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Jets Finish 2nd in NFL.com Pain Rankings

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Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

NFL.com has been counting down the franchises that have gone through the most pain. Today they rated the Jets number 2 on the list.

They named the Buttfumble the lowest moment in franchise history.

>The Jets have suffered plenty of losses more damaging than what happened on Thanksgiving night in 2012. But nothing before or since ever packed as much pound-for-pound humiliation as The Butt Fumble.

The play -- tucked into a flurry of New England first-half scoring during a 49-19 defeat -- served as sort of a line of demarcation for the franchise. Before the play, the Jets were seen as a flawed-but-respected team with legitimate playoff bonafides. But after Mark Sanchez slammed into the posterior of guard Brandon Moore? The Jets were a laughingstock. It took a long time for the circus to leave town.

"I guess (I was) more stunned than anything," Sanchez told The Associated Press days later. "Just like a car accident. I was like, 'Whoa. What just happened?' Then, the ball's gone. It was weird."

I think this is a case of mistaking most hyped with most painful. The play was sensationalized, but it was part of a blowout loss that shocked nobody. The 2012 Jets were a bad team. The 2012 Patriots were a good team. Everybody knew going into the game that things could get ugly, If anything, the Buttfumble draws attention away from an even more humiliating aspect of the sequence that preceded and followed it. The Jets gave up three touchdowns in one minute, one on defense, one on offense, and one on special teams. The Buttfumble was the offensive one.

By any measure, though, it is tough to call it the most painful moment this franchise has seen. If we are talking about outright futility, stretches in the 1970's and 1990's have it beat. If we are talking about heartbreaking ends to good seasons, you can choose among four gut-wrenching AFC Championship Game losses. If you are talking about collapses, you have the Gastineau game in Cleveland and the Doug Brien game in Pittsburgh. or the fake spike game. You could choose late season collapses in 1993, 2000, and 2011 among others. You could go with promising seasons being derailed by quarterback injuries, none worse than Vinny Testaverde in 1999. That Thanksgiving 2012 game might not crack the top 20 on my list.

Well, now I'm depressed.