Just when you thought it couldn't get worse than your Uncle Bob's annual post-turkey diatribe against the post office, the Jets decided to get involved.
The Jets played one of the most humiliating quarters in a history overloaded with humiliating quarters on Thursday night at the Meadowlands and soured more than a few Thanksgivings with a 49-19 loss to the Patriots. The crucial moments of the game came in the second quarter.
With the Patriots leading 7-0 after the first of Tom Brady's three touchdown passes, Mark Sanchez was intercepted by Pats safety Steve Gregory on a pass that appeared to be vaguely in the direction of two different Jets receivers. Brady hit Shane Vereen for an 83-yard touchdown on the first New England offensive play to touch off 52 seconds that the Jets would love to forget.
Sanchez would turn the ball over again two plays into the ensuing Jets possession on a play that is sure to be a staple of football follies videos for years to come. After faking a handoff on what looked like a play that someone didn't run correctly, Sanchez scrambled directly into the green-clad backside of right guard Brandon Moore and fumbled the ball.
It's even funnier than it sounds. Check it out for yourself. Just be prepared to spray liquid on the screen if you're enjoying a beverage.
Gregory recovered it for a touchdown and the Patriots got their third score in less than a minute on the kickoff when Julian Edelman returned a Joe McKnight fumble for a touchdown. That first Patriots score was also set up by a turnover, making it 28 points gifted to the Patriots off of Jets miscues in a quarter that will live in infamy.
The Patriots would add one more touchdown in the quarter on a long Brady-to-Edelman pass and the Jets would save a little face with a field goal, which means that the Pats outscored the home team 35-3 over the 15 minutes. What's really impressive about that (beyond the levels of humiliation the Jets are willing to subject themselves to, obviously) is that the Patriots only had the ball for 134 seconds in the quarter.
The game was a bit more even the rest of the way and the Jets were able to stop their impersonation of a clown car getting into an accident with a train filled with whoopee cushions, but the damage of those 52 seconds was pretty much unsalvageable. Ignoring it would be like focusing on how good breakfast was before Custer's Last Stand.
Coach Rex Ryan will likely focus on the team playing better in the second half and talk about the fight his team showed, but that's just as empty. This team is barely good enough to win when things break their way, so trying to win when shooting themselves in the foot Plaxico Burress-style is impossible.
There's no solution for all that ails the Jets at this point. They could turn to Tim Tebow, who didn't play at all on Thursday because of a rib injury, or they could start playing without a quarterback altogether and give themselves pretty much the same chance of success as they have in current conditions.
It's not a good team and, despite a relatively easy closing schedule, it isn't going anywhere meaningful this year. Figuring out what comes after that is what the next five weeks are going to be about and chances are it isn't going to be much more inspiring than what went down on Thanksgiving.