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The pressure builds each week when the Jets, the 0-12 Jets, are on your schedule.
Ask the Packers about the pressure they felt to avoid defeat at the hands of the 0-15 Lions in 2008.
Ask the Steelers about the pressure they felt to avoid defeat at the hands of the 0-15 Browns in 2017.
The Seahawks will feel it on Sunday in Seattle, then the Browns are a good bet to feel it on “Monday Night Football,” then the Ravens are a good bet to feel it, and then Bill Belichick and the Patriots will be a good bet to feel it if the Jets show up 0-15 for the regular-season finale at Foxborough.
As desperate as the Jets will be to win a damn game, they will be met with desperation from opponents who dread what losing to them would mean for their own legacy.
“To be honest, it was a lot,” former Packers receiver Greg Jennings told The Post, and laughed. He is a Fox Sports NFL analyst these days.
“We didn’t want to be that team that gave them that win, or the team that they can say, ‘Oh, we beat the Packers.’ ”
It didn’t matter to the Packers, didn’t matter to Mike McCarthy, didn’t matter to Aaron Rodgers, that they themselves were 5-10 going into that 2008 season finale.
Rodgers hit Donald Driver with a 71-yard touchdown pass midway through the fourth quarter to outduel Lions quarterback Dan Orlovsky, who found Calvin Johnson with two TD passes, for a 31-21 Green Bay win at Lambeau Field.
“You don’t want to be the team that allows a team who is winless to get it on you,” Jennings said. “And so every week that they play right now, every opponent, these teams are looking like, ‘Guys we can’t let ’em get it this week, we can’t let ’em get it this week.’
“So they’re going to be getting everyone’s — it sounds crazy — but they’re going to be getting everyone’s best to a degree because they don’t want to be that team that gives them that win.”
Rodgers already had thrown three TD passes in a 48-25 Week 2 rout of the Lions.
“This is one thing I’ve learned over the course of my football career and now in the media — good teams know how to win, they find a way to win,” Jennings said. “Bad teams, they find ways to lose. If you find yourself in a dogfight, it’s like, ‘OK, can we out-execute for the duration? Because somewhere along this race, you know that they’re gonna falter. That’s just what they do.”
Cover Zero (cough cough).
“Knowing Calvin, I knew it was painful for him to go through that, to deal with that,” Jennings said. “We weren’t the best team that year, either, but we knew we were better than the Lions. We were on the sideline just saying, ‘Just stick with it, stick with it, stick with it, don’t let up, don’t let up, don’t let up.’ ”
Even during and after the great escape, Jennings felt somewhat conflicted.
“I’m from Michigan, so I grew up cheering for the Lions, specifically Barry Sanders,” Jennings said. “I remember being on our sideline during that game saying, ‘Man, I hate that they’re about to go 0-16. They can’t get that one win today.’ ”
It was a set of circumstances for the 2017 Steelers. They already had clinched the No. 2 seed in the AFC playoffs, and Mike Tomlin decided to rest a bunch of starters, including Ben Roethlisberger and Le’Veon Bell. Antonio Brown (calf) did not play. And Landry Jones threw for 239 yards against the Browns defense of Gregg Williams (cough cough).
“We were kinda upset on the defensive side, because Coach revealed on Wednesday who was not playing,” cornerback William Gay told The Post. “Everybody on the offensive side didn’t play, so it’s like, dang, we’re getting stuck out here, it’s about to be 11 degrees, it was cold as heck, and we were just like, ‘Man, we’re playing the Browns.’ We didn’t have nothing to lose other than you don’t want to be the team they get their first win on.”
For those who played, it turned out to be quite a motivation.
The Browns were on the Steelers’ 27 with 1:54 left when Corey Coleman dropped a fourth-and-2 pass from DeShone Kizer at the 11 at the end of Steelers 28, Browns 24 in front of restless fans at Heinz Field.
“They saw a close game with the Cleveland Browns that were 0-15, so they were booing, and we deserved it,” Gay said.
Gay’s advice to the Seahawks: “That it’s an NFL game. You can lose on any Sunday, any Monday … nowadays they’re playing on Tuesday, Wednesday. Mike Tomlin always used to tell us, ‘Respect the game.’ And if you don’t respect the game, it will show you, and it almost did with us in 2017. So I would tell the Seahawks to respect the game, respect the NFL, and just go out there and do your job and play your game. It’s a little easier on the Seahawks right now because they’re fighting to win their division, stay in the hunt, so they’re not going out there thinking, ‘We have nothing to play for,’ because at that time in 2017, we were locked in at the No. 2 spot.
“So we went out there and we played, and then it ended up being a game, so we had to dial in and say, ‘All right, man, we can’t be the laughingstock of the league going into the playoffs,’ ” Gay said.
“The Seahawks got a different mindset, but you definitely don’t want to be the team that gives the first win to somebody.”
Jennings’ advice to the Jets: “It would be go out there and play to win. Play relentless, play with a reckless abandon. You literally have nothing to lose. If you get the penalty, get the penalty, but challenge the ref to throw the flag, challenge that defender to do above and beyond what they feel like they should be doing, or whatever the case may be … play with a reckless abandon and a pride about just who you are and what you’re about.
“And if I’m Seattle, you gotta defend against that. You gotta be who you are.”
And if you don’t showcase your Super Bowl-contender pedigree, self-doubt will dress among you.
“Losing, period, to a team like the Jets at this stage … you just lost to the Giants, now you turn around and potentially you lose to the Jets?” Jennings said. “Like who are you? Are you fool’s gold?”
Don’t be that team.