The Jets ended on a three-game losing streak, finishing 8-8 and missing the playoffs for the first time under Rex Ryan. They played an easy schedule, and still couldn't get it done, going 0-4 against teams that finished with winning records. They also lost six games by double digits, underscoring the gap between the Jets and the top teams.
Aside from the record, the most troubling part of the season was how they lost -- lacking cohesion and chemistry. The lasting image of the 2011 season will be that of the Jets arguing in the huddle with two minutes left in their sorry season.
Jets' postseason awards
Offensive MVP: C Nick Mangold. The offense fell apart when he was injured.
Defensive MVP: CB Darrelle Revis. Still the best in the business.
Special-teams MVP: KR Joe McKnight. Made people forget about Brad Smith.
Most improved: CB Kyle Wilson. No one throwing around the "B" word anymore.
Least improved: QB Mark Sanchez. This was supposed to be a breakout year.
Biggest surprise: LB Aaron Maybin. From scrap heap to leading sacker.
Biggest disappointment: WR Santonio Holmes. Bad numbers, bad attitude
Best rookie: WR Jeremy Kerley. A terrific fifth-round draft pick.
Best offseason acquisition: N/A
Worst offseason acquisition: WR Derrick Mason.
Best-kept secret: LB Josh Mauga. Showed promise filling in for Bart Scott.
Best coaching move: Brian Schottenheimer benching Holmes in the final game.
Worst coaching move: Ditching the Ground-and-Pound attack at the start of the season.
Biggest concern: Rebuilding team chemistry.
Key to the offseason: Fixing Sanchez and taking a fresh approach on offense.
Player ready emerge in '12: Kerley. Deserves more playing time at receiver.
Least likely to return in '12: WR Plaxico Burress. Did some nice things, but it's time to move on.