Last year's New York Jets weren't expected to do much of anything, then started 3-2. An oil slick awaited them, though, sending Gang Green into a 2-9 tailspin to finish 2017.
"I'm not going to let it happen," Jets safety Jamal Adams said, via NJ.com. "That's why. It's simple and plain. It's not going to happen."
Adams was an expected contributor right out of the gate as a rookie in 2017, learning a valuable lesson as the Jets morphed from surprising to an afterthought. The slide left Adams plenty of time to reflect on what went wrong. He chalked it up to some Jets doing the "bare minimum," among other things.
"It's not like they came in here and just smacked us," Lee said of the Vikings, who beat the Jets 37-17 on Sunday. "It's nothing to sit here and hit the panic button about. We're fine. No one is worried or panicking here. We're fine as a group. We're a lot more close-knit [than last year].
"I know in a couple years past, since I've been here, the wheels have fallen off and all hell would break loose. But we're fine, and no one is panicking here. We weren't as close-knit as a group as we are now. Nobody has got their head hanging down."
There's a fair case to be made in favor of Lee and the Jets. The first being the most obvious: New York has what seems to be its franchise quarterback in Sam Darnold.
Darnold also didn't finish with the prettiest stat line Sunday: 17-of-42 passing for 206 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions. A lot of that happened because the Jets were trying to climb out of a three-score hole in the fourth. Some of that also created the eventual 20-point difference.
But there's reason for optimism. These Jets are at the very least competitive on a weekly basis. They still own a positive point differential. And they're battling despite key injuries at a few different positions.
The ultimate difference for these Jets, though, will be found in the next three weeks when they face teams they should be able to beat. Chicago is giving nearly every one of its opponents a headache at the very least, but Miami and Buffalo -- key division games -- both seem to be losing control of their respective rudders.
Two wins in their next three games can put the Jets at 5-5 with six to go. But two or three losses (ahead of a final six games that includes two meetings with New England) will have them looking more toward the draft than January.