Nobody saw this coming. After two straight AFC championship appearances, it appeared the New York Jets had finally turned the corner as an organization. With a confident, outspoken head coach and a cap-savvy general manager, the Jets appeared to be closer to shedding the stepbrother image the city of New York branded them with years ago.
They would head into the 2011 season with their sights set on playing for the Lombardi Trophy in Indy. Anything less would be a complete failure.
The result? Same old Jets. Murphy's Law strolled into the Jets locker room and decided to wreak havoc the entire team. Everything the Jets feared for this 2011 team became a reality this season.
Mark Sanchez regressed in his third year as the Jets starting quarterback. Wayne Hunter embarrassed himself game in and game out. Eric Smith played like he was trying to lose his starting job, while the special teams unit looked undisciplined and unprepared, not something you see from a Mike Westhoff unit.
The Jets finished the season 8-8 and now begin a long offseason that will not be short of drama. From Brian Schottenheimer's job status to Santonio Holmes' captain status, the Jets will most likely dominate the back pages in New York once again, but not the way Rex and Mike Tannenbaum dreamt they would.
Here are five key areas of focus for the Jets going into the offseason.