2008 Week 16 - Jets vs Miami Photos
None of the players in the Jets locker room after today's 24-17 loss to the Dolphins placed blame on anyone other than themselves.
"When you have what happened over the last stretch of the season, it's everybody," said right tackle Damien Woody. "When you lose, nobody did a good enough job.
"The bottom line is we didn't get the job done. To be in the position that we were in and then all of a sudden just have a meltdown over the course of the last five or six weeks, it's hard to swallow right now."
Leon Washington surpassed Bruce Harper's Jets record for combined yardage today, but that didn't make the defeat any easier.
"We're not making excuses for ourselves, because we didn't come out and play the games we needed to play," said Washington. "We prepared well in practices, we practiced really hard, but when it got to the game, it didn't translate. So that's the most disappointing thing."
"We've got nobody to blame but ourselves," said linebacker Calvin Pace. "We've got to find a way to finish, man.
"For whatever reason, from Denver till now, we haven't been the same team. I know it isn't the way we work — we go work hard and prepare. But for whatever reason, you go on the field on Sunday and you don't see the same team you saw at Buffalo, at New England or at Tennessee. We've got to find a way to get back to that."
With both New England and Baltimore winning their games, the Jets wouldn't have made the playoffs even if they had beaten the Dolphins today. But players said they weren't consumed with what was going on outside of their own game.
"Number one, you've got to take care of your own house first," said Woody. "It doesn't do any good if you don't win your game. Number two, like I've always said, the crowd will let you know. That's what happened when Jacksonville was up, 7-3, so there was no need to worry about any other games."
The Jaguars quickly lost that lead and never regained it, so the Meadowlands crowd never got to erupt with another flash of the scoreboard.
"They showed the Baltimore game one time," said Kerry Rhodes. "Then I knew it wasn't good, because they didn't show it anymore."
Disappointment permeated the Jets' locker room, but so did the sense of camaraderie, even as their season came to an abrupt close.
"I'm saddened for the guys," said WR Laveranues Coles. "I know all the hard work these guys have put into the season. I watched and went through the same things these guys went through on a daily basis. Going through Coach's camps, practices, up to this point has been nothing easy.
"So it's one of those things where you know all the work and everything you've put into something and not to be where you want to be is saddening."
"We put so much into this year. Right now it hurts," said NT Kris Jenkins. "I'm not going to be upset or feel any malice toward any of my teammates, because everybody in here put their best foot forward."
With the Jets' 2008 season in the books, players were forced to look to the 2009 season for their next opportunity to improve as a team.
"I'm very blessed to be here and win nine games," said Pace. "I've never done that before. There's always some positive to take from it. I'm going to take that positive, I'm going to take some of the negative and move forward."
"All I can do personally," said Washington, "is just bring the guys with me and be a leader to this team from here on out and keep preparing myself like I did all year long and carry it on to the next phase, and that's next year."
"To get to this point right here, it's just kind of mind-boggling," said WR Jerricho Cotchery. "Hopefully we can keep some pieces together and just try to build on it."
The Jets will continue to lean on their veteran leaders as they start the process of building off of this season.
"You take what you've learned this year," said G Alan Faneca, "you take what you learned today, you take everything you've learned through the season, and you take that into the off-season. You take that into your training, your program, your off-season program, and you flip it around and use it as a positive to not have this feeling again next year."