Rex Ryan’s brash talking and bold Super Bowl predictions finally came to a fitting end Sunday at the hands of division rival Miami as the Jets folded 19-17 to the Dolphins. The epic collapse began with three key interceptions courtesy of the increasingly inept Mark Sanchez and ultimately ended in a late game Santonio Holmes benching after an in-huddle altercation. After the game Sexy Rexy remained defensive of his tactics, saying that his only goal is to win a Super Bowl and that if he isn’t 100% confident of his abilities to do so, he shouldn’t be coaching. It’s a statement that makes a lot of sense and (in my mind) justifies his attitude, to some extent. The only remaining question is does Coach Ryan’s boss agree with him? Looking forward, Jets fans should expect a roster overhaul after their bloated, name-heavy 2011 team failed to meet their self implemented expectations.
As the Jets’ soap opera was rolling the credits, God was busy showing everyone that he’s still best friends with Tim Tebow. Despite a horrid 60 yard, 6-22 afternoon with a pick and and a fumble in Denver’s 7-3 home loss to Kansas City, the Broncos still somehow made the playoffs and will probably spend the rest of the week in church praying for a miracle, now that their QB has been outed as a complete fraud. John Elway should also write Carson Palmer a kind thank-you note, as the Raider collapse helped the GM narrowly, narrowly dodge the bullet that came with cutting Kyle Orton loose. Had the Broncos been eliminated, there would have undoubtedly been an Occupy Invesco movement calling for his head after pulling such an idiotic move that, in all reality, would have ended his own teams playoff hopes 99 out of 100 times.
Tony Romo was on his way to another second half come back, but Dallas’ early game flattening was just too much to overcome as they fell to Giants 31-14. In a way it was an adequate reflection of 2011, with the Cowboys continuously shooting themselves (no Plaxico) and then getting it together too little, too late. There was a few minutes there when America’s Team held all the momentum, and then on 3rd-and-7, Eli Manning ducked and dodged and heaved a prayer – a prayer that was answered by Victor Cruz.
The following field goal and touchdown iced the game and Dallas just couldn’t recover. There are a lot of questions that need to be answered, such as can Jason Garrett think calmly in high-pressure situations? Had the Cowboys made a field goal on that 4th-and-1 instead of opting to go for it, they would have been within 4, and the aforementioned Giants field goal wouldn’t have had an impact. Jerry Jones is no spectating owner and he won’t shy away from ripping into whoever he feels is responsible. Oh, and before I forget – Felix Jones will have all offseason to think about that drop. All offseason.
— Indy officially wrapped up the Andrew Luck sweepstakes with a fittingly weak performance against Jacksonville, losing 19-13 to the Jag on Sunday and finishing with a 2-14 record. The future is looking bleak for Colts’ haters as the next dynasty is all but locked into place now.
— After giving Buffalo a 21-0 head start, the Patriots decided to play seriously and turned the remainder of the game into a one-sided demolition machine by scoring 49 unanswered points en route to Tom Brady becoming the second person to eclipse Marino’s long-standing passing yards record in as many weeks with a grand total of 5,235 yards.
— Jared Allen finished the season one phantom sack away from overtaking Michael Strahan’s mark of 22.5 sacks. Alas, if only the Brett Favre to Chicago rumors were true.
— Backup QB Matt Flynn’s spectacular 480 yard and 6 TD performance helped bolster Drew Brees’ case for MVP by showing that perhaps people may have been giving Aaron Rodgers too much credit for the Pack’s success and not enough to the receiving corps. I’m sure David D. would agree.
— Peyton Hillis revealed his newfound belief in the “Madden curse” and accordingly ended the season and probably his stint in Cleveland with a dismal 30 yard performance. The Browns finished as the only team from the AFC North to not make the postseason. Surprise, surprise.
— Ray Rice a.k.a. Speedy Gonzalez, the fastest mouse in Baltimore unleashed his fury with 51 and 70 yard touchdowns to help the Ravens defeat Cincy 24-16, secure an AFC North title and lock up a first round bye. Now, they have two weeks to rub Bengay into their aging defense and squeeze out any impending inconsistent play that is surely about to plague them.