Sunday, December 28, 2008

Jets End Embarrassing Season


If someone walked up to you on August 7 and told you that the Brett Favre would bomb with the New York Jets, and that Chad Pennington would go to Miami and seek and get revenge on the Jets for letting him go, you probably would think this person was a little crazy.

It was not that long ago that New York and New Jersey were giddy over the fact that the Jets had acquired Favre from the Green Bay Packers. Everyone expected Gang Green to finally break the chains of futility and make that oh so improbable Super Bowl appearance. In the end, it is 40 years and counting for Gang Green.

The Jets showed absolutely no heart, no guts, no feeling whatsoever in their 24-17 debacle against the Dolphins Sunday evening. Favre was terrible, underthrowing and overthrowing his receivers. The only time he hit someone in the numbers for a reception it was Dolphins defensive end Phillip Merling who dashed into the end zone to give the Fish a 14-6 lead.

Favre, who earlier in the week sounded like a man resigned to the fact that his career was over, played like it was. He will likely take coach Eric Mangini and his staff with him because it is unacceptable for a team with seven Pro-Bowlers to miss the postseason.

As for Pennington, he was brilliant. The former Jet, haunted his old mates all day long. He hit wide open receivers in the flat, fooled the Jets secondary on several different occasions and was accurate and percise with every throw. Overall, Pennington was 22 of 30 for 200 yards and two touchdowns. Both touchdown throws were beauties. First, he hit Ted Ginn Jr. in the back of the end zone from 27 yards out to give Miami a 7-6 lead. Later, he found Anthony Fasano from 20 yards out to give the Dolphins a 21-17 lead, all but icing the game. Pennington even found ways to shut up the Jet fans who wanted him out for so many years. With the Jets up 17-14, Pennington, from his own 20 yard line, threw a bomb down the middle of the field into the hands of Ginn Jr. for a first down at the Jets 36 yard line. It was a virtuoso performance.

The Dolphins are AFC East champions, and a lot of the credit has to go to Bill Parcells, who was the ultimate puppet master. Not only did he bring in Pennington, but he brought in a virtual unknown in Tony Sparano, who was a tight-ends coach on Parcells' staff in Dallas, to coach the team on the sideline. For once, this Frankenstein project didn't attack its creator; it attacked and destroyed everyone else.

As for the Jets, they have no future. Favre is likely on his way back to Mississippi, so he can think about whether he wants to play again or not. Expect Favre to come back ... in a different uniform in 2009. As for Mangini, he should be fired. As we have seen from teams like the Mets, coaches who have been involved in chokes are doomed for eventual failure. Willie Randolph was a dead duck after the Mets collapse in 2007, but ownership refused to fire him, instead giving Willie a short leash. Randolph was finally fired on June 17 of this year.

The Jets must make a decision and make it as soon as possible on Mangini. The fact remains that this team choked on his watch, and he must pay the price.

After that, the Jets better get a big time head coach, or it could be years and years and years of misery ahead. 41 and counting.

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