The Good, Bad and Ugly of the Jets Loss - NBC New York

Complete coverage of Gang Green

The Good, Bad and Ugly of the Jets Loss

How many times can one team hit rock bottom?



    The Good, Bad and Ugly of the Jets Loss
    Not even Rex can spin this mess.

    You're probably looking at the title to this piece and wondering how the word good could have anything to do with the Jets in relation to Thursday night's game. 

    After all, they lost 49-19 to the Patriots and did it by humiliating themselves during a 52-second span of the second quarter in which they allowed New England to score touchdowns on offense, defense and special teams. The game had been tied 0-0 after the first quarter, but it was 35-0 before you could grab one last helping of pie and the Meadowlands started to clear out as if everyone decided to go to the closest store offering Black Friday specials on hemlock. 

    Even Fireman Ed checked out, which says something about the magnitude of how awful that second quarter was on Thursday. Jets fans have lived through some pretty massive degredations over the years, but the second quarter of doom was the kind of crushing moment that can change the trajectory of franchises. 

    And that, ladies and gentlemen, is a good thing. Had the Jets scuffled to a 23-14 loss on Thursday and then found a way to win four of the soft final five games on their schedule, you could see Woody Johnson, Mike Tannenbaum and Rex Ryan defending themselves at the end of an 8-8 season. 

    Without the fifth loss of 17 or more points this year on a grand national stage, no Darrelle Revis and no Santonio Holmes would give the team excuses to live with an 8-8 season and an argument for another year with the same approach. Now, though, the Jets have to face how far and how fast things have fallen for the team.

    Even if they finish with that 8-8 record, the 49-19 loss makes it impossible to sell this as a team that's moving on the right track. The flaws are too obvious and too damaging to just say a couple of doses of bad luck were to blame for the season going off the rails in such a dramatic fashion. 

    Losses like this force you to take stock and force you to look at things in the worst possible light, which is vital for making changes that will bring better days in the future. The Jets could run from the truth in the past, but that's not an option for them any longer. 

    That should be a good thing for the franchise's future, even if it means an ugly present. Here's the rest of the good, bad and ugly from the Thanksgiving loss.

    UGLY: It's not really the right word for the Mark Sanchez fumble caused by his cartoonish full on sprint into the brick wall that was Brandon Moore's backside because there was something so completely absurd about the play that it seems wrong to use the same description you'd use for Sanchez's first quarter interception. It's the play that will define this Jets season and probably knocks aside the four playoff wins as the lasting memory of Sanchez's career, which isn't fair but the play was just that remarkable.

    GOOD: And it was just that funny to watch. Gallows humor, to be sure, but you've got to laugh to keep from crying and Sanchez racing headlong into Moore is the kind of thing that makes you laugh every single time. 

    BAD: Tim Tebow has two fractured ribs and didn't play at all on Thursday, raising the question of why the team kept him on the active roster if he couldn't play. The Tebow thing has been a certified farce since day one, but it's pretty insulting to the rest of the team to send them in shorthanded so you can continue the nonsense a little bit longer. 

    BAD: The five turnovers, four of which turned into second quarter touchdowns, dominated the night, which made it easier for the Jets defense to avoid the heavy criticism they deserve for their work. Tom Brady hit Shane Vereen and Julian Edelman for long touchdown passes in the second quarter that looked like they were taking place on a practice field against air. 

    UGLY: Up top, we talked about the positive of this loss being that the Jets could no longer act like things were going in the right direction while Rome was burning around them. We meant it in the football department, but they need to make some serious changes in the whole organization. 

    Nick Folk hit a field goal with two seconds to play in the first half that cut the Patriots lead to 35-3 and the kick was celebrated with fireworks and flag-waving team employees running on the fied. It's almost as insulting as the loss itself and a sign of just how much the Jets have focused on the wrong things over the last couple of years that it was allowed to happen.

    Josh Alper is also a writer for Pro Football Talk. You can follow him on Twitter.