Well, the Jets went down to the Steelers 24-19. When the Jets decided to defer the toss at the kick off, that was their undoing. The Steelers held the ball for an opening drive that consumed over nine minutes. The Jets defense was put to the test early and had to endure Rashard Mendenhall. The 5’11”. 225 lb running back was forcing the Jets to stop him on the way to an opening drive touchdown. With that opening drive, it was amazing to see the Jets defense have anything left for the remainder of the game. The fans were behind them the entire time. But on Twitter, some were giving up on them the minute the first half was over. One began to read the old saying: Same old Jets.
By the time the Jets got going in the second half time was not on their side. Key calls in the red zone by Brian Schottenheimer did not help the Jets case to score. On a Third and goal, they should have run the ball instead of pass. They ended up running on fouth down but were held at the one yard line by the Steelers defense. With minutes to go in the game one can see the Jets were getting into the groove, but it was too little too late. Even after a 4-yard TD pass to Jerricho Cotchery made it 24-19 with 3:06 remaining. The Jets never got the ball back.
To Rex Ryan, Same Old Jets means Namath and Weeb Ewbank and those Super Bowl III champions, the ones that had his father Buddy coaching the linebackers. His approach to years of heartache and predestination’s of doom was to blow it over with bombast, overwhelm it with arrogance. So when Rex hears same old Jets, he has a different thought in mind.
Since Bill Parcells finagled his way back to the Meadowlands in 1997, the Jets are 16 games over .500 — 120-104. In the last 14 seasons they’ve finished below .500 just three times, and two of those were crash-and-burn deals after injuries to Chad Pennington.
That leaves just one season, the 4-12 year in 2007, that the Jets flat-out stunk as built and planned. Think that’s a bad deal? Ask around the league. Start in Cleveland. Peek in on Detroit.
In the last 10 seasons, this was the sixth playoff trip for the Jets. Defensive end Sean Ellis, drafted in 2000, played his 12th Jets playoff game Sunday. How many other players around the league have played as many for one team in the last 10 years? Tom Brady? Petyon Manning? Ben Roethlisberger and Hines Ward?
The Patriots, Colts, Steelers and Eagles are the only franchises to have played in more playoff games over the last 10 years than the Jets. The Giants have played in half as many. Of course, the Giants went to the Super Bowl, and won it. So did the Patriots, Steelers and Colts. That’s seven of the last nine championships. None for the Jets.
Failure is relative. The Philadelphia Eagles have been to five NFC Championship Games in the last decade, lost four of them, and still haven’t won a Super Bowl.
The Buffalo Bills once lost four Super Bowls in a row. Now they’ve gone 11 seasons without even making the playoffs. Which way do you think the folks upstate would rather have it?
Maybe this is small consolation, after Vinny Testaverde’s Achilles and Chad Pennington’s wrist and Chad Pennington’s shoulder, and all those almosts — from the Mud Bowl against the Dolphins to the collapse of ‘86 and to halftime leads vanished the last two times before Sunday the Jets got this far.
Will fans think the Jets can get this far next year is the question. Many will boast and say next year is the year they win it all. But coming up is an off season with a lot of uncertainty. Will LT and Jason Taylor decide to stay with the team, retire, or go elsewhere? Braylon Edwars is anotehr big question mark. With free agency, contracts to negotiate, and a possible lock out, no one can tell where the Jets are headed next season.
Also, after not making the Super Bowl and the Jets still not sold out of PSL’s and no PSL seats, how will this help their case to get them sold. I am sure many fans were on the fence and wanted to see how the season ended. The Jets can not market the team as a Super Bowl team, but only as a playoff contender. Two years in a row and this year was their second biggest game in the teams history does not bode well for sales. They will get some hoping the Jets win their division and get at least one home playoff game. But considering how strong New England is and will be, that is another uncertainty.
The fans had one hell of a ride though. They followed the Jets no matter where they played to get to the Super Bowl. Some Jets fans were happy they were on the road. They had an opportunity to buy seats in lower parts of stadiums they would never have done in the PSL ridden seats at the Meadowlands. That is one positive being able to see the Jets on the road. Being able to purchase seats in any part of the stadium. If the Jets had home playoff games, many single ticket buyers would be relegated to the upper bowl. Makes sense to me why some would rather travel to see Gang green.
The Jets organization has a lot to do both on the field and off before next season. Not only do they have their team to lock up, but their ticket holders as well. With many open seats, they can consider some fans free agents. What will the organization do to get those investors into those seats before next season. What will the offers be. How will they market those seats to the potential investors?
The Jets have been heavy on marketing over the years, the same way Jerry Jones has done with the Dallas Cowboys. Will that marketing and the heavy calls their sales team makes be enough to convince investors to buy their share of the stadium? No matter how well the Jets do and how excited the fans get, it always comes back to one old saying if the Jets never win that elusive Super Bowl. Same Old Jets.