By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — Every team in the NFL wants to win the Super Bowl. It’s just … for some teams, that’s a more realistic goal than it is for other teams. Such is life in an NFL that claims to have parity but, for the most part, does not.
Yet, despite a six-year absence from even making the playoffs, despite the lack of a clear-cut starting quarterback, and despite a 5-11 record last season, the New York Jets are still aiming for a Super Bowl.
“Our ultimate goal is to get to the Super Bowl,” Jets head coach Todd Bowles said over the weekend, according to NorthJersey.com. “Obviously, we have to take steps. We have a lot of guys we have to get acclimated chemistry-wise right away, but our goal is to win regardless of whether we have younger guys or older guys.
“Our goal is to win, so progress for me is being a lot better than last year and getting to the playoffs and getting to the Super Bowl,” Bowles added. “That’s the ultimate progress.”
Bowles was wise to not repeat the mistakes of his predecessor, in that he did not guarantee a Super Bowl, nor did he place a time limit on his Super Bowl vision.
Bowles did make a mistake, however, in his goal of just “getting” to a Super Bowl. Typically, you want to win the Super Bowl, as getting there and losing doesn’t do a whole lot in terms of creating cause for celebration. You can ask the Falcons, Panthers, 49ers and Cardinals about that.
Of course, Bowles must maintain that type of attitude, even as the head coach of a floundering franchise. Telling reporters “we’re just hoping to maybe get to .500 this season” wouldn’t really do much in terms of inspiring a fan base, and it probably wouldn’t help much in the quest for Bowles to continue receiving paychecks from Woody Johnson.
Still, the incongruity of the New York Jets talking about a Super Bowl appearance as a realistic possibility is something that will always jump off the page. They’re 41-55 since 2011, they have just two postseason appearances in the past decade, and they went 0-6 and were outscored 175-76 in their five games against playoff teams in 2016. (That field goal kicked against New England while trailing 41-0 on Christmas Eve was nothing short of iconic.)
It doesn’t help the Jets’ chances of reaching a Super Bowl when it’s noted that all but two of the AFC representatives in the Super Bowl since 2001 have been quarterbacked by either Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisberger or Peyton Manning. While Manning is out of the picture, the fact remains that without a top-tier quarterback, the chances of even making it through the AFC playoffs remain remarkably slim.
Other than that, it totally makes sense for the Jets to be thinking about a Super Bowl.