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News » SEAHAWKS 13, JETS 3: Feeling numb, almost on ice


SEAHAWKS 13, JETS 3: Feeling numb, almost on ice


SEAHAWKS 13, JETS 3: Feeling numb, almost on ice
SEATTLE - The Patriots and Dolphins handled their business, with varying degrees of ease, yesterday. The Jets, in the swirling wind and snow that made glistening Qwest Field resemble a snow globe, did not.


And now they need help.

After spending the week saying they still controlled their own destiny, the Jets forfeited that advantage yesterday with a 13-3 loss to the going-nowhere Seahawks, who entered the game 3-11, motivated only by Mike Holmgren's last home game as coach.

"I can't explain it," tight end Chris Baker said. "I never imagined this after the way we played against two elite teams in the AFC , and now all of a sudden, we're sitting here at ... I didn't envision this at all."

No one envisioned the Jets coming close to missing the playoffs after a victory at Tennessee on Nov. 23 raised their record to 8-3 and gave them five straight wins, but there's a better than fair chance of that happening. The Jets, who trail the Dolphins and Patriots by a game, can make the playoffs with a victory and a Patriots loss on the road to the Bills, or a victory and a Ravens loss at home to the Jaguars, but does anyone really see them beating the red-hot Dolphins and Chad Pennington on Sunday?

"We haven't been playing a good brand of Football for the past how many games?" tackle Damien Woody asked, not needing an answer. "At this point, the good teams, December is when you're supposed to be playing your best ball, and we haven't. If you want to go to the playoffs and be considered a playoff-caliber team, that's the time of year you have to be playing your best ball."

The Jets, who dropped to 0-4 on the Worst, er, um, West Coast this season, aren't even close to doing that.

Pennington, the quarterback the Jets jettisoned for Brett Favre, has led a major resuscitation in Miami, and you can cue the they-should-have-never-traded-for-Favre soundtrack. It actually had been playing softly since the Nov. 30 loss to the Broncos, but it will be a cacophony this week.

Actually, there will be a lot of angry shouting in the coming days. Coach Eric Mangini will receive his share of it from fans, and his job security - he has one year left on his original four-year contract - is sure to get renewed attention.

He made two decisions yesterday that were questionable: kicking a short field goal on fourth-and-1 on the Jets' opening drive, in which they were running the ball at will, and eschewing a 49-yard field goal by Jay Feely in favor of a punt early in the fourth quarter.

"I'll leave that one alone," Baker said, declining to elaborate on his thoughts on the decision on the opening drive.

"I anticipated the game being tight," Mangini said, "and I thought at that point, being the opening drive, the important thing would be to get points."

They were the only points the Jets would get, as Favre was outplayed by career backup Seneca Wallace. Favre looked out of his element in the cold and snow, finishing 18-for-31 for 187 yards with zero touchdowns and two interceptions. Wallace went 18-for-25 for 175 yards and a TD. His 2-yard pass to rookie tight end John Carlson - who barely beat linebacker David Harris in the right corner of the end zone - with 31 seconds left in the first half put the Seahawks ahead for good at 7-3.

The Jets, who entered with the league's third-ranked scoring offense (27.5), were outgained 295-265 in total yards. The Seahawks' Maurice Morris ran for a season-best 116 yards, the fourth straight game in which the Jets have struggled against the run.

Jets fullback Tony Richardson, after getting 28 yards on three carries on the opening drive, finished with five carries for 34 yards. Thomas Jones, one of the Jets' NFL-high seven Pro Bowl selections - something sure to prompt a few punch lines this week, probably in the New England coaches' offices - had 67 yards on 17 carries.

"We just haven't been getting it done," Jerricho Cotchery said. "Everyone's been putting in a lot of work, but it's not translating to Sundays. It's not translating at all. We have to find some kind of way for this last game ... I don't know the [playoff] scenario right now; we have a lot of time to think about it on the way home."

They had time to ponder losses to the Seahawks (4-11), Raiders (4-11) and 49ers (6-9), too.

The Jets had a final chance when they took over at their 12 with 3:06 left but turned the ball over on downs at the 20. Olindo Mare's 38-yard field goal with 1:47 left ended the Jets' hopes of a comeback and probably much more. "When you don't [play well], you leave things to chance and you put your situation in someone else's hands," Mangini said. "That's never a position you want to be in."

At 8-3, few thought that to be a possibility. It is now.

Sunday

Miami at Jets

1 p.m.

TV: Ch. 2

Radio: WEPN (1050)

AFC PLAYOFF PICTURE

WHO'S IN / CLINCHED

Tennessee (AFC South champ) first-round bye and home-field advantage throughout AFC playoffs; Pittsburgh (AFC North champ) first-round bye; Indianapolis, wild card and No. 5 seeding.

WHO'S OUT / ELIMINATED

Cincinnati, Cleveland, Houston, Jacksonville, Kansas City, Oakland, Buffalo.

WHO'S ON THE FENCE

Jets: The Jets clinch the AFC East with a win against Miami and a loss by New England at Buffalo.

Miami: The Dolphins clinch the AFC East with a win at Jets.

New England: The Patriots clinch the AFC East with a win at Buffalo and a Jets win.

Baltimore: The Ravens clinch a wild-card spot with a win against Jacksonville.

Denver: The Broncos clinch the AFC West with a win at San Diego.

San Diego: The Chargers clinch the AFC West with a win against Denver.

PRIMARY TIE-BREAKERS

For division ties:

1. Head-to-head

2. Best pct. in games within division

3. Best pct. in common games

For wild-card ties (2 clubs):

1. Head-to-head

2. Best pct. in games within conference

3. Best pct. in common games, min. of four



Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: December 22, 2008

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