Well, all good things must come to an end.
The Jets mounted a great playoff run this year, but it ended today in Indy the way all the Jets playoff runs have ended since Superbowl III… with a painful loss, and elimination. They played a great first half, and for a while I thought they might pull it off, but that TD drive that Eli’s Big Brother led just before halftime was an ominous sign, and in the second half it all fell in… just as it did in Denver the last time Gang Green played in an AFC Championship. That time it was Elway and Jets mistakes. This time it was just Peyton. He really is that good. Best QB of this era, and one of the best of all time. The Jets did a good job of containing his main weapons, Dallas Clark and Reggie Wayne, but Peyton just found other weapons in Garcon and Collie, and shredded us with them. Matters weren’t helped when a couple of players in the Jets secondary went down… and then when we lost Shonn Green at the start of the second half, I could hear the bell tolling. Thomas Jones is a good RB, but Green was the more explosive back, and the one with fresh legs. With him out, our offense lost its punch.
Also, we missed two field goals. And I know why. Last week in the Chargers game, you may recall, San Diego’s kicker Nate Kaeding missed three field goals. After the game, when the players were shaking hands on the field, Jets kicker Jay Feely went up to console Kaeding, and put his arm around his shoulder while commiserating with him. This was a kindly and humane gesture, but ill considered. By touching Kaeding, Feely obviously contracted kicker cooties. They are highly contagious.
Still… I’m sad, but I can’t be too devastated. The Jets flew a lot further than anyone ever expected (including me), and gave us some great playoff victories to cherish. And there’s hope for the future. We have a great coach in Rex Ryan, the best defense in the NFL, Shonn Green is only a rookie… and Mark Sanchez played very well today. I think this kid is a keeper. With more experience, there’s no limit on how good he can be.
So. One last time, for a great season:
Despite being in mourning, I watched the Vikings/ Saints game as well, though with no particular rooting interest. I like both these teams and both these cities. It was an exciting game, lots of big plays and back-and-forth… but once again it made my teeth grind to hear some commentators calling it a “great game.” It was close and tense, good entertainment, but the play was sloppy at best. Fumbles, interceptions, untimely penalties. For a long while it seemed as though neither team wanted to go to the Superbowl. Sorry, I will never concede that Adrian Peterson is a great running back until he learns to hold on to the ball. And Brett… I like Favre, and I wish him well, but damn, that last interception was a dagger through his team’s heart. And sad to say, he keeps doing that. Witness the INTS that ended the overtime between the Packers and Giants two years ago, or the one that ended the playoff contest between Green Bay and Philadelphia a few years before that.
Anyway, congratulations to the Colts and the Saints. I will look forward to the Superbowl, where I will likely be rooting for New Orleans… though I think the Colts will win.
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