The New York Jets and Eric Mangini seem to just let up sometimes. On Sunday night, they gave up control of their own destiny, control that they had earned through some big wins earlier in the year.
This day, however, he did anything but. Favre accumulated just 187 yards passing with no touchdowns and two interceptions. The first interception came on a play where Favre tried to throw across his body to the opposite side of the field into double-coverage through the thick snow.
Favre came up short all game long, hitting defense backs in the back a couple of times. His best throw of the day came on fourth down, deep inside their own territory, just trying to stay alive with two minutes left in the game. It was a deep ball (into double-coverage) that was well placed into the hands of Laveranues Coles who couldn't make the play as the cover man might just have stripped away the Jets season.
Coles had gotten open on a couple of plays earlier in the game but Favre just couldn't make the throw. On the deciding play however, Coles just wasn't able to hold on to the ball. Though, Coles and Cotchery both had solid games and did their parts.
Thomas Jones was running the ball well, but the Seahawk defense withstood it. He was able to bend the defense, but Favre wasn't able to do his part and break it. The Jets had scored an offensive touchdown in every game this year except the first of the season, when they fell to the Patriots. Their offensive production had been decreasing since the Titans game, but it hit rock bottom today.
Favre was sacked four times and gave pathetic efforts to escape on every single one. I hate to say this, but I honestly would've rather seen Chad Pennington under center for this game.
Defense didn't step up
In a huge game like this, coming off an escape against the Bills, one would think the Jets defense would come out fired-up and ready to make plays. It turned out that Seattle backup quarterback Seneca Wallace was given all day to throw the ball where he pleased. He completed 18 of his 25 passes and tossed a nice touchdown to TE Jon Carlson.
Where was the pressure that led the Jets to being a top-5 NFL team when it came to recording sacks earlier in the year? The banged up Seattle front line didn't give up one sack, while Favre was brought down four times. Kris Jenkins hasn't made as big of an impact since the Titans game.
For the second straight week the run defense was also nowhere to be found. After allowing 120+ rushing yards to Marshawn Lynch last week, Seattle running back Maurice Morris was somehow allowed to scamper for 116 yards through the snow and the Jets defense (I don't know which one was more challenging).
Eric Mangini is now going to have critics calling for his head after such a poor showing on Sunday. He made a couple controversial decisions starting with his choice to pass on a 50-yard field goal attempt by Jay Feely, who had been solid all season. He had easily made a 45-yarder the play before, but of course, the Jets managed to take it off the board with a delay-of-game penalty before the snap occurred.
Mangini then decided to punt the ball away instead of trying a long field goal that would have brought the deficit to under a touchdown. Feely had also easily made a 55-yard field goal against the Rams earlier in the year. Mangini didn't want to risk it.
It turns out that the Jets gave up a field goal after that failed fourth down attempt that fell through Coles' hands. It put the Seahawks by 10 instead of just a touchdown, and essentially ended the game.
I would have even liked to see Mangini go for for it on 4th-and-1 from the Seattle five yard line, instead of kicking their lone field goal on the first drive of the game.
Then instead of punting from his own 20 yard line with three timeouts and the two minute warning yet to be wasted, he goes for it and fails. He wouldn't go for it on a 4th and 1 inside the five, but he does go for it on 4th and 7 from his own 20. He decided to kick the first field goal but wouldn't send Feely out for the 50 yarder in the fourth quarter.
The point is, Mangini allowed his team to play conservatively on offense and defense. He didn't get them to play inspired football, something they absolutely needed to do. He set the tempo that they were playing not to lose instead of playing to win the game.
The Jets just flat out, didn't come to play. The didn't even entertain. They failed all New York Jet fans who pay to watch entertaining football. They failed to do their jobs. Bill Belichick would not have allowed his team to put out a showing like this.
Now the Jets must beat Miami next week and hope the Patriots fall to the Bills, which, after New England's impressive win today, looks unlikely. The Jets had their chances to put this division away long before the loss today.
Since the big win down in Tennessee, Favre hasn't played well, Kris Jenkins hasn't played well, the defense stopped forcing pressure, and Mangini hasn't successfully overseen the play-calling.
Bottom-line: they collapsed like the Jets usually do. Half of their losses came at the hands of the Seahawks, 49ers, and Raiders. Maybe a team that goes 0-3 against those opponents doesn't deserve to be in the playoffs anyway.
So the Jets are going to need a miracle. I hope to God they get it.