Well, just when you thought it could not get any worse, just when you thought it could not get any uglier, the Same Old Jets found a new way to embarrass themselves on the national stage. Rex Ryan's team had to win the remaining three games and get some help from other teams to earn a playoff berth, which they never deserved to begin with, but last night's abysmal showing ended all hopes they might have had to make it to the postseason.
QB Mark Sanchez once again started despite struggling lately and being prone to committing one turnover after another. This time, however, he was awful even by his own standards - four interceptions and a lost fumble was what it took to end the season that brought back memories of the Kotite era. No, the Jets are not 1-15, not even close, but they sure play like a 1-15 team, at least on offense.
The Jets rushed for almost 150 yards, averaging almost 5 yards per carry, which usually helps Sanchez limit his mistakes. The defense held the Titans to just 12 first downs and 2 of 13 on third downs and pretty much kept the Gang Green in the game. Sanchez, however, still found a way to flush the game down the toilet with his two turnovers late in the fourth quarter. He was getting one gift after another - a personal foul penalty that kept their drive alive and then an awful punt that instantly put the Jets ball back on the Titans' 25-yard line with over 40 seconds remaining. He fumbled the ensuing snap, and hopefully, fumbled his starting job for good as well.
This was as awful as it gets. The Jets didn't deserve to be in the playoffs and Mark Sanchez does not deserve to even be in this league. He pretty much singlehandedly killed the Jets' season with some help form Rex Ryan and GM Mike Tannenbaum, both of whom also deserve to be fired. Rex should be let go for being stubborn and sticking with Sanchez, while Tannenbaum should go for investing so much money in Sanchez and weakening the team with his questionable offseason moves. Then, there's also Tony Sparano, whose "brilliance" reached a new low last night when he inserted QB Tim Tebow right after Sanchez seemingly got into a rhythm and completed two passes in a row. Two completions in a row, of course, is not that big of a deal for even an average NFL quarterback. But Mark Sanchez is in a different category, as even a fifty percent completion ratio is an accomplishment for the Jets' bust.
Jets owner, Woody Johnson, will have to finally step up this offseason and make some drastic changes, as this team has been in a downward spiral ever since the first two seasons under Rex Ryan. The first two years were a success, as Ryan's teams were loaded with talent that he inherited from the previous regime. Then, as the talent started getting older and draft picks were wasted on questionable acquisitions, the sad reality began settling in. Ryan\'s boisterous talk stopped working, his bold predictions started failing one after another, as his teams just weren't good enough to back up his bravado. What started as a promising era four years ago has turned into a circus.
It\'s time for the Jets to clean the house and pretty much start over. Sanchez has to go despite his huge salary cap figure. Yes, the Jets will have to take a big salary cap hit next year, but they are not going anywhere in the next couple of seasons anyway. The team has to be rebuilt from the ground up. Both Rex and Tannenbaum have to go as well, and take the Sparano experiment with them. Who\'s there to replace them? It's a tough question but if Woody Johnson sticks with the current inept front office, the Jets will continue being the laughing stock of the league for years to come.