For little kids who are into sports, one of the most frustrating things in the world is that your parents force you to go to sleep before Monday Night Football.
You'd just lay in bed, mind racing with all of the possibilities of what you're missing, and desperately hope that you'd get older just a little bit sooner so you could stay up and watch the game. Then you finally get the green light to stay up for your first taste of football under the lights.
We feel sorry for the kids who got that first taste this Monday night and urge them to remember that it won't always be like this. There will be days when teams far better than the Jets and Titans take the field, and their games will be filled with great performances by talented players that linger pleasantly in the memory.
The memory of the Titans' 14-10 victory will linger, but there won't be anything pleasant about it. It will be more like the smell that lingers for a few days after you're forced to empty out your refrigerator following a blackout.
Both teams were horrendous offensively with only Chris Johnson's 94-yard touchdown run qualifying as a play that you might actually see run by a competent offensive team. The Titans made some mind-boggling play calls and Jake Locker played like he was terrified of the Jets pass rush, yet it was still better than what the Jets put together.
Mark Sanchez turned in another vintage performance with four interceptions borne of abysmal decisions that no player in his fourth year should be making. He wasn't helped by an offensive game plan that seemed designed to fail or by a receiving corps that featured Braylon Edwards at the top of the depth chart days after signing with the team, but you'd have to be grading on the most generous curve known to man to say Sanchez wasn't terrible.
The last pick came on the first play after the two minute warning and it was as awful as anything you could ever see, a late throw down the middle into triple coverage that Titans safety Michael Griffin picked off near his own goal line. The pick came just after the Titans were flagged for roughing Sanchez on a third down incompletion, their 14th penalty of the night and a ray of hope for the Jets that Sanchez trampled.
He wasn't done. The Jets defense held and Titans punter Brett Kern added to the overall horror that was this game by punting the ball about 20 yards from his own end zone to give the Jets one more shot at the win.
It was gone as quickly as it arrived, though. Sanchez couldn't handle a low snap in the shotgun, the ball kicked away and the Titans fell on it to win a game that everyone watching lost.
Sanchez was never benched, although the Jets did pick the 14th game of the season to finally give Tim Tebow a full series as the team's quarterback. It featured a delay of game penalty because, naturally, 14 weeks isn't enough to learn how to call a play and it came after two of the only good passes Sanchez threw all night, bit it wasn't enough to get the Jets to actually go with him as the quarterback.
Why they wouldn't just see if Tebow could possibly not throw the ball to the opposition over and over again remains as great a mystery as the whereabouts of Amelia Earhart, but that's the 2012 Jets for you. Baffling, frustrating, infuriating and, now, elimated.
The playoffs will go on without the Jets as a result of the loss and the playoffs will be all the better for it. The Jets can now start the process of figuring out what to make of this mess so that the team has a halfway decent shot at a winning record next year.
Getting a quarterback who isn't Mark Sanchez would help matters.
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