INDIANAPOLIS IN - JANUARY 08: Quarterback Mark Sanchez #6 of the New York Jets attempts to escape the pressure by Eric Foster #68 and Robert Mathis #98 of the Indianapolis Colts during their 2011 AFC wild card playoff game at Lucas Oil Stadium on January 8 2011 in Indianapolis Indiana. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Yeah, it's almost fitting the season ended this way. In a sense, the game itself was a microcosm of the entire season, giving one a sense of (as Yogi Berra famously stated) 'deja vu all over again.'
In game where the Colts offense gutted it out for every yard, where Peyton Manning and Adam Vinatieri did all they could to get the lead in the fourth quarter on a 50-yard FG to go up 16-14 with less than one minute left, it only took the much overpaid, much over-valued, quite unreliable Colts defense and special teams 53 seconds to allow Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez to lead New York into FG range, and for Nick Folk to bang through a gimme 32-yarder as time expired.
Ball game. Jets win.
So much effort. So much fight. All of it undone. One-and-done, again.
Seriously folks, one-and-done again? Why even get there in the first place? Why fight so hard, win four in a row, and then when it counts the most, when for three weeks in a row the defense had surrendered an average of 66 rushing yards a game, they give up 169 yards to the Jets?
Obviously, injuries will be blamed. But, last I checked, the two guys starting a DT tonight were the guys who started Week One. The linebackers were the same dudes who had been bringing it for four weeks. It wasn't injuries that lost the game. It was a lack of execution, a lack of heart, a lack of pride.
As always, loses are frustrating. There is no moral victory. A one point loss is the same as a 30 point loss, and going one-and-done in the post-season is a meaningless post-season. Such is the reality.
Hats off to the Jets for winning. They deserved it. We now enter an off-season of uncertainty, but one thing is certain for more: Bill Polian better invest in some truly valuable offensive and defensive linemen. Just as we were beaten in 2007 and 2008 in the post-season, a more physical beat us tonight. And I'm sick and tired of seeing that just about every damn year in the playoffs.