Another awful chapter in the brutal history of the New York Jets was written today as the Miami Dolphins, fresh off a one-win season last year, came into the Meadowlands and beat the Jets with their old quarterback, one Chad Pennington, to win an improbable AFC East title.
In a game that was not as close as the 24-17 final score, Pennington got his revenge for being shipped out of town in favor of the legendary Brett Favre—and at the same time made sure the Dolphins would still be playing come next week.
Only the Jets could have something like this happen to them.
Yes, they did not go 0-16 like the Detroit Lions.
OK, they did not pull off something never done before, like the Denver Broncos missing the playoffs on the last week of the season after being in first place from wire to wire.
The team got a legend, though, had unreal expectations of what could happen, and for awhile, the team lived up to the hype.
In the blink of an eye, the season finished, the playoffs were not in the cards, and now, nobody knows what direction this team will go in.
Gone are the Super Bowl dreams held when sitting at 8-3, after beating two of the best teams in the AFC over a span of 10 days.
In clear focus now is a team that could be torn apart over the next couple of weeks.
Will Brett Favre come back to play another season?
Or will Favre hang up the cleats for good after leading the NFL in interceptions, with 22?
Will he come back and try to see if his arm can handle playing for one more year, or maybe, the rest of the two years he has left on his contract?
Or will he end his career while clearly not being on top?
The answer to this question, as has been the case with Favre over the past few off- seasons, is who knows at this point?
When combined with knowledge that Favre does not like playing for coach Eric Mangini much, this throws another huge issue into the already complicated story.
This is going to make the organization look at Favre and Mangini, and more than likely, the blame will be put on either Favre or Mangini.
In what seems to be a safe bet, the blame will not be split.
If this collapse is deemed to be the fault of Favre, will he try to redeem himself?
Will the Jets even want him to?
Will Mangini, if being the guilty party, end up being shown the door?
Will the team keep him around for one more shot to get things right?
Or will they jump ship on both parties after barely letting the relationship develop?
Finally, could the Jets decide to keep both, with Favre deciding to retire in the end of it all, which would create a huge void at quarterback for the Jets yet again?
Nothing is set in stone at this point, but regardless of what happens, the Jets have to play their cards right.
If they do not, Favre will leave.
Getting Matt Cassel is probably not a reality with reports surfacing that Tom Brady might miss all of 2009 as well now.
Kiss that option good-bye.
What about trading for Carson Palmer?
While a decent idea, will he be fully recovered from his injuries, or do the Jets want to take a chance on another quarterback with a lot of red flags?
The draft? The team does not have the time to take bumps and bruises while getting a young kid ready for the job, not with a new stadium opening in 2010.
True, Matt Ryan has the Falcons in the playoffs, but, in reality, when is the next time a player will be that good that quickly?
The Falcons hit the lottery with the Ryan pick. The results there are not normal to say the least, and the Jets cannot count on everything being corrected with a simple draft pick or two.
What about Kellen Clemens, Brett Ratliff, or Erik Ainge?
Let us be reasonable. The team did not trade for an aging quarterback because they thought any of these guys could end up leading the Jets to the promised land.
Any way one slices it, getting Favre back is the best option for this team right now.
Will it happen?
Anything is possible, but to all the New York Jets fans out there, get ready, because a soap opera, while one not nearly as complex as the Packers against Favre last season, is going to be starting very soon.
Get the brown paper bags, tissues, and the Tums ready, ladies and gentlemen. The next few weeks are going to be very interesting.