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Where Was That New York Jets Team When The Steelers Traveled To The Meadowlands??

In addition to making me look stupid , the Jets and Eric Mangini did everything in their power to ensure the Steelers' Magic Number remained at two games heading into Week 16. Because I'm 100% confident that nobody caught this game (it was on at the same time as the Steelers-Pats), I thought I'd share with you just a few thoughts on how the Jets squandered an opportunity to save a bit of face with their season, while also doing the Steelers (and Bills, and Titans) a big favor.

  • As a scoreless first quarter was nearing its conclusion, the Jets picked off Derek Anderson deep inside Cleveland territory. Allright, early lead for the Jets! 1st and goal from the Browns 1! Wrong. Clemons is picked off in the endzone and the score remains tied at 0-0.
  • 1st and 10 from the Cleveland 37. The running game's going good (Thomas Jones started the drive with carries of 9 and 4 yards). A sack, an incompletion and a worthless check down lead to a punt. Opportunity knocks, opportunity squandered.
  • Terrible decision and throw by Clemons early in the 4th quarter that leads to INT for Browns.
  • The defense holds though and the Jets get the ball down 11 with about 6 minutes left and all three timeouts. They march down the field for a TD and go for 2. Of course they run the fade route on the 2 pt conversion.
  • Still, the Jets have a fighting chance, with 4 stoppages of play available (2-minute warning). Mangini gambles and calls for the on-sides kick. Beautiful kick, sloppy rainy conditions, and it's recovered! A 26-yarder to Jericho Cotchery on their first play puts them at the Cleveland 31 and I thought they might actually pull this one out.
  • Facing 4th and 10, the Jets elect to kick a FG to cut the score from 5 down to 2. They did still have all three timeouts, but there was only 1:48 when they elected to kick. Tough decision I suppose, but what's the worst that happens if you go for it? That the Browns take over deep inside their own territory and you still have all 3 timeouts. The success rate of onsides kicks in the NFL is somewhere between 13-23% since 2004. I don't like the decision to rest your chances on recovering consecutive attempts. You're a 3-10 football team, take your shot while you have the chance.


Congrats to the Browns on the win, and looking back over the play-by-play of the parts I missed, the loss wasn't as terrible as I initially thought. But the Jets missed their chance when they had 1st and goal from the 1. Missed tackles on the Browns final drive on 3rd down is unacceptable, and 4 FGs won't get it done. The Browns did what they had to do to scrape out a victory on the road, but I sure would have enjoyed a similar Jets' effort when we had played them.