By Peter Schwartz
It was not a good Christmas Eve for the Jets in more ways than one. The worst part of course was the 29-14 loss to the Giants that has put the Jets post-season hopes in peril. We’ll get to that later.
As usual, Mark Sanchez is getting a lot of the heat for the loss. While some of the criticism is warranted, the biggest culprit was the offensive line. They were horrible, to say the least and it clearly had an effect on Sanchez who looked uncomfortable all day and was sacked five times.
Another goat was Santonio Holmes who had two big drops in the game. There is plenty of blame to go around including a curious decision by offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer to have Sanchez throw 59 passes. It’s not like the Jets didn’t have any success running the ball. It’s mind boggling why they got away from that and the ground attack before the Giants went up by multiple scores.
Rex Ryan took a lot of the responsibility, which is noble on his part; but his players just didn’t get it done and now they head into Sunday’s game in Miami needing a win and a lot of help to get in the playoffs.
But in addition to the game, it was a bad day for the Jets organization. The Giants, who were the road team, arrived at Met Life Stadium to find that the Super Bowl logos on the walls outside of their locker room were covered with black curtains.
To be fair, the normal protocol at Jets home games is for those logos to be covered up so that there’s more of a Jets feel when they are at home. It’s also worth noting that when the Giants are home, there is nothing covering up anything by the Jets locker room.
The Giants pulled away the curtains only to have security tell them that they had to stay up. Clearly, this bothered the Giants and they had a right to feel that way.
I understand that it was a Jets home game, but the Jets acted like babies here. It’s the Giants home just as much and maybe even more than the Jets and there was no reason to cover up the logos. I mean, everyone that covers football in New York knows that the logos are there so covering them up is not creating any kind of mystery. We all know they are there so why did the Jets have to be so thin skinned?
It just made a bad day for the team even worse.
Now, back to football.
The Jets have an uphill battle to make the playoffs in week 17. They have to beat the Dolphins in South Florida and also need losses by the Bengals, Titans and either the Broncos or Raiders.
It’s not impossible but that’s a lot to ask for. But let’s be honest…do the Jets really deserve to make the playoffs?
The answer is NO, but they didn’t belong in the post-season back in 2009 and wound up playing for the AFC Championship.
The Giants now lead the all-time regular season series against the Jets 8-4.
The Jets finish their 2011 home schedule with a record of 6-2.
Shonn Greene rushed for 58 yards and needs just 1 yard to reach the 1,000 yard mark for the first time in his career.
Dustin Keller had eight receptions and became just the fourth tight end in Jets history with at least 200 catches. The others are Mickey Shuler (438), Jerome Barkum (326), and Richard Caster (245).
David Harris notched his 4th interception of the season in the fourth quarter. The pick set up a Mark Sanchez one-yard touchdown run.
Josh Baker recorded his first NFL touchdown catch.
Referee Pete Morelli had a rough day forgetting to turn his microphone off. During pre-game warm-ups, we heard him say, “This is going to be fun”. During the game, we heard him say, “it’s cold!” Then, in response to a question from someone, he said “NO S@#%!”
The Jets, in conjunction with A-1 First Class-Viking Moving and Storage, hosted their annual coat drive to benefit New Jersey Cares. Coats were collected as fans entered the stadium to help support this great cause benefiting New Jerseyans in need.
The cast of “Spider-man Turn Off the Dark sung the National Anthem.
I know this doesn’t matter to any of you, but kudos to Jets owner Woody Johnson for providing the greatest press box meal that I’ve ever seen at a Jets home game. Hey, whenever a team breaks out a carving board and jumbo shrimp, plus a halftime meatball hero, it has to be mentioned!
I mentioned the good so I have to mention the bad. The Jets did an awful job by having Fireman Ed on the field before the game. They gave him a microphone to do the J-E-T-S JETS! JETS! JETS! chant and I couldn’t have been more disgusted. I mean, enough of him already. Is he the only Jets fan among 80,000 people? He’s not and the Jets have turned him into a sideshow over the years.
THE WEEK AHEAD
The Jets will get a few days off before returning to the practice field on Wednesday to begin preparations for next Sunday’s regular season finale against the Dolphins in South Florida.
That’s all for now! Merry Christmas and Happy Hannukah to everyone! Check back on Friday for a Jets/Dolphins preview.