Missed opportunities, it's funny how there are no two better words in the English dictionary that better describe the 2009 New York Jets season. Whether it was either game against the Miami Dolphins, week six against Buffalo, or the debacle against the Jaguars this season has been full of them.
Of course just when the going got good and the team mustered a three game win streak those "same old Jets' would reappear and yes you guessed it, miss opportunities. Sunday's 10-7 defeat to the hands of the going nowhere Atlanta Falcons put the cherry on top the misery cake for Gang Green as they used every possible way to lose and bury their already dying playoff aspirations.
In what should have been a blow-out turned out to be anything less as Mark Sanchez threw three interceptions to make his season total 20, Jay Feely and the kicking unit went 0-3, and that top-ranked defense? Well they were nearly perfect minus the last play of the last Atlanta drive which would seal the game when Matt Ryan found Tony Gonzalez for a six-yard TD.
The game would start off just how it ended, with disappointment in Sanchez, who after missing last week's win in Tampa would need two attempts to get picked off by Thomas DeCoud much to the dismay of Jets crowd who expected a triumphant return from their franchise QB.
The Falcons would use their field position to get on the board settling for a 24-yard FG by Matt Bryant after being stopped by the defense on three straight one yard plays before committing a holding penalty.
Sanchez would get his moment of glory after both teams exchanged three and outs when he found a wide open Braylon Edwards for a 65-yard TD to put the Jets up 7-3. Two drives later they would have the chance to extend their lead but a botched snap by last week's QB and permanent place-holder Kellen Clemens would cancel out that opportunity.
Even when he doesn't start in a game, Clemens somehow finds a way to show his worth any way he can. I predict his next incident will have to do with the clipboard and Sanchez's head. With the Falcons again punting, Sanchez would respond by throwing his second interception of the day to bring back those memories of a certain Minnesota QB who has thrown just seven all season.
Feely and the kicking squad would cap-off the half by missing a 38-yard FG attempt to keep the score 7-3. More disappoint would follow the Jets into the latter of the game as they would not find the end-zone whether thanks to penalties, poor play calling, or lack of desire. Thomas Jones and Shonn Greene would combine for 83 yards on the ground neither would find the end-zone.
The closest the Jets would get to adding to their lead would be another FG attempt from Jay Feely which would be blocked. Atlanta would use their last shot to get any form of offense after the block where Ryan would lead his team to the Jets six and would find the winning score with 1:38 to go.
Surely now the Jets had plenty of time to at least tie the game right? Well that wasn't to be with Sanchez who would finish the game just as he started it throwing his third pick and ending any and all chances of a comeback. All the missed opportunities would come back to haunt them as they have all year and the Jets now have practically no shot of making the playoffs.
Even if they did, it is pretty clear that they wouldn't make much noise. They now face an undefeated Indianapolis Colts team before finishing out against the Cincinnati Bengals. Hard to believe a season that started off so promising could end the same way they all do. A new QB, a new coach, and a new look defense can't get over the same old Jets mentality that has haunted the franchise for decades.
Perhaps the new stadium will help get rid of the curse but since no real fans will actually be there to see it this is all wishful thinking.
The Good: Nothing
The Bad: Officiating was questionable in this game with phantom intentional grounding calls leading the charge. The near-interceptions by the defense also proved diffidence as the balls balls practically jumped out of their hands.
The Ugly : Between the missed kicks and letting a team score on their last possession of the game it's pretty easy to say this game was going to end up the way it did once the simple things stopped coming.
No game ball this week as the team looks to quietly end their season and hope for a better tomorrow