An 8-3 start for the Jersey Jets was followed by losses in 3 of their last 4 games, including Sunday’s turgid 13-3 defeat to the Seahawks. With Gang Green very likely to miss the postseason (and former Jets QB Chad Pennington on the brink of an AFC East crown in Miami), Newsday’s Bob Glauber considers recent results and concludes, “Brett Favre is simply too old to do it, and coach Eric Mangini is in over his head.”
When you lose to Oakland, San Francisco and Seattle – teams with a combined record of 14-31 – and go 0-4 on the West Coast against four sub-.500 teams, you don’t deserve anything else. In fact, the Jets are lucky to be alive in the playoff race after their disgraceful football in the past four weeks.
After yesterday’s pathetic outing against the Seahawks and his old coach, Mike Holmgren, this much is certain: Favre is done after this year. Kaput. If the Jets ask him back after this late-season meltdown, they’re even wackier than I thought. Barring a playoff berth and at least two postseason wins, Favre is at the end.
If Mangini doesn’t get to the playoffs, the Jets need to show him the door. No excuses. No explanations. He was on board with the Favre decision, and he must pay the price if the collapse is completed next week.
That Pennington comes to the Meadowlands next week with a chance to beat the Jets is simply an exclamation point on the miserable job done by Mangini. He threw Pennington in the trash in August; now Pennington has a chance to send the Jets to their trash bags. He can seal Mangini’s fate and show his old coach he made a mistake by dumping him.
If Pennington does beat the Jets, it will complete a collapse as horrific as any in the long and tortured history of the post-Super Bowl III era breakdowns. And if the Jets lose, Mangini will go down as one of their most ignominious coaches. Bruce Coslet. Rich Kotite. Pete Carroll. Joe Walton. Name a coach that didn’t get it done, and Mangini would be right there with them.
With all due respect to Miami’s Tony Sprano, Atlanta’s Mike Smith and Tennessee’s Jeff Fischer, how about the Hooded Casanova for Coach Of The Year? New England’s 42-7 mauling of Arizona yesterday was the Patriots’ 10th win and they’ve a good chance to finish 11-5. If they do so, said achievement comes after losing Tom Brady in the first quarter of the season opener against KC (and the former MVP is only one of several key cogs in the Belichick wheel who’ve missed major playing time). 11 wins with Matt Cassel and Sammy Morris as starting QB and RB, respectively? Had New England finished this year with 6 or 7 wins, few would’ve been surprised under the circumstances.