Jets’ next step: Start finding ways to win at home


You want to close the gap in the AFC East? You want to be taken seriously as contenders?

Give long-suffering Jets fans something to cheer about and feed off their energy when they do and win a damn game at home.

No one looked forward to walking into Gillette Stadium when Tom Brady and Bill Belichick were waiting in ambush. No one relishes visiting Lambeau Field, frozen tundra or not, with Aaron Rodgers lurking there. Arrowhead Stadium isn’t only a sea of red, Patrick Mahomes makes magic there.

When will anyone start fearing MetLife Stadium knowing that the Jets of Robert Saleh and Zach Wilson will be greeting them inside?

How about Sunday?

How about “J-E-T-S! Jets! Jets! Jets!” not falling on deaf ears, and how about a team and a stadium rising up together against the Dolphins?

“We got a great fan base, they always show up to the games at MetLife. … We were just talking about it, we gotta win one at home for them,” Sauce Gardner told The Post. “That might make some diehard Jets fans feel like, ‘Why they keep winning away but they ain’t winning at home?’

“We definitely talked about it as a team. We gotta win at home, definitely.”

Jets rookies Garrett Wilson (top left and Sauce Gardner are looking for their first home win as Jets, saying the fans deserve to see some victories.
Rookies Garrett Wilson (top left and Sauce Gardner are looking for their first home win as Jets, saying the fans deserve to see some victories.
N.Y. Post: Charles Wenzelberg; AP; Getty Images

It says something about the Jets that they showed up in Cleveland and in Pittsburgh as road warriors. It says something else about the Jets that they are 0-2 at home this season, and 0-12 in the division the past two years means 0-6 in the division at home the past two years.

Saleh is 3-8 at home, and one of those wins came when he was sidelined with COVID-19 while tight ends and assistant coach Ron Middleton assumed head-coaching duties. Since 2016, the Jets are 17-34 at home.

“We gotta give ’em something to cheer for,” Garrett Wilson said. “We haven’t won at home, and that’s gotta be an emphasis for us. We got a great fan base come out and support, and we want to give them something to cheer for.”

The 1998 Bill Parcells Jets lost their first home game before reeling off eight straight wins, including a 38-24 divisional playoff victory over the Tom Coughlin Jaguars. The 2009 and 2010 Rex Ryan Jets were 4-4 and 5-3, respectively, at home on their way to back-to-back AFC Championship games. The 1968 Broadway Joe Jets were 6-1 at home before beating the Oakland Raiders, 27-23, at a frigid, wind-blown Shea Stadium to advance to Super Bowl III.

“Whatever guys are doing on the road, guys need to be doing at home to get ’em ready for a home game,” center Connor McGovern told The Post. “I’m not sure what that is, but we gotta figure that out and make sure we can win at home ’cause that should be where you win most games, and right now we’re winning on the road and losing at home. We need to win wherever we go.”

The 1986 Super Bowl XXI Giants are the gold standard for an intimidating local football house of horrors — 10-0, including a 49-3 shattering of the 49ers and a 17-0 domination of the Redskins in the playoffs at Giants Stadium.

“That’s what good teams do,” Phil Simms said. That’s what good crowds do too. “The fans were so into it that that was a big advantage, no doubt,” Simms recalled.

For the exorbitant price of their tickets, Jets fans this season have been subjected to:

Lamar Jackson slinging TDs.

Quinnen Williams raging on the sidelines at defensive line coach Aaron Whitecotton.

Joe Flacco under siege, and a solitary garbage-time touchdown in the opener.

Zach Wilson’s dramatic fourth-quarter comeback against the Steelers ought to buy him shelter from the “We want [Mike] White” chants, at least until his first pick. It’s the kid’s 2022 home opener, remember.

“We gotta protect the house,” running back Michael Carter said.

Jets fans deserve better.

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