With apologies to the NFL fans in Detroit and Houston, the Jets are the worst team in the NFL right now.
Yes, technically speaking, the Lions have the worst record in the league at 0-8-1 with the Texans, losers of their last eight games, second-worst at 1-8.
But the eye test will tell that even the woeful Lions and Texans are better than the 2-7 Jets.
Because the Jets have fallen to the insulting and unspeakable depths of being simply noncompetitive, and that’s the worst place of all for a team to be because it leaves its fans with no hope.
A long-time friend of mine who’s been a Jets season-ticket holder for some two decades, texted me in the press box with the Jets losing 10-0 to the Bills in the first quarter Sunday to tell me he was already in the parking lot on the way to his car.
Several minutes later, the Bills had taken a 17-3 halftime lead and, when they scored on their first three possessions of the second half to take a 38-3 lead in the third quarter, my friend, who was probably already back home in Brooklyn, looked pretty smart.
The question now is whether he and all the other Jets fans who came to MetLife Stadium on Sunday with some new-found hope and energy thanks to Mike White Mania will show up this Sunday for the Dolphins game … or any of the other final four home games after that, for that matter.
If the team is not showing any improvement, what’s in it for the fans?
Not even the most optimistic Jets supporter can make the argument that this team is improving in any area at the moment.
At least the Lions, who tied the Ben Roethlisberger-less Steelers 16-16 Sunday in Pittsburgh, are (and have been) in most of their games. Of their eight losses, the Lions have been in all but three of them (a 34-11 loss to the Bengals, a 44-6 loss to the Eagles and the season-opening 41-33 loss to the 49ers in which they trailed 41-17 in the fourth quarter).
The Texans have been blown out in three of their eight losses — 40-0 to the Bills, 31-3 to the Colts and 31-5 to the Cardinals, though their last offensive TD on the road came in Week 2.
The Jets, fresh off Sunday’s 45-17 toying the Bills administered to them, have five losses in which they were essentially eliminated from contention by halftime.
Jay Kornegay, the executive vice president of Superbook Operations in Las Vegas, on Tuesday told The Post that the Jets right now on a neutral field would be a 2.5-point underdog to the Lions and a 1.5-point underdogs to the Texans.
According to VSiN ratings by Point Spread Weekly, the Jets would be 1.5-point underdogs to the Lions and a half-point favorite over the Texans, who had a bye last week.
Vegas knows what it’s talking about with these things.
This is what I know: The Jets keep selling their fans hope and a lot of them have stopped buying it because they’re disgusted.
Joe Douglas hiring as the general manager in 2019 was supposed to change the direction of the franchise because it finally had a “football man’’ with a strong player-personnel pedigree from stops at two successful franchises in Baltimore and Philadelphia.
Under Douglas’ watch, the Jets are 11-30 (a 36.6 winning percentage). His predecessor, Mike Maccagnan, was 24-40 in his four seasons (37.5 percent) before being fired and being considered by Jets fans as an abject failure.
Where exactly has the improvement taken place under Douglas?
Enter Robert Saleh as the new head coach this season, replacing Adam Gase, who was 9-23 in his two years and run out of town. It’s far too early to judge Saleh, who’s grooming a rookie quarterback and has a neophyte roster.
He appears to be an excellent leader with terrific potential as a head coach. But the results have been horrid, the team going backward at a time in the season when there should be improvement.
This team has allowed 296 points through nine games, an average of 32.9 per game, and is on pace to allow 559 points. That would shatter the record for most points allowed in franchise history — the 457 (28.6 points per game) last year’s team yielded.
For context, Rich Kotite’s 1996 team that went 1-15 allowed 454 points, an average of 28.4 per game, and was outscored by 175 points.
This Jets team has been outscored by an NFL-high 135 points in nine games and is on pace to be outscored by 255, which also would eclipse the franchise record of 214 set last season and by Lou Holtz’s calamitous 1976 season in 14 games.
The Jets are the worst team in the league right now.