For the Jets, 2009 was only supposed to be a buildup year for 2010.
Maybe that’s why Sunday’s 10-7 loss to Atlanta hurts so much. The Jets squandered a serious chance to get into playoff contention when no one expected them to be there. Instead, mental breakdowns and poor playcalling has Gang Green in a mangled mess of .500 teams.
“All season long, we struggled with mistakes and playing consistent football,” said cornerback Lito Sheppard. “We didn’t close out games.”
Five of the Jets’ seven losses this season were decided by five points or less — three by three or less.
Last second scoring drives and missed opportunities were trademarks of a Jets’ season that started with three straight wins but saw a midseason stretch of 1-6.
Sunday’s loss was a microcosm of the season. The Jets scored but once on a first quarter touchdown strike from Sanchez to Braylon Edwards.. Consistently, New York moved the ball down the field but failed to get points, failing to capitalize on their edge in first downs, rushing yards and passing yards over Atlanta. An inconsistent offense, prone to untimely turnovers, often negated stellar efforts by the league’s top defense. On Sunday, the Jets defense held Atlanta until the Falcons’final drive saw the visitor’s punch it into the end zone.
“We’ve stubbed our toe enough this season to last a lifetime,” receiver Braylon Edwards said.
A day after declaring his team out of the playoff race, though, coach Rex Ryan still sees hope — and prays for a lot of help. It all starts with a win against undefeated Indianapolis on Sunday.
“I thought we had to win out.” Ryan said yesterday. “I was dead wrong. Throwing in the towel is not who I am.”