I don't want to do this. It still hurts. I hate it. There are 100 football related stories I would rather write about.
To think that we lost to the Jets. Really? It still doesn't seem right. Then again, looking at their record and recent body of work it makes more sense. After a surprising run to the AFC Championship last season the Jets pulled it off again this year.
Rather than catch people off guard, the Jets made sure that the rest of the league took notice. Making the most of their cupcake schedule the Jets captured their second straight wild card. From there, they turned on the jets (sorry, stupid pun) and burned the mighty Colts and Pats as they blew by.
For the second straight year, the Jets were grounded one game before the ultimate game as they met their match in against a rugged Pittsburgh Steelers. One year is a fluke, two straight years is the beginning of a promising pattern for the Jets who now have to figure out how to break through the super bowl barrier.
Either way, the Jets and their brash coach have to be pleased with where they stand.Season in Review: Another strong year
After stumbling out of the gates, the Jets blazed to a 9-2 record before stumbling down the stretch and fading in the quest to oust the Patriots from their perch atop the AFC East.
Respectable during the regular season, it is the playoffs where the Jets have made their mark of late. Like Chicago, the Jets feasted on a favorable schedule littered with weak opponents. But unlike the Bears who only beat the 7-9 Seahawks before falling to the Packers, the Jets more than proved their worth in the first two rounds.
After surviving the Colts (ok we pretty much gave it to them with that stupid timeout), the Jets shocked everyone by pounding favored New England en route to the AFC Championship game.
Unable to take the next step, the Jets should still be pleased given their 2 playoff upsets and how far they have come.
Offseason Momentum: Super Bowl Guarantee?
I guess its pretty high because during the NFL combine in Indianapolis, Jets coach Rex Ryan guaranteed he would be standing at that same spot celebrating a super bowl victory a little less than a year from now... Hmmm.
Maybe he should keep track of the myriad of Jets players and coaches who keep getting in trouble and watch his mouth and his feet first.
Nevertheless, it is hard to disagree with him that the Jets are at least one of the favorites to advance from the AFC.
Mark Sanchez keeps progressing and has a bright future, Shonn Greene looks like an everyday back and the Jets defense can certainly bring it, ranking 6th in passing yards allowed and 3rd in rushing yards allowed.
The AFC has been dominated by 3 teams - the Steelers, the Pats and the Colts - for more than a decade. Maybe its time to make room for a 4th?
Offseason Anxiety: Free agency departures, unforeseen legal trouble
It seems crazy that unforeseen legal trouble could really create anxiety for an NFL team, but such is the recent ugly history of the Jets. Sure Woody Johnson and Rex Ryan may be shaping a tradition of winning within the organization but they are also allowing for culture of law breaking, thuggery, and general weirdness that is distracting from their success' on the field.
From Rex Ryan's bizarre foot fetish, to Brett Favre's sexting saga, to harassment of a female news reporter, to Sanchez's rumored relationship with an underage girl to the more germane tripping of an opposing player by a strength and conditioning coach, the list goes on and on. Can Roger Goodell hand down a 4-game suspension to a whole team?
The reason it could be problematic is because if star players Santonio Holmes or Braylon Edwards violate the law once more, they could be suspended for significant periods of time. Plus with the non-stop negative news, the Jets organization as a whole is already on extremely thin ice (You know, the ice that somehow is still there even though its 40 degrees outside and the weather hasn't dipped below freezing in days).
How Holmes and Edwards are still even allowed to play is beyond me. Both have legal records longer than Charlie Sheen's.
Anyway, back to actual on-the-field issues (although the above are actually pertinent concerns), the Jets have a whole list of talented players to re-sign. Currently, the Jets' wide receiving corps is Jerricho Cotchery, Logan Payne and Patrick Turner.
I wouldn't trade Emory University's wide receivers for those guys (P.S. Emory canceled its football program years ago).
Get the point? Sure Woody Johnson will spend the money to bring back Holmes, Edwards, Brad Smith and others, but its going to be costly (depending on the new CBA, it may actually not be possible).
Even still, Jets' fans should feel pretty relaxed and comfortable knowing that their biggest concern can be easily taken care of by their free-spending win at whatever the price, owner.
Draft Desires: It's nice to be the Jets
Man it must feel good to be a Jets' fan.
Promising quarterback, reliable running back, top flight receivers, best offensive line in the game, one of the top defensive lines in the game, swarming linebackers and Darrelle Revis, who doesn't even need a tag line. Damn.
Two areas the Jets do need to improve however, are finding a bruising downhill back and a run stuffing DT to replace Kris Jenkins.
Luckily for the Jets, at 6 ft. 230, Kansas State's Daniel Thomas fits the bill for a big tough runner in the later rounds and the Jets should find loads of ferocious defensive tackles available early in the draft. The current favorites are Corey Liuget from Illinois and Stephen Paea from Oregon State (for the love of God I hope the Jets leave Paea for the Colts).
Free Agent Farewells: Many
The receivers have already been covered but they aren't the only high profile players in danger of departing.
Antonio Cromartie, Brodney Pool, Trevor Pryce and Shaun Ellis are all free to leave as are kicker Nick Folk (please go to the Panthers), punter Steve Weatherford and a host of others.
Better start digging deep into your pockets Mr. Johnson.
Threat to the Stampede: Duh
I am still so mad I am not even going to answer this.