Jets’ TE Kellen Winslow predicted that the Patriots and Broncos would make it to the AFC title game…
When one of the Jets’ own veterans picks two OTHER teams to appear in the AFC Championship Game, it sheds light on a losing mentality, a sharp contrast from the blustering Super Bowl predictions of years past. On one hand, this is surprising, because technically the Jets could still snag the second Wild Card spot and sneak into the playoffs. We know that the four division winners will be the 10-2 Broncos, 9-3 Patriots, 8-4 Bengals, and 8-4 Colts, and we know the 9-3 Chiefs have all but secured the first Wild Card spot, but the second spot belongs to no one. The 5-7 Jets are on a relatively even playing field, as their closest competition for that coveted Wild Card spot are two 6-6 teams (the Ravens and Dolphins) and three 5-7 teams (the Steelers, Titans, and Chargers). Last season, the 3-6 Washington Redskins won seven games in a row to win the division, so why couldn’t the Jets’ buckle down and steel their wills to win their next four games? (Those games are rather winnable, I might add.)
The reason lies in the organization’s shattered confidence in Geno Smith, John Idzik’s own wonder-boy who leads the NFL with 22 turnovers. To make matters worse, Smith has thrown a paltry 8 passing TDs (28th in the league), completed 54.7 percent of his passes (33rd in the league), taken 38 sacks (3rd most in the NFL), and posted a 60.4 quarterback rating. For the sake of perspective, that quarterback rating is not only the worst among all quarterbacks but approximately ten points behind Brandon Weeden and Terrell Pryor. For a little more perspective, Smith hasn’t thrown a touchdown pass in seven weeks! Smith has no fire, passion, or accountability. He has the same tepid demeanor and deer-in-the-headlights look that Mark Sanchez always had, which explains why neither quarterback can command the respect and trust of a locker room.
This is why Winslow’s remarks are perfectly understandable, even though they are inopportune and better left unsaid. Winslow and his teammates know they can’t win with Geno Smith. Of course the Jets could win their next four games “in theory”, and we might expect at least a little optimism from the players when the playoffs aren’t statistically out of reach, but in actuality the team knows better. Geno Smith does not have what it takes to be a successful starting quarterback, and he will not lead this team to the playoffs.