The New York Jets lost their final game to the Miami Dolphins, Sunday, capping an 8-8 season and missing the playoffs for the first time in the Rex Ryan-Mark Sanchez era.
Rex Ryan promised a Super Bowl when he first took over as head coach in 2009. He delivered AFC Championship appearances in his first two seasons and boasted about his team being the better of the three New York football teams. However, an underachieving offense and a barely-average defense have led to a massive late-season collapse for gang-green.
The Jets started the season promisingly at 2-0, but things went downhill from there they went on to lose three of their last four games. The infamous Rex Ryan-blitz-happy defense was lackluster, while the offense never found its rhythm. They were victims of Tim Tebow’s late-game heroics in week 11 and were burned by Victor Cruz’s 99-yard touchdown catch on Christmas Eve.
Critics and fans have blamed Mark Sanchez for his inability to move the offense down the field and make big plays. He finished this season with a 78.2 quarterback rating, 3,474 yards, 26 touchdowns and 18 interceptions. The offense completed its self-implosion, Sunday, during an embarrassing loss to division rivals, Miami Dolphins.
Ladanian Tomlnson, a second-year Jet and 11-year NFL veteran, called out the hostile captain, Santonio Holmes. Holmes was reportedly benched in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s game after an argument in the offensive huddle.
According to an ESPN report, he was benched after a shouting match with offensive lineman, Wayne Hunter, where Holmes made comments that the players resented. Veteran players say the situation had been boiling all season. One player reportedly sensed Holmes wasn’t into the game and told him to go home.
The decision to bench Holmes came down from offensive coordinator, Brian Schottenheimer, according to ESPN.
“It was a coach’s call,” Holmes said. “Patrick [Turner] came in and tapped me on the shoulder and told me to come.”
On Jets.com, Tomlinson shed light on the inner-conflict.
“Let me just say there were some guys in the huddle that were unhappy with Santonio Holmes’s demeanor,” Tomlinsn said. “When you have a group of guys that’s fighting their butts off, for one guy, for whatever reason, their demeanors not with them, you’re going to get some guys to say something and tell them how you feel.”
Holmes, an offensive captain has had run-ins with his teammates since early in the season. He previously called out his offensive line after a loss against to the Baltimore Ravens in week 4, for which he was criticized for. Offensive guard, Brandon Moore, said that it’s been disturbing for a while, speaking on Holmes’ behavior Sunday.
Without going into detail, Holmes’ teammates accuse him of quitting on the team against the Dolphins on Sunday. He had reportedly developed a reputation for not working hard during the week, according to ESPN.
“…it’s tough for guys to follow a captain that kind of behaves in that manner. You’re a captain, guys looking at you. You’ve got to lead by example. You’ve got to play your tail off until the last play,” Tomlinsin said. “When that doesn’t happen, you will have guys look at you in the way that captains shouldn’t be looked at.”
Holmes, who was held without a catch for the first time in his career, finished the season with 58 catches for 654 yards and 8 touchdowns on a Jets offense that ranked 25th in the NFL. He told ESPN that he didn’t think he deserved to be taken from the game.
“I don’t think I did. If it was my lack of jogging back to the huddle … there were penalties and referees taking their time, so I shouldn’t have to rush myself,” Holmes said.
In a situation where they could win and earn a trip to the playoffs the team never showed up. They failed to score over 20 points and Sanchez threw the game away with a late interception to Jason Taylor. They lost the game 19-17.