The Jets would have had needed some lucky breaks to make it into the
playoffs. Instead, they took care of any chance they had by choking
The Jets lost to the Dolphins, 19-17, to extinguish any hope of them making the playoffs for a third-straight year.
"Eight and eight [record] is not where we were trying to get to," head coach Rex Ryan said. "We don't want to be average. We know what we're chasing. We have to come up with answers."
As it turned out, a win wouldn't have mattered. The Titans defeated the Texans thanks to a failed two-point conversion, using Jake Delhomme at quarterback and resting starting back Arian Foster, which would have eliminated New York regardless.
The Dolphins opened the scoring with a 44-yard field goal by Dan Carpenter with 9:31 left in the first quarter. But the Jets came back with a quick eight-play, 88-yard drive that ended with a one-yard touchdown pass to Dustin Keller.
After that, their offense stalled until it was almost too late.
The Jets trailed 16-10 thanks to a Charles Clay touchdown reception at the start of the fourth quarter and two more Carpenter field goals, both at least 40 yards.
Mark Sanchez had a chance to give the Jets a lead, trailing 16-10, but instead was picked off by linebacker Marvin Mitchell in the red zone. It was his third interception of the game and set up a field goal to give Miami a 19-10 lead. It was Carpenter's fourth of the game (44, 58, 40,44).
With 2:21 left, Sanchez drove the Jets for 80 yards and a Patrick Turner touchdown catch. The following onside kick was a dud, however, bouncing straight into the hands of Brandon Marshall to effectively end the game. And the Jets season.
» Santonio Holmes had zero catches on the afternoon and spent the final drive of the game on the bench. He unbuckled his pads and didn't even stand on the sidelines to watch. The Jets did not mention any injury during the game to Holmes.
Reportedly the receiver and team captain got into an argument in the huddle over something he said and was benched.
The decision was apparently made by offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer, whose own job is in question. Ryan said after the game he had no idea why Holmes was replaced by Turner.
"I looked out there and wondered why he wasn't out there myself," Ryan said. "I didn't bench Santonio. You'll have to ask him."
Holmes only said it was the coaches' decision. But teammate LaDainian Tomlinson, who might've played his last game, was very candid about the situation.
"There were guys in the huddle not happy with Santonio's demeanor throughout the game and in the two minute drill," Tomlinson said. "And they said something to him about it.
"I'll tell you what, it's tough for guys to follow a captain that kind of behaves in that manner."
ESPN reported that tackle Wayne Hunter took offense to something Holmes said and they got into a shouting match.
In the post-game press conference Holmes refused to answer whether he wanted to be with the Jets next season, walking away from the podium saying only "Thank you guys."
» The Jets out-gained Miami 374 yards to 210 yards. The difference turned out to be on third down, though. The Dolphins were 8-of-15 on third-down conversions while the Jets were 4-of-11.
» Sanchez threw a late interception in the first half that appeared fairly unimportant with nine seconds left. Instead, the Dolphins lined up a 58-yard field goal and banged in through the uprights with plenty of room to spare as the clock expired. It was the second longest field goal ever converted against the Jets (59 yards -- P. Stoyanovich, 1989; M. Prater, 2010).
» Ryan again reiterated after the game that he plans to win the Super Bowl next season: "I will always chase the Super Bowl. I believe we'll win the Super Bowl."
Follow Metro New York sports editor Mark Osborne on Twitter @MetroNYSports.