The Jets came in needing a victory and a lot of help in order to make the playoffs for a third consecutive season, and neither happened.
They finished the season on a three-game losing streak, their second such streak of the season. There is plenty of blame to go around for the Jets' struggles, and changes will be made.
A long offseason is on the horizon, but before we start talking about that, let's take one final look and see what we learned from their latest loss.
The 2011 season came to a close for the New York Jets on Sunday, much earlier than most expected.
The season ends without a playoff appearance, the first time that has happened in the three seasons under Rex Ryan.
With the season on the line, the Jets couldn't manage to defeat the Miami Dolphins.
The slim playoff hopes they had going into the game were squashed, and now a long offseason lies ahead.
The New York Jets came into the season with Super Bowl aspirations fresh off of two straight appearances in the AFC Championship Game.
However, the Jets stumbled through a roller-coaster season en route to finishing 8-8.
Expectations were not met, and as a result changes need to and will be made.
It starts with the offensive coaching staff, where Brian Schottenheimer is expected to be fired, possibly along with other offensive assistants.
Aging veterans like Bart Scott are not expected to be back. Expect Mike Tannenbaum to be very busy this offseason as he tries to fine-tune the roster to turn this team into a Super Bowl contender.
A season's worth of frustration finally boiled over on Sunday for Santonio Holmes.
Holmes was seen arguing with teammates in the huddle and was reportedly benched by offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer.
Now there is definitely more to this story, and I'm sure more details will start to come out in the coming days and weeks.
For now, though, the New York Jets have a big problem on their hands.
Trading Holmes seems a bit premature considering the Jets wouldn't get proper value for him, but it's definitely a real possibility.
However, the offseason is long, and a lot can happen in the coming months.
Fences can be bridged and amends can be made. One thing we know for sure is that this story isn't going away.
The New York Jets didn't make the playoffs, nor did they deserve to.
Even if they managed to get in, which almost happened, they wouldn't have done any damage like in previous years.
They were an average team, and their record perfectly reflected that.
Then with their season on the line in the final week of the regular season, they came up short, a common theme of the season.
Hopefully the Jets can learn from this season and come back with a vengeance in 2012.