Labor Day is a day tinged with both excitement and sadness.
The sadness is obvious to anyone who has ever been a kid, had a kid or worked in a school. Summer's over, school is starting up again and there's a long spell of cold, gray months on the horizon that must be navigated before we can again retreat to barbeques and pool parties.
At the same time, the NFL season is right around the corner and that's cause for serious excitement in every corner of the land. The weather might be nice in the spring and summer, but that can't make up for the absence of the Sunday feasts that make the entire year worthwhile.
In that spirit, we're going to take a break from the theme of questioning just how the Jets plan to win games with their current offense this season and accentuate the positives instead. After all, it's not like these are the Kotite-era Jets where the only hope was that someone would detonate a nuclear weapon close enough to the team to ensure they couldn't play any games that season.
We're not going to pretend that there aren't serious questions about this Jets team nor will we try to convince you that conventional wisdom is completely wrong. We're just here to point out that there's more to this team than their substandard skill position players and one of the more amusing quarterback depth charts in the history of the game.
1. Darrelle Revis - There's an old saying that goes "Water covers two-thirds of the Earth; (Insert name of your team's best cornerback) covers the rest." It might never be more true than it is of Revis.
Hyperbole is easy to come by when talking about great athletes, but it's all true about Revis. The Jets basically hand half the field over to him and then use the other 10 defenders to do everything else, a strategy that has worked out pretty well over the last three years.
They need that to continue and there's fair reason to believe that Revis will raise his game even higher with a contract fight looming after the season. You might not like the way Revis constantly threatens to hold out, but you have to like the fact that he's good enough to make it a sound business strategy.
2. Pride - At some point, the Jets players have to get a little bit upset about the way they're being presented to the general public, don't they? Playing with pride and backbone won't overcome a lack of talent, but it will maximize that talent -- and if the Jets can't find a little something extra in the face of being a punchline then there's really no choice but to back up the truck and dump the whole lot.
3. Quinton Coples and Muhammad Wilkerson - The Jets defense has been short on playmakers not named Revis, but they seem to have hit on back-to-back first-round defensive linemen. Wilkerson looks a lot like Shaun Ellis while Coples has given hints that he's a game-changer at the point of attack.
4. History - The Jets don't meet expectations all that often. They've been surprisingly good (1998, 2009, a few Herman Edwards years, Eric Mangini's first season) and surprisingly bad (1999, some Herman Edwards years, Eric Mangini's second season), which bodes well for a year that's seeing them written off before the first kickoff.
5. Tim Tebow - If he could win two national titles, a playoff game and a Heisman Trophy throwing the way he does, maybe there really is something to all this miracle talk.