It’s pretty incredible that the New York Jets made it as far as they did, but their 2012 playoff hopes have mercifully come to an end in Week 15, thanks to a horrendous showing against the Tennessee Titans at LP Field.
The Titans (5-9) certainly didn’t light the world on fire, but they put the Jets (6-8) out of their misery in a game plagued by miscues and all-around ugly football in front of the national audience of Monday Night Football.
The Titans hung on to win 14-10, thanks in part to Chris Johnson‘s 94-yard touchdown run, and an opportunistic defense that feasted on mistake after mistake after mistake by the Jets’ comically bad offense.
Mark Sanchez turned the ball over five times, including four interceptions and a fumbled snap in the final minute that ended the game and the Jets’ season, just one play after the Jets were gifted great field position by the Titans.
The Jets defense played reasonably well, allowing just 200 total yards aside from Johnson’s touchdown, which was a backbreaker that marred an otherwise solid overall performance.
Now, both teams are playing for pride only. The Titans successfully played spoiler, and now they’ll have the rest of their season to determine whether or not Jake Locker can be their franchise quarterback.
The Jets, on the other hand, now have to decide what their future at quarterback is.
Greg McElroy was a surprise inactive for the second week in a row, as the Jets bizarrely dressed six wide receivers instead of three quarterbacks. Tim Tebow made a cameo appearance, but didn’t do much of anything.
Even Rex Ryan cannot be blind to the painful truth of the matter. Mark Sanchez is not just developing slower than expected, he’s regressing. He might already be past the point of salvaging his Jets career.
The Jets may have been eliminated from postseason contention, but the pressure is still there for an organization that doesn’t appear to know what direction they’re headed in–or what direction they want to head in at all.