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Dolphins 24 Jets 17: The Bitter End

The Jets completed their fortieth consecutive Super Bowlless season with a thud. Gang Green fell on its home field to Miami 24-17 as the Dolphins completed a dream season. This adds yet another chapter to this franchise's tortured history. This team has gone from 8-3 and Super Bowl favorites to out of the Playoffs completely by dropping four of its last five. It is clear this team won its Super Bowl the weekend before Thanksgiving in Tennessee.

The Bad:

Coverage on the Winning Drive: Miami put the winning touchdown on the board in the third quarter, immediately responding to the Jets taking a 17-14 lead. The score was set up on a long reception by Ted Ginn Jr. Even though Ginn was double covered, he was the only player among he, Kerry Rhodes, and Ty Law to make a play on the ball. It was the perfect finish to Rhodes' least productive season as a pro and the season that showed Law has nothing left to offer. The winning touchdown was scored on a deep throw to Anthony Fasano. Abram Elam was in coverage but did not turn to play the football. This drive was a microcosm of the pass defense all year. The secondary needs a major facelift.

Dwight Lowery: The rookie who started so hot against Miami ended his season with a whimper against the same team. He was beaten by Ginn for a touchdown right before the half. Even though replays showed that Ginn pushed off, Lowery played the ball like a rookie. Dwight had an iffy day in coverage and could not get off his blocks in run support.

Third Down Playcalling: If I never see a four or five wide shotgun set on third and short, it will be too soon. Brian Schottenheimer deserves a ticket out of town because his inability to make the proper call in critical situations has killed this team.

The Pass Rush: The Jets showed more blitzes than they had at any point this season. Miami picked virtually all of them up. The pass rush is another major priority for the offseason.

Pass Blocking Except Damien Woody: Brett Favre took way too many hits in this game.

Thomas Jones: Jones was bottled up by Miami, running for only 23 yards on 10 carries. While Leon Washington had a big game hitting holes, Jones was too tentative. There was too much dancing in the backfield.

Favre Not Knowing that Seven Men Need to be on the Line at the Snap: The Jets took their second penalty in two weeks when Brett Favre snapped the ball in a no huddle before Laveranues Coles lined up. The Jets would have taken another penalty on third and short when Favre lined up at wideout and did not get on the line. Gang Green naturally came out of the timeout in a five wide set for their new third and short play.

Special Teams: Little mistakes kill teams in big games. Mike Westhoff's unit botched the snap of an extra point and had a kick blocked.

Barton's Drop: Up 6-0 in the second, Eric Barton dropped an easy interception and touchdown that would have put New York in firm control of the game and Miami on the ropes. The Dolphins scored a touchdown on that drive to go up 7-6.

The Good:

Brett Favre: Without a doubt the talking media heads will take from this game that Chad Pennington threw 2 touchdowns and outplayed Brett Favre, who threw 3 interceptions. This is true to a degree. Chad was outstanding, and the first pair of Favre interceptions were awful decisions. The third should have been caught by Chansi Stuckey. This does not do justice to Favre's performance, however. It was a case study in number 4's guttiness. He seriously hurt his arm trying to make a tackle on that second interception and stayed in the game, leading the Jets to a field goal right before the half. Even though his 39 year old body was clearly in pain, he stood in, taking shot after shot as his offensive line killed him in the second half. Brett made some beautiful throws to extend drives. In the end it was not enough, but Favre left blood on the field in what will probably be his final game.

Laveranues Coles: LC came to life in the season's final game with 4 catches for 88 yards and a touchdown. He got separation on defenders for the first time all year and broke open field tackles. Where was this kind of effort all season long?

Faneca's Block: On the drive when the Jets took the lead in the second half, New York faced a third and long. When D'Brickashaw Ferguson took an inside rusher, Faneca alertly jumped out to block a rusher coming off the edge. This gave Brett Favre the time he needed to hit a pass to extend the drive and eventually score a touchdown.

Jason Trusnik: The little-known linebacker was involved with five defensive plays in the second quarter. It may not be enough to land him upcoming free agent Eric Barton's starting job, but he has earned a look to be in the 2009 linebacking rotation.

Leon Washington: The Jets got the ball to Leon 16 times on offense, and he responded with 89 yards and a touchdown. The only question is why it took sixteen weeks to get him prominently involved.

Brian Schottenheimer Involving Leon Washington in the Gameplan: The Jets got the ball to Leon 16 times on offense, and he responded with 89 yards and a touchdown. The only question is why it took sixteen weeks to get him prominently involved.

Bob Sutton: While it should not be enough to save him his job, Bob Sutton at least mixed things up this week by trying to blitz often. It may not have worked, but the Jets at least tried something new since sitting back in a base defense had failed.

Defensive Intensity: New York's defense played with passion. Green jerseys were flying to the football unlike we had seen all year long.

Damien Woody: Woody finished off a terrific first full season after his transition to tackle by dominating the AFC's top pass rusher, Joey Porter. Porter's name was barely called all day.

Thus ends another disappointing season in the most bitter fashion imaginable. There is nothing worse than Miami winning the division and watching the Jets get eliminated on their home field. This is going to be one long and painful offseason as this ill-fated franchise searches for answers once again. It is tough to say why we all put ourselves through this year after year, but there is no doubt we will all be watching nine months from now as the 2009 season kicks off. As Jets fans always say, next year could be our year.

A sincere thank you to everybody who took the time to check this site out in its first season. Our readership may have been small in our first year, but I know a lot of dedicated fans came here, and it is appreciated. I will be here all offseason as the Jets try and recover.