Well, it could person been worse. Colts caput manager Frank Reich was ne'er really the HC of the NYJ. He did interrogation for the job, successful aboriginal 2015, and we learned a fewer months agone that Reich’s aged teammate astatine Maryland, Boomer Esiason, advised him powerfully successful 2015 to debar the Florham Park burial ground.
Reich’s interrogation was seemingly rather cordial, adjacent if Todd Bowles got the gig. Reich went connected to triumph a Super Bowl arsenic an adjunct successful Philadelphia, and present is comfortably ensconced successful Indianapolis. There were nary hard feelings, nor immoderate lingering residue resentment from his stint with the 1996 Jets, who went 1-15 (he quarterbacked their lone win!).
Which is good.
Because if Reich held a grudge — the mode a definite idiosyncratic we each cognize precise good holds a grudge, which is to accidental arsenic intensely arsenic your old-school Italian gramps holds a grudge — there’s nary telling what Thursday nighttime might’ve looked like. The Colts made the Jets look that helpless, that hapless, that hopeless, crossed adjacent the astir vaguely competitory portions of their 45-30 win astatine Lucas Oil Stadium.
The Colts scored touchdowns connected their 4 first-half-possessions, stalled astatine the Jets’ extremity enactment connected their archetypal possession of the 2nd half, past instantly course-corrected that aft forcing an casual three-and-out. That made it 42-10 midway done the 3rd quarter. There are immoderate NFL coaches — well, 1 NFL coach, anyhow — who would’ve had visions of 63 dancing successful their heads astatine that moment. Maybe 70.
The Jets are fortunate Frank Reich, bully and decent and humane, was connected the different sideline alternatively of Bill Belichick (even if the Jets’ caput coach, Robert Saleh, insisted the Colts “never took their ft disconnected the gas,” which he’ll astir apt spot otherwise erstwhile helium takes a 2nd look astatine the crippled film).
They are fortunate determination was nary enmity among the Colts’ regulars, either, the mode determination was connected the tract of District of Columbia Stadium connected the day of Sunday, Nov. 27, 1966, erstwhile Washington manager Otto Graham wanted to simply tally the timepiece retired of a crippled they were starring the Giants 69-42.
But Sam Huff, ex-Giant who was exiled to D.C. by Allie Sherman, had different ideas. Depending connected the communicative you take to believe, Huff either convinced Graham oregon personally pulled kicker Charlie Gogolak onto the tract without Graham’s support to footwear a 29-yard tract extremity to bent 72 connected the Giants, a people Huff knew would basal retired successful the adjacent morning’s newspapers (and has stood the trial of clip for 55 years whenever you spot that leafage successful the Giants’ grounds books).
So the Jets were spared a people that decently reflected however brutally they played, dissimilar 2 weeks agone successful Foxborough, erstwhile it was wide with each passing infinitesimal however overmuch Belichick was reveling successful moving it up, again.
It was already a depressing capable nighttime for the Jets, of course, due to the fact that backmost Mike White wounded his limb connected the 2nd series of the game and sat retired the rest, Josh Johnson taking the reins the remainder of the mode (and really playing precise well, 1 of the fewer agleam spots connected a squad that was different littered with green-hued grease spots).
“We weren’t up for the task,” Saleh said, and that was 1 mode to enactment it.
White had enjoyed a dizzying 3 days since his epic show Sunday against the Bengals. His jersey coiled up successful Canton, astatine the Hall of Fame. Saleh suggested Sunday that White wasn’t needfully viewed arsenic a impermanent place-holder for Zach Wilson anymore, and the manager refused to locomotion that backmost astatine each the remainder of the week. His teammates, to a man, look to revere him.
And determination White was, connected the sideline, wincing arsenic doctors looked astatine his arm. There helium was, spending clip successful the bluish aesculapian structure connected the Jets’ sideline. There helium was, backmost connected the sidelines, sometimes wearing a helmet but mostly not, refusing to vanish into the dressing country but intelligibly not acceptable to instrumentality to the game.
For the 31,338th clip since Jan. 12, 1969, Jets fans were heard to mutter, successful unison: “Why can’t we person bully things?”
Of course, adjacent a steadfast White would’ve been forced to ticker — helplessly, haplessly, hopelessly — arsenic the Jets’ defenders each channeled Kevin Bacon successful “Animal House” erstwhile he’s flattened by the onrushing crowd. It was bad. It was precise bad. But due to the fact that of a comparatively compassionate antheral named Frank Reich, who eased his ft disconnected the accelerator ever truthful slightly, it wasn’t arsenic atrocious arsenic it could’ve been.
Or, successful truth, arsenic atrocious arsenic it should’ve been.