NFL FanPulse, Week 10: Let’s all hug the Jets fans in our lives

The Jets did something Sunday that I truly did not think was possible this season: They lost to the Miami Dolphins.

The Jets’ third consecutive loss mean they probably won’t be escaping the AFC East basement anytime soon. The Dolphins are clearly tanking, and they’re tied with the Jets with a 1-7 record.

The Jets may be the saddest fanbase in the NFL right now, but they’re not the only ones having a time of it. The Falcons took a bye week break from crushing their fans’ spirits, but the entire city of Atlanta will need a hug after what feels like an almost certain loss to the Falcons’ most hated rival, the 7-1 Saints, this Sunday. The Bengals, meanwhile, are the only winless team left in the NFL after the Dolphins’ win over the Jets.

Those three teams — the Jets, Falcons, and Bengals — were by far the most in need of a hug this week.

The Jets have everyone’s pity right now

Surprisingly, NFL fans feel less sorry for the Dolphins and Washington. Maybe there’s some optimism around a rebuild in Miami and Washington moving on from Jay Gruden. It’s also hard to feel sorry for a Washington team that downplayed a cancerous growth on left tackle Trent Williams’ head that nearly metastasized into his brain and could have killed him.

It’s not just the 1-7 performance and another lost season that’s troubling Jets fans. The team handled the trade deadline abysmally, floating the idea of trading safety Jamal Adams — their best defensive player — while telling Adams he was a part of the team’s plans going forward.

Quarterback Sam Darnold has also underperformed. Over the five games he has been active, he has thrown six touchdowns and nine interceptions. His performance against the Patriots yielded a 3.6 quarterback rating. That’s just embarrassing, even against a Patriots defense that ranks second in the NFL against the pass. Maybe Darnold really was seeing ghosts.

At least the Jets still have a win over the NFC East’s best team, somehow

What makes this situation even more painful for Jets fans is that New York’s one win came against the 5-3 Cowboys, a team that’s currently sitting atop the NFC East. Any given Sunday and all that, sure, but how in the world does anyone manage to beat a Cowboys team fans believe is the best in the NFC East … and then lose to the 2019 Dolphins?

The NFL’s biggest pretender is also is in the AFC East

Last week, we asked whether the Dolphins would pull out a win before the Patriots finally lost a game. Conveniently, the Dolphins won AND the Patriots lost on Sunday. But New England’s loss to Baltimore didn’t convince fans that the team is a bunch of pretenders. That distinction goes to the Buffalo Bills, who got a whopping 63 percent of the votes.

You know who probably didn’t vote for the Bills in this one? Readers at our Bills site, Buffalo Rumblings. Bills fans are overwhelmingly confident in the direction of the 6-2 Bills right now.

Hug all the Jets fans you know — and Bills fans, too, just in case everything really is about to go downhill.