Change comes quickly in the NFL. Aaron Rodgers offered a reminder four snaps into the season.
Still, as recently as one month ago, the Jets followed a near-upset of the Chiefs by winning in Denver and handing the Eagles their only loss of the season.
Now, the Jets (4-5), losers of back-to-back games, who are 37 drives and 11-plus quarters removed from their most recent touchdown, get ready to head to Buffalo.
Robert Saleh benched Zach Wilson twice last season, but he doesn’t plan to do so again — even if The Post’s Mark Cannizzaro argues this week is the time to give Tim Boyle or Trevor Siemian a try — sticking with the former No. 2 overall pick who ranks 30th in the league in QBR, has more interceptions (six) than touchdown passes (five) and has thrown for one total score in the past five games.
He is also the best quarterback in New York right now.
With Daniel Jones and Tyrod Taylor injured, the Giants (2-8) have spent most of the past two games led by undrafted rookie Tommy DeVito, losing by a combined 56 points. The Giants now get ready to go to Washington, where the Commanders (4-6) are 10-point favorites against a team they lost to less than a month ago. It is likely that the regular season ends with the Giants as double-digit underdogs in five of their final eight games.
The Jets can find some comfort in a young defense that can be their foundation for a future that doesn’t include Wilson.
The Giants can find solace in a miserable season that might set them up with a franchise-changing draft pick.
Both teams entered the season with big dreams, but they may not have reached them even if they had healthy starting quarterbacks. Having elite quarterbacks in their primes doesn’t promise anything.
Look at Josh Allen, who leads the NFL with 13 turnovers and helped get his offensive coordinator, Ken Dorsey, fired after Monday night’s last-second loss to the Broncos. The Bills (5-5), who had a top-three offense the previous three seasons, have lost four of their past six games — three losses this season came against sub-.500 teams — while averaging 20.5 points. ESPN analytics now gives the Bills a 56 percent chance to make the postseason with the third-toughest schedule the rest of the regular season.
Joe Burrow and the Bengals (5-4) close with the league’s toughest schedule. ESPN gives the back-to-back AFC Championship participant just a 34 percent chance of reaching the playoffs. The Bengals play Thursday in Baltimore after their four-game win streak was snapped at home by the Texans (5-4), who now hold a 53 percent chance of reaching the postseason.
Things change fast in the NFL.
In April, Bryce Young beat out C.J. Stroud for the top honors in the draft. In November, Young is leading the NFL’s worst team while Stroud is garnering MVP buzz for a Texans team that shared the league’s worst Super Bowl odds (200/1) before the season started. The Bills and Bengals were two of the top five favorites.
Meanwhile, the Steelers (6-3) are the first team in at least 90 years to post a winning record despite being outgained in each of their first nine games. The Lions (7-2) are on pace to host their first playoff game in 30 years.
And the most accomplished coach in football history, Bill Belichick, appears on the verge of being fired.
Cultures die. Traditions rise. Nothing is sacred. No one is safe.
Today’s back page
Credit where credit is due
As he was introduced as the new Mets manager at Citi Field on Tuesday, Carlos Mendoza thanked his family, the Mets ownership and front office, as well as the Giants for giving him the chance to play professional baseball.
But he singled out one person from the organization he coached and played for since 2006, and it’s almost certainly not who you think.
Instead of Yankees general manager Brian Cashman or Aaron Boone, an emotional Mendoza credited the late Mark Newman for getting him started as a coach.
Newman, the former longtime Yankees executive who worked for the franchise from 1989 until 2014 and died in 2020, served as VP of Player Development for the organization.
He had a part in running the minor league system when the core of the Yankees’ late 1990s dynasty was coming through.
And it was Newman, according to Mendoza, who steered him into a coaching career when his playing career came to an end in 2009.
“He approached me and asked me if I wanted to become a coach and pursue that career,” Mendoza said.
By 2011, Mendoza had his first managerial job, with the Yankees’ Gulf Coast League team in Tampa in 2011. He then moved on to Single-A Charleston the following season.
“When I got done managing my first year, he called me in my office and said, ‘Carlos, you’re gonna be a manager in the big leagues,’” Mendoza said. “And here I am. I know you’re proud, Mark Newman.”
— Dan Martin
Photo of the day
How long is Green’s suspension going to be?
Big shoes to fill
Last night’s Champions Classic was the unofficial tip-off of the college men’s basketball season. No. 9 Duke beat No. 18 Michigan State, 74-65. No. 1 Kansas topped No. 17 Kentucky, 89-84.
Even with the winningest coach in the sport’s history (Mike Krzyzewski) absent for the second straight season, the event’s branding remains legitimate — Bill Self, Tom Izzo and John Calipari represent three of the seven active head coaches to win a national championship.
But so many other of the faces who defined the sport have left.
Less than three years ago, four of the top five all-time wins leaders (Krzyzewski, Jim Boeheim, Bob Huggins, Roy Williams) were active. Now, none of them — nor two-time national champion Jay Wright — is on the sidelines.
Coaches have long been the face of the sport. The spotlight has only grown in the one-and-done era. But there are few legends left. By the end of the decade, they may all be gone.
Rick Pitino is 71. Izzo is 68. Calipari is 64. Self is 60 and months removed from a heart scare.
Will any coaches of younger generations ever reach their predecessors’ status? I don’t know. But here are some candidates:
Dan Hurley: He is on his way. After winning the national championship last season, Hurley, 50, returned to UConn with the nation’s fourth-ranked recruiting class to lead the nation’s fifth-ranked team. The youngest son of New Jersey’s first family of coaching has the internal motivation and university infrastructure to contend for as long as he is at UConn.
Scott Drew: He would be more celebrated if he didn’t coach at a football school and lead Baylor’s 2021 national title run in empty arenas. But Drew, 53, has plenty of time to win another after completing perhaps the most remarkable turnaround in college basketball history, building a power out of the devastation of the 2003 murder of Patrick Dennehy. The ceiling rises if Drew — the owner of 446 career wins — ever leaves for a basketball school.
Tony Bennett: The Virginia coach was a safe bet in 2019, coming off the school’s first national championship and the program’s fifth season with at least 29 wins in six years. Since then, Bennett, 54, has averaged 21.8 wins per season and hasn’t won an NCAA Tournament game since cutting down the net.
Matt Painter: The longtime Boilermakers coach can follow in Bennett’s footsteps, winning a national championship the year after losing to a 16-seed in Round 1. Painter, 54, has 441 career wins and four Big Ten titles, but he still is looking for his first Final Four appearance at his alma mater.
Mick Cronin: The 52-year-old has been remarkably consistent at UCLA and Cincinnati, claiming 466 wins and reaching each of the past 12 NCAA Tournaments that have been held. Bringing a title to UCLA for the first time since 1995 would receive unmatched attention. Any setback at the historic program could cut his tenure shorter than it would at almost any other school.
Shaka Smart: He has what’s important for this exercise — name recognition. It feels as if he’s been around forever — leading VCU to a Cinderella Final Four run in 2011 — but Smart is only 46 and already has amassed 323 career wins. He has yet to advance past the first weekend of the tournament in a dozen years, but that should change this season at Marquette, which is a title contender after winning 29 games and the Big East last season.
Tommy Lloyd: The longtime lieutenant of Mark Few — the Gonzaga coach is 60, and thus, ineligible for inclusion on this list — got a late start to his first job, but he may never need another one. In his first two seasons at Arizona, Lloyd, 48, went 61-11. True tournament success shouldn’t be far off.
What we’re reading 👀
⚾ Carlos Mendoza reminds The Post’s Joel Sherman a lot of Phillies manager Rob Thomson. Now, the Mets will see if he can do the job as well as his new NL East rival.
⚾ Brian Cashman last week said Giancarlo Stanton is “going to wind up getting hurt again more likely than not.” Seems right! But Stanton’s agent took exception and delivered a thinly veiled Yoshinobu Yamamoto threat.
🏀 Ben Simmons is sidelined due to a back injury. Again. Hard to believe, we know. On the court, the Nets picked up an In-Season Tournament win over the Magic.
🏀 Former Knicks GM Scott Perry dished some words of warning about disgruntled players’ success in a new locale. He never said “Joel Embiid” or “Zion Williamson,” though.
🏒 The Rangers aren’t in on Patrick Kane.
⚽ Emma Hayes, announced Tuesday as the new USWNT coach, had her Craig Counsell moment. Here’s why it matters.
🏒 An arrest was made in England in the latest unspeakably sad turn in the case of Adam Johnson’s skate-blade death.
⚾ Padres owner Peter Seidler, who spent ambitiously on his roster, has died at the age of 63.