After the Jets beat the Patriots in Foxborough yesterday, there was one consistent theme coming from all the Jets players: Nobody believed we could do this.That’s not exactly true.
First of all, New York, plenty of people believed you could do it.
That doesn’t mean anyone thought they would or should do it, but if people didn’t think the Jets at least had a shot at beating the Patriots, it wouldn’t have been the marquee Sunday night game; it wouldn’t have been the cover story of all the papers, and wouldn’t have been the lead story on SportsCenter for six straight days. It’s only a big game, if people expect a close game.
(Also, you and you coach wouldn’t shut up about how you were going to do it, so at some point people had to notice.)
Secondly, you did lose to the same Patriots team by 42 points just one month ago. Did you really think you would be favoured after that?
Plenty of teams love to play the “no one believed in us” card or the “Us against the World” card, but if you want people to believe in you, it helps to give them at least a few reasons to believe. A six-seed regular season and a 1-point win over the worst Peyton Manning team in years don’t count.
Yes, the Jets victory was an upset and a somewhat surprising one, but it wasn’t exactly Cassius Clay over Sonny Liston or the “Miracle on Ice.”
The truth is that even when teams are given respect, it’s more convenient to believe that they aren’t. Anger can be useful in football and the easiest way for a coach to fire up his team is to convince them that they’re hated.
But that kind of attitude only works once. Look at what happened to the Seahawks this week. The Jets are going to have a much harder time playing the disrespect card this week.
Yes, Pittsburgh is favoured again, but two weeks after that 45-3 loss, the Jets beat the Steelers in Pittsburgh, the same place they’ll play on Sunday. Everyone knows the Jets can beat the Steelers. They just beat the 14-2 Patriots easily. You’re not fooling anyone anymore.
So you can try to say “no one believes in us,” but no one is going to buy it.
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