|The playoffs are over for Mark Sanchez, Rex Ryan and the rest of the Jets after Monday's loss. (US Presswire)|
It's been that kind of a season for the New York Jets.
Ball security has been a huge issue and five turnovers by quarterback Mark Sanchez told the tale against a sub-.500 Titans team.
Sanchez now has 13 touchdowns and 17 interceptions on the season. The Jets went into the Monday night game knowing that in order to stay in playoff contention, they had to win their final three games and then get help. One loss would mean elimination. The Jets have now been eliminated.
Facing a 4-9 Titans team that had struggled as much or more than the Jets, the win looked possible. But, everything the Jets have dealt with all season came back to haunt them. In addition to the turnovers, the Jets had injuries to key players. They were missing tight end Dustin Keller (ankle), Stephen Hill (knee) and linebacker Bryan Thomas (chest).
Last week, they signed wide receiver Braylon Edwards, who had solid chemistry with Sanchez when he was with the Jets in 2009 and 2010, but he has been dealing with a hamstring injury that led to the Seahawks releasing him. Edwards had 3 catches for 47 yards against the Titans, but nothing could overcome those five turnovers.
The main question hovering over the Jets now is, who will start on Sunday against the Chargers? The Jets have backup quarterback Tim Tebow and third-string quarterback Greg McElroy who led the team to a win over the Cardinals after Sanchez was benched in that game. It seems likely that coach Rex Ryan will make a change.
There was almost nothing good about the Jets' offense in a game where their entire season was on the line. Sanchez (13-28, 131 yards, 1 TD, 4 INTs) was responsible for five turnovers including a fumble, which was on the last drive when a score would have won the game for them. The running game wasn't terrible (146 yards total), but ultimately had no impact because the passing game was nowhere to be found. Previous game's grade: B-
The defense played well with the exception of giving up a 94-yard touchdown by Titans RB Chris Johnson. In spite of five turnovers by the offense, the defense was able to prevent the Titans offense from capitalizing on those. However, they had no interceptions and no forced fumbles. Previous game's grade: A-
Special teams: B+
They did what they needed to do. K Nick Folk made one field goal without incident. P Robert Malone averaged 41.8 yards and had three of six punts inside the 20. DL Mo Wilkerson blocked a Titans field goal and the unit caused Titans P Brett Kern to shank a punt. Previous game's grade: B+
Jets coach Rex Ryan put QB Tim Tebow in on the third series, which was scripted, but why stick with it when Sanchez had established momentum and a rhythm on his previous series? Sanchez never returned to the form from early in the game. The defensive play calling kept the Titans off-kilter. Previous game's grade: B-