Sunday Paper (Year 4, Volume XLVIII)
Thursday night's disaster of a Jets game may not have only marked the end of the 2012 Jets' season.
It may mark the end of this current Jets "era".
I don't expect changes to be immediate - but I think that shortly after the final game of this season is played, changes will be made.
Thursday night may have been Rex Ryan's last chance to show that he can rally his team in a game that really matters.
First of all - I'm not even sure four years is enough to qualify as an era. But so it goes in coaching circles - one go-around becomes an era. I think you know what I mean.
Secondly, the fact that there are some (all?) winnable games left on the Jets schedule hasn't changed. The idea that the Jets can win them all, though? That certainly has.
This team, despite my earlier claims that it could be reminiscent of the 2009 Jets, is not like the 2009 or 2010 Jets. It's just like last year's team - they'll fold and quit on their coach in the coming weeks. There just isn't a good dynamic in that locker room - Santonio Holmes or not.
And that's a shame, because that's what Rex Ryan handled so well in his first couple of years as Jets coach - the idea that the Jets were one unit, and everyone else was the enemy. Now, not only can't the team win on the field, but they're tearing themselves apart from within as well.
But maybe the problem begins and ends on the field. Because the team of the first two years was a winning team - that certainly cures all ills. Once things started going sour on the field last year, so did things in the locker room. Changes followed - good bye, Brian Schottenheimer, Plaxico Burress, LaDainian Tomlinson.
This year, it's evident that the Jets, with their current core, won't return to the top tier of the AFC. Changes have to be made. Coach? General Manager? You have to believe both are possibilities, considering that the team was too thin at too many positions this year...and the coach didn't do a great job with the players he had on the field.
Prime among those players - Mark Sanchez. He embarrassed himself even further on Thanksgiving with his slide into his own offensive lineman, causing a fumble returned for a touchdown. It may not be completely his fault that he (and the team) was so terrible this year (that whole sliding fumble came off a broken play - just like so many other plays this year that make you wonder was Sanchez at fault or did someone else miss a signal?), but he's become the face of the failure. The Jets need to do something to change their quarterback situation - because I'm not sure there's any way Sanchez will ever be able to succeed as Jets quarterback after this season.
And that'll be that. After just 4 years the Rex Ryan-Mark Sanchez era might be over. In 2009 things looked so promising - like they would be the building blocks for a new page in Jets history - one with multiple shots at Super Bowl championships.
But, like with so many things, it's not how you start, it's how you finish. And 2009 and 2010 are distant memories.
Back-to-back AFC Championship Game appearances are certainly outweighed by back-to-back implosions and disappearances.
*I love how '60 Minutes' responded to Aaron Rodgers for his accusations that they took his words out of context in their feature a couple of weeks ago. Athletes sure are frustrating.
*If you thought Notre Dame would have an easy time of it against USC Saturday night, you must have forgotten I was rooting for them. It seems like it's never easy for any team I'm rooting for.
*I can't believe we're already at the point of the year for retrospectives and the like. I feel like everything is such a whirlwind right now - I can't believe the year is ending.
*I don't have much else to say right now. But I'll tell you this - I feel better having written about the Jets. That loss was kind of eating away at me since Thursday night. Reminds me of why I started writing the blog in the first place - to kind of let off some of that steam. And, as a Jets fan, there's always a lot of that steam to let off in late November/early December. Thanks for reading.