If Sunday’s New York Jets game were Jeopardy,” here’s a clue: The entire second half.
The question: When were you certain the Jets were going to lose to the Atlanta Falcons?”
Yes my friends, 30 years of Jets-watching has allowed me to be Kreskin, at certain moments. And as me and the rest of my bar amigos at Houligan’s Pub here in Ormond Beach watched mistake after mistake by the Jets, missed field goals, interceptions by Mark Sanchez (geez, where have I written that before?) and blown chances, I knew this was going to end badly.
“How many times have we seen this?” I muttered into my Coke. “Jets dominate the game, can’t put a team away, the opponent puts together one good drive, and BAM, game over.”
So it was, in a way, a tiny bit satisfying as I watched the Jets fall to 7-7, in a crushing 10-7 defeat at Giants Stadium.
A few questions sprung to mind during this contest, besides “what the hell am I doing watching this for 3 hours?”
— OK, so Kellen Clemens stinks as a QB. He also stinks as a holder on field goals. What, if anything, is he good at?
— Was the Jets defense unaware Tony Gonzalez, one of the best tight ends in history, plays for the Falcons? Because he was awfully lonesome on that 4th and goal play when he scored the winning touchdown.
— How many bleepin’ interceptions did the Jets defensive backs drop Sunday? 4, 5, 6? Besides the three missed FG’s that was another sign it wasn’t going to be New York’s day.
— Mark Sanchez, Jets fans really, really want to see progress from you. But on two of those three interceptions (the middle one didn’t bother me that much), it looked like you’ve learned nothing from Week 1. Eat. The. Ball. If no one’s open.
— The defense was great Sunday, really great. I don’t blame them for the loss, even though they gave up the final TD. You just can’t kill a defense that allowed 10 points; they’re not the reason the Jets lost.
— Sadly, thanks to the bumbling of some other AFC teams, I can’t officially write off this season completely. Denver lost and is 8-6, Baltimore is 8-6, while the Titans, Steelers, Jags and ‘Fins are 7-7, like the Jets. But here’s the thing: No way the Jets deserve to be in the playoffs, and there’s NO WAY they’re beating 14-0 Indy next week.
So yeah, the season’s over. And I’m OK with it. 7-7, with a rookie quarterback and the loss of two hugely important players to injury (Kris Jenkins and Leon Washington) is about where this team should be.
It just sucks to watch the same movie over and over again, and that’s what this team is.
**So there were some crazy endings to games Sunday, another reason to love the NFL. Oakland wins AT Denver? With JaMarcus Russell? Crazy. San Diego nips Cincy at the end on a 52-yard field goal? Crazy.
But without a doubt the most thrilling ending was Pittsburgh, scoring a TD on the game’s last play to beat Green Bay, 37-36. They overcame one of the stupidest coaching calls ever (Mike Tomlin of the Steelers, up 30-28, tries an onside kick late in the fourth quarter. Of course Green Bay recovered and scored) and won on the play of the game, Ben Roethlisberger to Mike Wallace, fresh off the “60 Minutes” set, apparently.
Still, the onside kick was beyond nuts. I know Tomlin explained that he didn’t trust his defense, but still, that’s a crazy, crazy call.
— I have no idea who’s making the playoffs in the AFC. My best guess right now is Denver and Jacksonville, but who the heck knows?
**Boy, the Duke basketball team kicked the holy hell out of Gonzaga Saturday. That was nice to see. Still wanting to see more out of the Plumlee boys, Mason and Miles, but I’m not complaining. And it was nice to see Carolina lose, too. A good Saturday!
**Finally, if you’ve hung in there and want a good laugh this Monday, this is my favorite all-time “Christmas song.” The 12 Pains of Christmas cheers me every December. Just listen to the “rigging up the lights” guy and try not to laugh.”