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The Jets Managed to Keep Winless Streak of the 'Players Only Meeting' Alive and Well

I'm not trying to seem like the smartest man in the room. I mean, I do happen to be that person; I'm just trying not to come across that way. Instead what I am is a guy who's good at paying attention and identifying patterns as they arise. So for instance, when we get a news item like the one Chris Klemmer posted last week:

... I could've told you last night's prime time, weapons grade humiliation of the Jets was going to happen. In fact, I called it weeks ago, when the Raiders held a big team meeting:

What followed for the Raiders was 7 points, 157 total yards, 77 net passing yards, 12 1st downs and their head coach and general manager being fired on Halloween night. Like I said, fat lot of good that meeting did them:

I wish I could remember who said it, there was some coach or MLB manager who knew what he was doing when he said he doesn't believe in holding team meetings because, "What happens if you go out and lose the next game?" Exactly. What happens to the Raiders now? What, do they hold another meeting that is even more "passionate" and "cathartic" than the last one, like some movie sequel that promises more action and higher stakes? Do they allow voiced frustrations that are even more frustrated? Bigger bubbles bubbled over? Less things left on chests? Even fewer limits? …

That's the sort of brutal honesty that has been destroying group dynamics since ancient hunter-gatherers were sitting around campfires calling each other out for not pulling their weight at the mammoth hunt. In a business setting, it just breeds more resentment, cliqueiness, back-stabbing and general bitchiness. After I left WEEI they held a huge blowout that apparently got ugly as all hell, and by all accounts just raised the toxicity of the the work environment tenfold. Any family that's ever tried the totally open, totally honest "clear the air" discussion will tell you it's pretty much Festivus at the Costanza's. 

The only difference between the two meetings was that the one in Las Vegas included the coaches. But the results were the same. In addition to Michael Carter getting escorted out of the building, the Jets produced numbers that were so close to the Raiders as to almost be a synchronicity: Six points scored, 155 total yards, 92 net passing yards and 14 1st downs, three of which were from Buffalo penalties. 

But it was even worse than that, via Pro Football Talk:

The Jets went 0-for-11 on third downs in Sunday’s 32-6 loss to the Bills and their futility in those situations is at a historical level. 

With 10 games in the books, the Jets are now 30-for-131 on third downs this season. Pro Football Reference has data for those situations starting in the 1991 season and the 22.9 percent conversion rate is the lowest for any team over that span. 

The fact that the Jets players thought the solution to their problems was to close doors and bare souls was more than naive; it was ignorant of history. These things never, ever go well. They sound good in theory, but defy our nature. Humans don't want to sit around, have open and honest conversations where everything is on the table and no one's feelings will be spared. We want to be led. We want a strong authority figure to tell us what to do. A benign but powerful ruler to call the shots. Someone we respect. But also that we can blame when things go wrong. We can't function if we're putting everything to a vote and sharing the blame when shit goes sideways. 

And so once again we've got yet another team that had yet another meeting and had it blow up in their collective face like a Candygram for Mongo.

Giphy Images.

And they have only themselves to blame. Now they're only alternative is to once again usher the coaches out for a bigger, better, even more brutally honest meeting. And if they do, they'll end up with even fewer points, yards and 1st downs. And maybe a negative number of 3rd down conversions. I tried to warn them, but they just wouldn't listen.