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Mike Pettine Talks About the AFC Championship Game

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Jets defensive coordinator Mike Pettine spoke yesterday about the frustration that came in light of the team's AFC Championship Game loss to the Steelers last year.

"Are you making the assumption that I'm over it?" he said. "Any time you get within one game and unfortunately for Rex and I, that's three in a row, those really stick with you."

The film sat unwatched for some time


"We didn't change anything schematically at halftime," he said. "It was nothing more than a good halftime speech. We just came out and we played like Jets in the second half."

One of the most frustrating things about watching that game is that Pettine is right. There was nothing wrong with the scheme. The Steelers dominated the first half by just outexecuting the Jets. It was a matter of sloppy tackling and guys getting themselves out of position and vulnerable to cutbacks.

One thing that kind of irked me after the 2009 AFC Championship Game loss to the Colts was that nobody seemed upset about it, fans or players. I mean I get the team exceeded expectations. I was proud of them. But they were one half from the Super Bowl and let it slip away. If the 2009 run gave the team confidence, the 2010 loss will likely serve as more fuel.

I have drawn in the past analogies between the present day Jets and the brash talking 1980's Mets. I compared last year's Jets team to the 1986 Mets. In reality, they might end up being the 1985 Mets. The Mets had a surprising winning season in 1984. That set expectations high the following year, but the team fell agonizingly short and finished second to the Cardinals. The next year, they used that disappointment to fuel a monster season and a World Series win.

Let's hope this analogy plays out.