200 Miles From the Citi

December 21, 2009 7:00 AM


Agony_Of_His_Feet.JPGI want to tell you that it's a good thing the Jets lost, because the way they played, they don't deserve to be in the playoffs.

I want to tell you that a team that can't score on the Falcons, as terrible as they have been all year on defense, doesn't deserve the win.

I want to tell you that a good defensive game against a decent offense (10 total points allowed) means nothing when you leave their biggest red zone threat wide open for the game-deciding touchdown.

But I think it's a shame that the Jets are not a game ahead of the rest of the wild card-contending teams this morning after the offense and defense did enough to win Sunday against Atlanta.

First let's get the sob stuff out of the way.  I'm so ticked that the Jets lost another game in the final minute-plus of the game - that's the way they lost 5 of their 7 losses, if you're scoring at home.  And I'm ticked that another Jets season is going to come so close to the playoffs but they're going to end up on the outside looking in (that story will come tomorrow).

Now that that's out of the way - the game analysis.

Yes, the offense could have scored a couple of more touchdowns, and Mark Sanchez could have not thrown 3 interceptions.  But in the interest of "this year is a huge learning experience, and it will all pay off down the line", I saw Sanchez throw a lot of balls away that he probably would have thrown into trouble in the past.  The interceptions were regular interceptions - nothing stupid.  And Sanchez led the team to what should have been 3 field goals, which are better than nothing.  One was pushed wide by Jay Feely, another was blocked, and the third was botched after Kellen Clemens dropped the snap.  (How can Clemens cost the Jets an important game in a game in which he doesn't start?!?!?  Well, that's how.)

Yes, the defense could have covered Tony Gonzalez on the game-deciding touchdown, but they played a great game, and can hardly be faulted.  Everyone was saying the right things after the game - Sanchez said the quarterback has to get the team into the end zone, and the offense has to finish drives, Darrelle Revis said the defense has to make the stops when the game is one the line - but I wish they had both said what they were thinking - "the special teams cost us this game."

It's amazing how things continue to break the Jets way, with the help they needed - they're not eliminated yet, but now they have to deal with seven other teams fighting for the wild card, and they're not at the top of that group.

Again, I'll break down the rest of the AFC playoff contenders tomorrow, but right now I'm still stewing over 'what could have been'.  For those of you interested, incidentally, I was able to watch the game at home - Fox aired the 1pm game opposite the Patriots on CBS.  I'm not quite sure how that works - I thought usually the early game on the doubleheader is blacked out opposite the local team.  And I'm not going to get into how terrible Dick Stockton was calling the final five minutes or so of this game - all I'll say is, time to hang 'em up, Dick.

A Member Of