After ten games of the NFL season, the New York Jets were 4-6 and out of playoff contention. Not quite. The Jets hit a hot streak and their top defense and top rushing attack won them 7 out of 8 games until the team’s Cinderella run finally came to an end today as they were topped by the Colts in the AFC Championship game.
While Jets fans were disappointed by the team’s loss, especially after the Jets were up 17-6 in the second quarter, the season was far from a disappointment.
With a lot of uncertainty surrounding the team that would start its season with a rookie head coach and a rookie quarterback, the Jets did much better than anyone, including the team itself, expected them to.
They did so on the shoulders of a truly terrific defense. Although they weren’t as successful as the defenses that took the Ravens and the Buccaneers to Super Bowl wins over the past decade, a good mix of old and new players stepped up huge and allowed less than 15 points a game. Led by shut down cornerback Darrelle Revis and middle linebacker David Harris, the Jets defense has a lot of pluses and nary any minuses and is expected to be just as good next season.
The Jets rushing attack was equally impressive, especially after running back Leon Washington was hurt early in the season. After leading the AFC in rushing yards in 2008, Thomas Jones put up another excellent year excellent year, as did rookie running back Shonn Greene who will be challenging for the starting job next season.
Mark Sanchez had an up-and-down year that ended on a high note. While the Jets were unable to stop the awesomeness that is Peyton Manning, Sanchez outdueled the MVP for the entire first half as he threw more confidently than we had ever seen him.
Tough break for the Jets but I cannot wait to see what they do next year. Congrats!