It was easy to remain somewhat optimistic all the way to the end of the New York Jets 2011 season. Despite their ongoing struggles, they remained viable playoff contenders all the way until the final minutes of their schedule. Yet, throughout the year there were ongoing moments, where you had to say to yourself “this just isn’t our year.”
1. Oh What A Start – Most people forget the Jets season started with Dallas marching right down the field on their defense and scoring a touchdown as Dez Bryant ripped a fade route away from Antonio Cromartie. Their first play on offense was then DeMarcus Ware ripping past Wayne Hunter and nearly killing Mark Sanchez. We should have known right there this defense would be a disappointment and Hunter would be a disaster.
2. Oakland Meltdown – The Jets were in control against Oakland week 3, up 17-7 and looking like they were headed to a 3-0 record. Yet, what followed was a complete meltdown which showed a mentally weak team that lacked character. Missed tackles. Muffed kicks. And just like that a 3 game losing streak was underway.
3. Accept Losing – The way the Jets locker room treated their week 5 loss to New England should have raised red flags. They sounded all too content to have lost a relatively close game. The confidence that they were better than New England was clearly gone.
4. Brady/Tebow – In retrospect, the Jets season was summed up by their two ugly losses in a four day span to New England and Denver in the middle of the season. There was something particularly soft about the way they went down against Denver that really drove the point home.
5. Pathetic Win – Considering how bad the Buffalo Bills were playing before their week 12 match-up with the Jets, it is was kind of embarrassing that they needed a late drop by Stevie Johnson to preserve a win at home.
6. No Show – How do you no-show in Philadelphia the way the Jets did with a playoff spot on the line? Calvin Pace thanked the Eagles after the game for showing mercy because he admitted the Jets had no chance of stopping them.
7. No Tackle – The Jets were in complete control of their game against the Giants until they failed to tackle Victor Cruz on a 8 yard out route that turned into a 99 yard touchdown. If you had watched this team all season, you knew the game was over after that play…and it was.
8. Bubby Brister – Anytime you throw not one, but two interceptions to a defensive lineman, in a single game…you aren’t a playoff team.
9. Quit – Captain Holmes wanted no part of the Jets come back.