New York Jets Have Nothing to be Proud of After Colts Surrender Football Game
This is not how a team would like to win a game.
Sure, a win is a win, and if you root, or work, or play for the New York Jets, you take every win you can get.
But when the greatest quarterback in the game is removed because Colts head coach Jim Caldwell is willing to treat the remaining games as preseason, you can't feel good about it.
Head Coach Rex Ryan and the Jets didn't pump their chests after the game. They were extremely happy to win and even happier that they had somehow, perhaps by way of osmosis, stumbled into the playoff picture as a possible five seed.
This means that if the Jets beat the Cincinnati Bengals next weekend, the Jets, with all of their warts, will be in the playoffs.
The Jets were down 15-10, and the Colts were legitimately trying to win this game, when Peyton Manning was making completions to Austin Collie and Dallas Clark, when Joseph Addai split the tackles like Moses split the Red Sea for a touchdown to make it 7-0, Colts.
Then, Colts head coach Jim Caldwell decided that he didn't care about a 15-0 record, deciding to take the biggest gamble of his young career by removing starters from the game.
With the Colts likely to rest its starters again in the regular season finale at Buffalo, and with a bye in the first round of the playoffs, the Colts will go almost a month without playing a serious game.
In came backup quarterback Curtis Painter and the rest of the Colts' second string playmakers.
The Jets took full advantage of the fact that Manning was out of the game, smacked around Painter and stole the game like a bully taking candy from a defenseless baby.
What the Colts did on Sunday was embarrassing.
It made a farce out of the cliche made famous by ex-Jets coach Herman Edwards, "You play to win the game."
The Colts should have played this game as if it were an important regular season game for them, which in so many respects, it was. The Colts need to keep their momentum going if they intend to go on a Super Bowl run.
Manning knew that, which is why he appeared to be deeply annoyed on the sideline after Caldwell and offensive coordinator Tom Moore took him out of the game.
As for the Jets, we are left with more questions rather than answers.
As I listen to the radio this morning, Jet fans call up WFAN asserting the Jets "deserved" to win this game.
Jet fans had better simmer down.
Sure, it is exciting that the Jets defeated the unbeaten Indianapolis Colts, but there is only one problem: The Jets didn't beat the 14-0 Colts, they beat the Single-A Colts.
Moreover, there is no such thing as "deserving to win" a game. The only thing the Jets deserve is to sit at home and watch the playoffs considering what a joke this team has been all season long.
This is a team that has toyed with its fan base from the start of the season. They got off to a 3-0 start, backing up the tough talk from its Ryan and players like Bart Scott and Kerry Rhodes.
Then the bottom fell out. Mark Sanchez started to look like the rawest of rookies, highlighted by a five interception performance in a 16-13 loss to the Bills.
The Jets defense couldn't defend (e.g. Miami's ferocious comeback on Monday night in early October).
Then, on Nov. 1, the special teams forgot how to tackle, especially the likes of Ted Ginn Jr.'s two kick-off returns for the Dolphins in the second meeting with the Gang Green.
Then there was Sanchez's game opening interception against Jacksonville, which was later followed by the defense blowing a 22-21 lead to the Jags late in the fourth quarter.
And the Jets "deserve" to go to the playoffs?
I'm surprised that Rex Ryan didn't experience a Jim Mora moment last night. "Playoffs? Playoffs?"
The Jets have been a mess in every sense of the word. Five gut wrenching losses, four of which were to key AFC opponents, should have meant nothing but doom.
Don't blame the Jets for being in this position; they were essentially put in it. However, once the playoffs commence, the Jets will be a quick and easy out.
They are arguably the worst playoff team in the tournament this year.
In some ways the victory over Indianapolis, and, if Cincinnati rests its starters next week, a victory over the Bengals could create a false sense of security in this team.
A 9-7 finish and a playoff appearance will cause owner Woody Johnson and head coach Rex Ryan to back offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer, whose play calling and work with rookie Mark Sanchez is so suspect that it makes one wonder if the kid is learning anything.
Remember these statistics: the Jets are No. 21 in the NFL in total offense, and No. 30 in the league in passing.
It will also allow Johnson to keep GM Mike Tannenbaum, who, with the exception of Darrell Revis and Nick Mangold, hasn't drafted many impact players to go along with the plethora of experienced veterans: Kellen Clemens, Danny Woodhead, and Vernon Gholston.
It will make the Jets brass believe that Sanchez is farther along in his progress than he really is. The kid threw for only 106 yards on Sunday and didn't leave the impression that he is close to turning the corner in his development.
Keep in mind this was against a second string Colts defense. He still runs around the field with "happy feet," looks uncomfortable in the pocket, and makes stupid decisions.
In addition, it will give the Jets a reason to re-sign Braylon Edwards, who has dropped many key passes, like the two-point conversion against Jacksonville, and a potential 85-yard touchdown pass against Buffalo.
It will give the Jets a reason to boast about their number one ranked defense, which although good, is not a dominant defense. There really hasn't been a dominant D in the NFL this year.
A dominant defense puts a lot of pressure up front on the opposing quarterback, and they close games out. The Jets D has coughed up three games in the fourth quarter and they are in the middle of the pack with 29 quarterback sacks.
Not exactly dominating.
Finally, it will give more reason for the Jets front office to push personal seat licensing down season ticket holders throats to see a football franchise that has been more of an embarrassment than a world beater over the past 41 years.
The Jets are not a playoff team this year.
Hell, they are not even that good. They got lucky.
Consider this: if the Colts actually had demonstrated some regard for the gamesmanship of the sport, the Jets would be 7-8 right now, staring at a long offseason full of reshuffling.
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