And So It Ends: Colts – 30 Jets – 17

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Similar to 1998, the Jets were 30 minutes away from the Super Bowl and similar to 1998 they ended up losing by 13 points. The Colts proved to be the better team today as a locked in Peyton Manning targeted and abused Dwight Lowery and Drew Coleman. It wasn’t about Dallas Clark or Reggie Wayne who the Jets did a good job on, it was about Pierre Garcon and Austin Collie abusing the Jets secondary. After an early two sacks, the Jets pass rush disappeared and with no pressure in his face, Manning beat up on the Jets defense.

On offense, the Jets moved the ball well throughout the day but were victimized by two missed field goals and a 3rd quarter injury to Shonn Greene. I love Thomas Jones but he looks like he just might be about done. The major positive from the day? Our rookie quarterback going on the road and having one hell of a performance. Mark Sanchez racked up 257 passing yards and two touchdowns. He stood in the pocket all day, avoided getting sacked (major credit to the Jets offensive line) and completed an array of difficult passes. I don’t think anybody with half a brain will be comparing him to JaMarcus Russell anytime soon.

Is the future bright for this team? Absolutely. However, that doesn’t really mean much today. Beyond that, you never know what could happen in the NFL to prevent bright futures from occurring. Remember 1999?

In the end, this team put together a great year and has given us plenty to be optimistic about for the upcoming years. Let all Jets haters get their shots in the next few days because they are bitter their teams didn’t accomplish as much as the Jets this year or their futures aren’t looking as bright (unless they are Colts, Saints, or Vikings fans…well at this point, maybe not Vikings fans). The Jets will regroup, get Kris Jenkins and Leon Washington back (remember them?) improve their cornerback position, add a pass rusher, and be ready to compete for a AFC East title next year…so maybe we could be the home team in AFC Championship Game next year.

It has been a great time covering the Jets this seaon and after a few more days of Jets/Colts coverage (and a brief vacation) we will be in off-season mode.

4 thoughts on “And So It Ends: Colts – 30 Jets – 17

  1. word making it to the afc championship game with a rookie qb n rookie coach we will b good for a very long time.

  2. Obviously there is a lot to say about today’s game and the season. I can’t do it now but a couple of observations. We lost today to the better team, not because we threw 5 interceptions, not because they had some really fluke-y run back or a bad call. (If I was a Viking fan, I would be apopleptic/homicidal right now.) We couldn’t run against the even before Shonn got hurt. They did not miss a tackle all day. Their defensive line was excellent against our own very good offensive line. They had more weapons than we had (Pierre Garcon was awesome) and even though we contained Wayne, it wasn’t nearly enough. And even though we were rightfully proud of our defense, we badly need a pass rusher, it turns out. And even though our best player is a shut-down cb, guess what? We need another shut-down cb. And Manning is playing at a very high level-some of the coverage (especially by Lowery) was not really so bad, but the passes were perfectly thrown and the catches were made.

    Lots of positive developmentsr: 1.A great new coach that will make the Jets an attractive destination for free agents (as opposed to Mangini Stalag) and a great defensive mind. 2. Confirmation that our personnel manager (Tannenbaum) has been doing a fine job. (And maybe some indications that the Patriot personnel management has not been so good?) 3. Uninterrupted play for our offensive line which excelled. 4. Outstanding linebacker play. 5.A quarterback for the next DECADE (and when was the last time you ever thought that about a Jet.) 6. A big group of great young players-Ferguson, Mangold, Harris, Greene, Keller, balanced by the presence of very good veteran players (Pace, Scott, Faneca, Woody, Moore, Cotchery, Leonard and in my opinion, Rhodes. 7. A bonding moment for the team and its fans in a 37-0 blow-out that closed Giant stadium that will not be forgotten by those present. 8. And maybe the best season by a Jet not named Namath, Martin, or Klecko. I am talking about MVP candidate Darelle Revis, of course.

    So though this was a big loss, it was not a deavstating one. Shepherd and Ghoulston are gone. They have a tough decision to make about TJ and Leon Washington. Amazingly, or counter-intuitively, I think their highest draft pick will be spent on defense.

    I think one of the biggest goals this year was getting Sanchez to play in 16 NFL games and have him learn through experience. Instead, he started 18 games, including 3 playoff games, and clearly progressed during the course of the year. Amazingly, he was about the player least responsible for today’s loss. In case nobody noticed, he did not have the jitters in the playoffs (or the Rose Bowl) and looks like a big game player. He will be better next year, and with that hope, we look to win a higher number of games, and make the playoffs in a much less frantic manner next time. So we move on. It was a great year.

  3. Bruce, Outstanding analysis. Joe, the pressure disappeared when Bart & Strick went out. We were down one half of the Bruise Brothers, imo the leadership half (not taking anything away from DH, he leads, too; but Bart is the heart of this defense). Not just that, Bart is excellent at getting penetration both against the run and against the pass. Whereas I’d gotten used to seeing the familiar pocket look ragged and broken when seeing Bart & DH rush the A gaps, the Colts pocket yesterday maintained structural integrity at a very high rate.

    If you think about all the games this year where our secondary dominated, Strick was in the game. He’s out, and we’re ordinary. Memo for T-REX during offseason; if we can’t get another lockdown CB to complement Darrelle, get a CB with Strickland capabilities who has Revis durability.

    Don’t know why Sheppard sat out as much as he did; I mean, I understand why they sat him – last game he was gettin’ beat like a redheaded stepchild, or giving up drive extending penalties. But after Strick went down and later, Lowery getting hobbled, at that point Shepp is the healthiest and most capable CB left standing whose not wearing “24″ on his jersey.

    Jimmy Leonhard is a stud; the man is just a player, like I’ve said before, he’s the Chrebet of our Defense… and I LOVED Wayne Chrebet! Can’t wait to get a Jersey with #36 on it.

    TJ and the O-Line carried the offense with his 14 TD/1400 yards – but yes, he looked gassed out there today. No shame in that either. When Shonn went down, the one thought that kept coming into my head was, if Leon were playing, we’d still have a two headed monster of a running attack. I’m really looking forward to seeing Leon, TJ & Shonn all getting carries. This year’s formula of letting Greene bowl over guys when their tongues are wagging only gets better when you have LW slashing/juking past their battered bodies on the next carry. I really see big things from this trio of backs next year. Because of this, I hope the Jets work towards keeping TJ onboard, perhaps working out some kind of deal to save money.

    Joe, as we’ve mentioned before, we’re on the same page, Ace – we’re one quality pass-rushing DE away from fielding a truly scary defense. Plus I expect Rapoti to emerge next year under tutelage of the fine Jets coaching staff. Ditto for Slauson on the O/L – Callahan is the best there is.

    So many things to be thankful for, guys – making it to the AFC title game after losing pro bowl RB & NT, seeing our franchise QB grow up before our very eyes, witnessing the most dominant season by an NFL CB and knowing he will be a JET for a long time, and the best part, having the right coach leading this group of talented guys. I have faith that the Jets are going to be a quality opponent to be feared and respected for a long time, guys.

    No more SOJ, from now on it’s ATFJ… “and the FUCKIN’ JETS!”

    T I M

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