Rear back take a deep breath and let out a scream of pride … go on … you deserve it!
The postseason may have ended for the Jets, with the Colts heading to the Super Bowl in Miami in two weeks, but us Jets fans shouldn’t feel too disappointed or upset today about what could have been. Losing to Peyton Manning, arguably the greatest quarterback of his generation is nothing at which to be embarrassed about. The Jets were within 30 minutes of going to the biggest and most watched game on the planet.
Sure, feasting on the Jets Super Bowl chances against their NFC brethren over the next two weeks would have been great, but it wasn’t meant to be. At least not this year. Think how far this team has come in just a year. A rookie head coach and quarterback made it to the AFC Championship — no small feat.
With what was one of the league’s best defenses and running games this year, the Jets have — seemingly overnight — changed their identity in this league and among fans and the pundits. This team is no longer considered a punchline, or just a second fiddle joke, this is a smashmouth team that needs to make some adjustments this offseason, but who had enough pieces to make it to the NFL’s version of the Final Four. Opponents next year will see the Jets on the schedule and groan. They know what it’s going to mean for them. Pain, suffering and Revis Island.
Through Woody Johnson, Mike Tannenbaum and Rex Ryan’s work (along with many others) the organization has new life, talent, and a swagger that I don’t ever remember seeing. Fans have pride that I don’t remember witnessing before in my lifetime. Add in that the players on this team are are guys that I think most fans enjoy watching and cheering for and seeing them succeed. I couldn’t say the same last year when I looked at the team’s quarterback situation. This team’s postseason started a little earlier than most, and along the way, the players showed tremendous resiliency and an ability to outplay opponents. Even more, they made watching this sport something that I can’t remember in a long time … they made it fun.
Thanks to the Jets and thanks to the fans for an inspiring season. Though this didn’t end the way I’d hoped, the enjoyment for this year and hope for next year is stronger than I can imagine.