searching for a reason to care.
Going for the throat with an opening onside kick is about as hardcore Scrooge as it gets, and shows that the Jets are going to try and make these last few games relevant. It’s commendable that Bowles is willing to go against the grain and not play percentages — a cliche which is basically a laughable stat when thinking about the opening kickoff of a game.
New York winning a single game this year was a stunning turn of events, let alone finishing with at least five. The fact that Bowles still has them out for blood in Week 16 is a testament to how well coached this team actually is, even if the end result is marginally better than expected.