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It’s Hatchet Day for the Jets

Head coach Rex Ryan and Mark Sanchez #6 of the New York Jets walk off the field after losing to the Buffalo Bills 28-9 at Ralph Wilson Stadium on December 30, 2012 in Orchard Park, New York.

With an ugly, dull 28–9 loss to the Bills yesterday, the Jets' season mercifully ended at 6–10, a record that can't adequately capture the lunacy and depression of the whole enterprise. 6–10 can't encapsulate the Butt Fumble, or the fourth quarter against the Titans on Monday Night Football, or the endless shots of Tim Tebow on the sideline, tied down, emasculated. The Jets season was a disaster, and there will be ramifications, starting today. It feels like people have been in the process of being fired all year.

You can tell how much everybody is being blamed by the order they're being fired. Offensive coordinator Tony Sparano was reportedly told he was on his way out before the game yesterday, which is not exactly the best plan of attack for the afternoon. (Though maybe the Jets wanted to lose, for the draft pick. Mission accomplished: They have the ninth pick next April.) After the game, the equally unsurprising word leaked that general manager Mike Tannenbaum would be out the door as well; an official announcement is expected later today. Tannenbaum took over as GM in 2006 — he has worked for the Jets since 1997 — and his contract ran until 2014. But he's gone today. (Sparano's only been here a year, so no one's mourning his departure that much.)

Surviving, of course, is Rex Ryan, who had just said last week how he'd leave himself if the Jets' offense didn't improve. Which brings the Jets to the other problem: Mark Sanchez is still owed $8.4 million next season and, uh, is still terrible. He had another terrible interception, one to grow on yesterday, and once again looked worse than he'd looked the week before. (He's like Thinner at this point.) For all the talk of the quarterback woes of the Jets this year, it's worth remembering that these "woes" have simply been Sanchez being horrible. There were only two games he didn't finish, one of which the Jets won. Tim Tebow, obviously gone in the offseason, never got on the field, and watching Sanchez, you can understand his frustration. Could Tebow have possibly been worse than this?

It doesn't matter, though, because the first job of the new general manager will be to figure out what to do with Sanchez. We still would not be surprised to see him back next season. That's a lot of money, first off, and for all the talk of the Jets' desperately needing to fix the position, well, half the NFL needs to fix the position. The assumption is that Michael Vick will come here for cheap, but why? NFL teams are so starved at QB that someone will offer him more money than they should, and the Jets are still hamstrung by Sanchez's contract. Perhaps the most fitting way to finish this awful season would be for the Jets to get rid of everyone other than the coach ... and the quarterback who caused all of this in the first place. It's possible the Jets' offseason won't be any less depressing than their season was.

Photo: Rick Stewart/Getty Images