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No Staycation for the Jets This Year

Long bye week breaks haven't worked out well for Jets the past two years

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
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    Will R&R leave the Jets DOA after the bye?

    When the Jets returned from the bye week this year, they talked a lot about how rested and ready they were for a date with the Packers.

    Then they went out and played one of their worst games in the Rex Ryan era in a 9-0 loss to the Packers. That made it two straight post-bye losses for Ryan after a 24-22 loss to a mediocre Jags team in his first season that helped push the Jets to 4-6 and the brink of irrelevancy.

    The common thread between those two losses, besides the Jets playing pretty poorly each time, is that the Jets took a six-day vacation during the bye week each time. The new CBA requires four days off for every team this year, but the Jets, uncowed by history, are going the extra mile and giving the team six days off once again.

    They are also uncowed by the evidence that more time off isn't working out for anyone this season. Teams are 3-9 coming off the bye thus far and a good number of those teams have looked rustier than a broken-down Chrysler in their first week back in action.

    Last year, the loss, while painful, knocked the Jets down to 5-2 and did little to hurt their chances of making the playoffs. This year, though, the Jets return with a trip to Buffalo in a game that will likely go a long way toward deciding which of those teams makes it to the postseason later this year.

    That's why it feels like an unnecessary risk to throw caution to the wind and give the Jets even more time off as they prepare to play a Bills team that should be 5-2 when gametime rolls around. If that's the case and if the Jets lose, they will find themselves two games behind one of the teams they will have to beat out in order to make it to the playoffs as a Wild Card.

    Two games in two years with two different rosters hardly makes for an ironclad case study about the demerits of taking six days off during a bye week. It just seems that for a team with as many issues and problems as the Jets have experienced so far this season, it would make sense to spend as much time as possible addressing them now so that they won't hinder you nearly as much over the final nine weeks of the season. 

    Beating the Chargers was a great step forward, but it hardly threw a blanket over all of the things that contributed to the three-game losing streak. Missing the opportunity to drill that into players' heads could well prove to be the reason why the Jets can't use that game as a foundation to building themselves some breathing room with the stretch approaching.

    Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City. You can follow him on Twitter and he is also a contributor to Pro Football Talk.

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