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.