kneel kneel

With a Strategic Kneel, the Jets Season Comes to a Sudden Halt

You like that headline? That’s our attempt to write a Times sports headline. We’re gonna try that on all of our stories today, because it’s Monday and we’re trying to kick-start our brains for the week. It’ll be fun.

All kinds of things went wrong for the Jets yesterday — most of them tactical, and most of them dutifully chronicled by the Daily News’ Rich Cimini — but the only one that anyone will remember will be Maurice Jones-Drew’s kneel-down at the one-yard line, guaranteeing that the clock would run down for a last-second field goal for the Jaguars. It worked — Josh Scobee kicked a 21-yard field goal as time expired — but could have been a coach-killing backfire. It’s not every day a team actively attempts not to score. It was so unusual that MJD was apologizing to fantasy owners.

The part about the play we loved most was that the Jets were instructed not to tackle MJD the same way MJD was instructed to go down. Theoretically, this could lead to a wacky Keystone Kops, Benny Hill caper, in which MJD chases defenders around the field, desperately trying to find someone who will tackle him. That would be hilarious.

The play was memorable — and it’s not really fair to criticize Rex Ryan for being “outflanked” on the MJD play; just because the opposing coach makes a smart move doesn’t necessarily mean your coach has made a dumb one — but in the long run, it’s probably the play that will mark the end of the Jets’ awkward playoff “run.” They head to Foxboro on Sunday to face an angry, avenging Patriots team, and a loss would put them at 4-6 with six games to go. Does this look like a team that can win six games in a row? Does it look like one that can win two? Only if the opponents make a habit of kneeling on the one-yard line.

With a Strategic Kneel, the Jets Season Comes to a Sudden Halt