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The Good, Bad and Ugly of the Jets Loss

Tim Tebow makes sure another season ends with a soap opera

By Josh Alper
|  Monday, Dec 24, 2012  |  Updated 6:07 PM EDT
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The Good, Bad and Ugly of the Jets Loss

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Crashing and burning is the Jets' favorite mode of operation.

We'll get to the actual football involved in the Jets' 27-17 loss to the Chargers at the Meadowlands on Sunday eventually. 

First, though, we must discuss the latest saga involving Tim Tebow. A report from ESPNNewYork.com on Sunday night indicated Tebow told the Jets that he did not want to play for them in the Wildcat after the team decided to start Greg McElroy at quarterback instead of him. 

Later reports indicated that was basically true, with the caveat that Tebow came back to Rex Ryan on Friday to say he'd play and that Ryan said Tebow would have played if asked. That's a distinction without much of a difference, especially from a player who has never done anything but the right thing publicly through his stops in Denver and with the Jets. 

Tebow has every reason to be frustrated by the way the Jets have chosen to use him (not use him, really) this season. He's been a glorified fullback, a role considerably less than Tebow should have expected, and then basically gave lie to the idea that he was ever the backup quarterback by going with McElroy.

That said, Ryan should have deactivated Tebow if he wasn't going to be using him at all on Sunday. There's no point in continuing the charade that anyone on the coaching staff was interested in having him on the roster and he's proven to be nothing but a distraction to a team that never should have traded for him in the first place. 

Tebow chose the Jets over Jacksonville with the full knowledge that the Jaguars quarterback job would be easier to come by, which leads us right back to another wrong in a situation that extends the old two wrongs don't make a right maxim to its most absurd levels.

At the end, the whole saga lays bare the complete inability of the Jets franchise to function in a successful manner. Trading for someone of Tebow's stature and then never using him because of well-known limitations to his game are not mistakes a professional organization can make and, on another team, would be more than enough to force general manager Mike Tannenbaum from his job.

With the Jets, though, the feeling has never been that Tannenbaum, Ryan or anyone other than the owner wanted this deal. Given that, it is hard to see how more mistakes are avoided since no one is minding the shop on the football side of things.

An appropriately ugly end for a Jets team that ended last season sniping at one another in the huddle. Here's the football-related good, bad and ugly for the Jets.

UGLY: Giving up 11 sacks to a good team would be embarrassing. Giving up that many to a Chargers team that's been used as a whipping post time and again this season is humiliation that gives lie to any argument that the Jets offensive line remains a strength.  

GOOD: Jeremy Kerley's work as the Wildcat quarterback featured passes and unusual formations that confused the defense before plays more creative than simple dives. Kerley's been one of the few Jets to play well this season, so it's good to see the Jets find ways to get the ball into his hands more often. 

BAD: Having said that, what took so long for Tony Sparano to call plays with some ingenuity? Maybe we're supposed to feel bad now that there's no element of surprise left for the Bills next week. 

UGLY: Special teams coach Mike Westhoff's final home game before retirement featured a 63-yard punt return for a touchdown by Micheal Spurlock. It was just the latest in a series of special teams blunders that reflects even more poorly on the team's ability to evaluate and acquire talent at all levels of the roster. 

GOOD: Kerley's been joined by Muhammed Wilkerson and Quinton Coples on the list of players with little to be ashamed about this season. The two young defensive linemen each flashed more of their talent-laden potential Sunday. If the Jets can multiply it tenfold, they'll be getting somewhere. 

UGLY: There are a million excuses for the way the game went, but Greg McElroy proved just one thing on Sunday. He wasn't lying when he said he learned everything he knows from Mark Sanchez. 

Josh Alper is also a writer for Pro Football Talk. You can follow him on Twitter.

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