Posted by Rick Laughland Posted on 4:46:00 PM with No comments
There was the champagne toast at midnight, and then came New Year ’s Day, where the New York Jets were just that…toast.
As the final seconds slipped away Sunday afternoon, so did the Jets slim playoff chances. New York came to grips with the fact it will not be contending in the 2012 NFL playoffs.
Another season littered with Super Bowl aspirations and plenty of title talk from head man Rex Ryan ended abruptly in a bitter 19-17 Week 17 defeat in Miami at the hands of the AFC East rival Dolphins.
Gang Green showed virtually no sense of urgency as a frazzled Mark Sanchez tossed three interceptions culminating in nine points on the scoreboard for Miami. Jets wide receiver Santonio Holmes—named team captain prior to the start of the season—was benched for New York’s final offensive possession of the game— following his spat in the huddle with offensive lineman Wayne Hunter.
New York’s right tackle Matt Slausson recorded more receptions (1) than Holmes (0) as the former Super Bowl MVP has developed into a malcontent while openly expressing his frustration with his diminishing role in the offense in recent weeks.
With their championship proclamations unfulfilled for the third straight year, the Jets are left searching for answers. Meanwhile, fans are clamoring for wholesale changes to the offensive coaching staff, putting offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer on notice that his days in New York may be numbered.
The Jets enter the 2012 offseason as a team that has taken a major step back—following up back-to back AFC Championship game appearances—with a middling 8-8 record this 2011-2012 season.
The Jets organization is at a crossroads in the franchise’s history. New York will likely use the upcoming offseason period to identify the missing ingredients for its championship formula; otherwise it will face the prospect of another season mired in mediocrity and without a postseason berth.