In the end, all of the Jets’ playoff scenarios didn’t matter. This mediocre squad wasn’t good enough to stop their late season tailspin.
Miami ended the Jets’ playoff hopes 19-17 in a game that included many memorable images in the fourth quarter alone:
1. The Dolphins capped a ridiculous 21-play, 94-yard drive that took up more than 12 minutes of action to take the lead. When the Jets defense needed a stop, they simply couldn’t get one. The Jets offense put the defense in a bad spot all day, like they did all season.
Still, the Jets defense gave up a huge drive at the wrong time, like it did for much of the season. New York finishes 8-8 on the year.
2. Jason Taylor beat D’Brickashaw Ferguson around the edge and hammered Mark Sanchez in the back midway through the quarter. Sanchez tried to throw the ball away and it was intercepted by Randy Starks. The Dolphins took a nine-point lead a few plays later.
That was a great lasting memory for Taylor against his former team in Taylor’s final game as a pro.
3. On the next Jets drive, Mark Sanchez got the Jets in the red zone before throwing his third pick of the day on a toss behind his receiver. He was erratic all afternoon, with numerous misfires on routine throws. His three interceptions were all bad decisions and led to points.
The Jets played to avoid the big mistake, and Sanchez made three big mistakes.
At the point of that interception, Sanchez had 127 yards on 25 attempts. Plaxico Burress and Santonio Holmes had 15 yards combined at the time. Burress and Sanchez padded their stats in the following minutes, but the game was essentially over.
4. Holmes, who didn’t have a catch on the day, was caught by CBS cameras yelling at a teammate in the huddle with a few minutes left. It’s uncertain what happened, but Holmes then left the game and sat on the bench without his helmet on. He didn’t even watch what was going on.
Consider that: The Jets’ season was on the line and Holmes wasn’t in the game or even paying attention.
Something tells us that Holmes won’t be a captain next year.
Something also tells the Jets will have to consider examining options at quarterback other than Sanchez.