All year after each loss, we've been looking at one aspect of the team which has come under fire by comparing it to some others around the league (or perhaps from Jets history) to illustrate how other teams have to deal with the same issues.
With the final loss of the season mercifully out of the way we can now recap a season where it could indeed have been worse. There weren't many areas where the Jets were the absolute worst team in the NFL despite many preseason rankings placing them dead last in a variety of areas. Even in a macro sense we know that as far as 5-11 seasons go, you don't have to look very far to find one that was demonstrably worse.
So, at the end of the ultimate "it could have been worse" season we can usually find someone who had it worse for every aspect of the team, without even having to rely upon "at least we're not the Browns" every single time.
Interestingly, there was one area where the Jets ended up ranked worse than everyone else. They ended up dead last in Pro Football Focus' cumulative grades.
Even what that tells us is lined with positivity though. If you're doing that badly in cumulative grades, then that largely serves as an indication that you didn't have the talent to win as many one-on-one match-ups as everyone else. However, if you were still competitive, then this means you were able to combat this with gameplanning, motivation, individual playmaking ability and teamwork.
With such a framework in place, that creates grounds for optimism once you add some more talent to it. Contrast this with the Browns who ended up 0-16 despite only being the seventh worst in that metric and you begin to appreciate how a bunch of disparate parts with no leadership can underperform.
So, perhaps that's a sign the Jets are headed in the right direction.
However, if there's one thing we've learned from this series, it's just how depressing it is to focus on a weakness (nearly) every week. "Yes, we're bad at this but at least we're not as bad at these other teams who are just like us and no closer to or further away from being successful as us," is a more sobering way of looking at things than we anticipated. Highlighting ways the team is bad - even if there are other teams that have it worse - is still a miserable exercise.
It could be worse, though. Yes, as bad and miserable and depressing as the it could be worse series was, it is possible to have even worse online Jets content!
What if we were to go to the trouble to set up a discussion thread for Sam Darnold's final game in the NCAA only for the entire thread to generate 12 comments - most of which were remarking on the lack of comments after the fact?
And who could forget the famously terrible and almost impossible-to-finish Ryan Fitzpatrick contract breakdown some guy wrote back in 2016.
Most of all though, as bad as this was all year, at least we didn't have to resort to some kind of nihilistic and self-deprecatingly meta soul-searching. Well, until now.
It's a long offseason ahead but we'll continue to produce regular content here for you on JetsFix.com. It could be better. We'll do our best to make sure it is.