OK, nine games.
Not bad, New York Jets. Nine games in, and I can officially call it a season.
No playoffs, certainly not at 4-5 with the Pats coming up next week. No Super Bowl (ha!). No real reason to expect things to change in this, my 28th year of fandom (I was too young the first six years of my life to really appreciate this lovely franchise).
I really don’t feel like re-hashing all the things the Jets did wrong in their excruciating 24-22 loss to Jacksonville Sunday, but a few must be brought up:
— The defense is off for TWO weeks, and the Jets play like that? Awful tackling. Pressure on the QB in the second half, but not much in the first. And the pass defense on the final drive was atrocious.
— Braylon Edwards, you want a big contract? You HAVE to make that catch on the 2-point conversion the 4th, after the Jets put together a fantastic drive to take the lead. Don’t give me any garbage about the hit knocking the ball out; you have to make that play. If he does, I think the Jets lead by 3 and the game goes to overtime.
— I know it didn’t cost them any points, but Mark Sanchez, what the hell was that throw on the second interception, when the Jags’ defensive end, Quinton Groves was RIGHT THERE in front of your face, and you threw it anyway? Thankfully Groves forgot how to run at the end there, and tripped over his own feet at the 4-yard line. But still, terrible decision by our franchise QB. He did, however, have a great 4th quarter to redeem himself.
–Only my beloved Jets can try to let a guy score at the end of the game, which was the right thing to do, and fail at that, too.
— Rex Ryan, you’re a defensive coach. A brilliant coach, we’ve been told. One of the great minds in the NFL. Yet this is now twice in the last six weeks, when your offense gets you the lead, all you need is one stop to win the game, and your defense, which talks more trash than any team has a right to, can’t get it done. This was the freakin’ Jaguars, for God’s sakes, not the 1989 49ers or the 1998 Minnesota Vikings!
— More timeouts burned needlessly by the Jets in the second half. Didn’t we already go through this during the Herm Edwards Era?
Ugh. Just awful. This team is just not that good. The rookie QB is learning, the rookie head coach is learning, and it looks like 7-9 is in our future.
Thank God Duke basketball is getting underway. I need a good team to root for this winter.
**Some other NFL thoughts from a wacky Week 11:
— Bill Belichick made one of the craziest coaching decisions I’ve ever seen this side of Ray Handley and Art Shell Sunday night. After his Patriots pretty much dominated Indianapolis, Belichick decided to go for it, up 34-28, on 4th and 2 from his own 28-yard-line. Why? Clearly, he had no faith in his defense stopping Mr. Peyton Manning, but still, they’d stopped the Colts a few times already, and don’t you at least have to try?
Of course, the Pats didn’t make it on 4th down, and the Colts had great field position, and of course Peyton Manning made a superb throw on the score that won the game. Doug Hennig never made as many escapes as Indy’s No. 18. My friend Pearlman just wrote a blog about his greatness.
**Fantastic, hard-hitting Bengals-Steelers game Sunday. What an amazing turnaround by Cincy. Quick, someone call Ickey Woods and see if he still knows how to shuffle.
**OK, everyone who thought the one-win Rams would have a pass attempt that could beat the undefeated Saints on the last play of the game Sunday, please raise your hand. This is yet another reason I don’t gamble on the NFL.
**Finally, I love supermarkets. Always have. There’s just something about food shopping that makes me feel like a grown-up. Seinfeld has said this before, and he’s totally right: As a kid in the supermarket, you have to beg your parents for food. As a grown-up, you can buy whatever the hell you want.
Anyway, two ruminations from my Sunday evening trip to the store:
— One way I always know the new year is coming is when the milk’s expiration date is past January first. This is the earliest I ever remember it happening, but I got a carton with a “Jan. 6, 2010” date on it. I was excited.
— It’s 2009. Hasn’t anyone at the company that makes Comet (Prestige Brands, I just learned) figured out a way to put a real, closeable top on the bottle yet, instead of that stupid adhesive tape that never sticks after you open the bottle? I mean, seriously, is this really so hard?
This is the stuff I think about. And you wonder why I have trouble sleeping…