While there is certainly plenty of blame to be laid at the hands of the offensive coordinator, the QB, the OL, and the head coach, once again we have turned the ball over to the defense with a lead. And, as has been a long running subtext in Rex Ryan's tenure in New York, once again the defense come up gutless, empty, and unable to get the key stop. Let's look at some history:
Week 5 @ Miami: Jets take a 27-24 lead with 5:12 left in the football game. The league's #1 defense proceeds to allow Chad Henne's Fins to go 70 yards and use all the remaining clock, not just to kick a game tying FG, but to score a game winning touchdown on a Ronnie Brown Wildcat run. Jets lose 31-27.
Week 10 vs. Jacksonville: Jets go down to take a 22-21 lead on a TJ touchdown with 5:04 left. The defense proceeds to allow David Garrard to go from his own 17 all the way down to the Jets 1 yard line before kneeling and kicking a gimme game winning 21 yard field goal.
Week 15 vs. Atlanta: Although you can point to Feeley's FG being blocked and 2 other misses, the Jets still had a 7-3 lead and 73 yards of field to defend, the Falcons proceed to drive those full 73 yards in 2:49, culminating in a Gonzalez touchdown on 4th and goal. A team that hadn't score a touchdown ALL GAME managed to do it at will when they had to.
Week 10 @ Cleveland: A Nick Folk FG gives the Jets a 20-13 lead with 2:42 left in the game. A good Cleveland kick return leaves them 59 yards away from the end zone, but still, they need a TD and it's the freaking Cleveland Browns. Except Colt McCoy temporarily channels his inner Montana and leads the team down the field in 2 minutes for a game tying touchdown on a drive in which we even see Superman Revis get owned by no name TE Evan Moore. Fortunately, former Jet Chansi Stuckey's carefree attitude towards ball security and a big time play by Santonio Holmes turns this into a W despite the defense's failure to sac up.
In the playoffs, we allowed the Colts to go 50 yards with a 14-13 lead to kick a go-ahead FG, fortunately the offense took the lead back and won. In the AFC title game, with 3 minutes and a full array of timeouts + 2 minute warning to go, the Jets cannot make the clutch stop to get the ball back and the Steelers successfully run the time out.
Week 5 @ New England: Jets did not have the lead, but they closed to within 6 points with 7:14 remaining in the game. In one of the more gutless defensive performances, the Patriots manage to go 69 yards in 13 plays, run 6:12 off the clock and kick a FG to make it a 2 score game... but the biggest part... on the drive, the Patriots RUN THE BALL for 62 of the 69 yards, 59 of those from BenJarvus Green-Ellis. One pass thrown the whole drive.
Week 11 @ Denver: Jets help grow the legacy of the Tebow. With a 13-10 lead and 5:54 left to go, with NINETY-FIVE yards of field to defend, the Exalted One manages to take an team with 134 yards of offense up to that point each and every one of those 95 yards to once again not only bypass the game tying FG, but score the game winning touchdown. Tim Tebow.
Week 3 @ Miami: Jets take a 20-17 lead off of a TD throw to Jeremy Kerley with 3:01 left. Rookie QB Ryan Tannehill then marches the Dolphins 50 yards, using up 2:45 on the clock, and puts the Dolphins in position to tie the game with a 41 yard FG that Carpenter nails. In overtime, despite having the ball first, Tannehill takes the Dolphins 60 yards from his own 10 yard line to the Jets 30 to get the Dolphins in position to have a shot at another makeable FG to win. Luckily, Carpenter shanks the kick and the Jets go on to win.
Yesterday @ New England: A gift from the football gods gives the Jets a chance to take a lead late in the game, which they do, taking a 26-23 lead with 1:32 left and the Pats with 1 timeout remaining. Granted, you hope with such a gift you get 7 on the board, but the fact is, the offense had the lead the last time they took the field in regulation. With ease, Brady goes 54 yards in 1:37 to put Gostkowski in position to tie the football game.
I'm not sure what it is, but the defense begins to become porous when the opposing team is in the 2 minute drill. Even when the defense comes through, like the 2010 Steelers game or the 2011 Buffalo game, it's barely. Rex needs to sort out the 2 minute D.