Rex Ryan boasted all week long that New York City was Jet City, that Gang Green was the Big Brother of the New York football clubs. It was a must win game in order to control their own destiny for a playoff spot.
So how did Big Brother show up to the biggest game of the season? Losing 29-14.
To count the number of things that went wrong in this game for the Jets would require me to have five hands and take off my socks to count on my toes.
Ten penalties for 95 yards. Nick Folk missing a field goal at the end of the first half, sending the Jets to the locker room with a 10-7 deficit. Three turnovers, including a fumble on the Giants goal line. The list goes on and on and on.
But the biggest problem in this atrocity called a football game? Brian Schottenheimer.
In my first article for Bleacher Report, I discussed what Jets fans could look forward to in the offseason following a loss in the AFC Championship to Pittsburgh. I closed with saying Schottenheimer's days were numbered. It can be argued that the OC's play-calling cost New York a trip to the Super Bowl.
But to my chagrin, Schotty remained in Jet green for the 2011 season, calling plays with a new weapon in Plaxico Burress. The addition of a new wideout to replace Braylon Edwards apparently made our wonderful offensive coordinator believe Mark Sanchez was now a pinpoint accurate passer that could rival the likes of Brady and Rodgers.
Is Schottenheimer On His Way Out Of New York?
News flash: He's still Mark Sanchez.
The kid is still inaccurate, and cannot be relied on to lead a passing oriented offense. This is why the Jets are a ground-and-pound team. Or at least that's what they are supposed to be.
The running attack of Shonn Greene and LaDainian Tomlinson was effective against the Giants front line. They were picking up decent gains on almost every run. With this knowledge in hand, what does Schottenheimer call in play selection?
Fifty. Nine. Pass. Attempts.
Fifty-nine. No quarterback, regardless of skill level, should be throwing a ball 59 times in a game. Heck, most quarterbacks won't throw 59 times in two consecutive games. Yes, the Giants secondary is banged up, but see the aforementioned news flash? The quarterback is Mark Sanchez!
Statistically, Sanchez is a different quarterback when the running game is established. When he has the play action rolling, he is more confident and can make throws. But when you ask him to throw 35 times in a game, or the still mind-boggling 59, he gets shaky and becomes susceptible to error. Is this Sanchez's problem? Yes, it's one of his major flaws. But it shouldn't need to come into play if the offense sticks with their strong running attack. That one's not on Sanchez. It's on Schotty.
Now the Jets no longer have control of their playoff fates. They need to defeat Miami next week; that's the easy part. But New York needs the Bengals, Titans and Raiders to lose to get a playoff spot they honestly don't deserve.
Schottenheimer has to go. Not only has his ineptitude as an OC cost the Jets a possible trip to the Super Bowl, it could result in New York missing the playoffs for the first time since 2008 when Eric Mangini was roaming the sidelines.
To quote SNY analyst Adam Schein on Jets Post Game Live, "Brian Schottenheimer ruined Christmas."
Not only did he ruin Christmas, Schotty personally delivered all of Jets Nation lumps of coal in their stockings.