The Jets were left cleaning out their lockers here in Florham Park today, trying to come to grips with the reality of their season coming to an end at the hands of the Steelers.
Their stinging 24-19 defeat in yesterday's AFC Championship game is still fresh, but there was a little bit of reflecting going on for a team that talked all since training camp about making it to Super Bowl XLV.
"It’s a great season, but we didn’t achieve our ultimate goal and that’s to be playing in Dallas," linebacker Calvin Pace said. "Pittsburgh was the better team yesterday. They had a great first half and we didn’t match their intensity. We came out and played in the second half, but it was a little bit too late. And it was the same situation last year with Indy. We just didn't have that complete game that you’ve got to have in that type of game.
"It’s disheartening, but it’s also something to build on for next year, too."
Still, there's a lot of uncertainty floating around the Jets with all their impending free agents, and there's also a few veterans like linebacker Jason Taylor and and defensive lineman Trevor Pryce, who're thinking long and hard about hanging their cleats up for good.
Either way, the Jets' roster as it's currently constructed will likely have a different look when -- and if, with the current murky CBA landscape -- the Jets reconvene in Cortland for training camp.
"It’s the bad part of the business," Pace said. "You work so hard with these guys and trying to obtain a goal and it didn’t happen for us, and the fact that we don’t know what next year holds for us and a lot of guys contracts are up and what not, it’s tough. But it’s a situation a lot of people are dealing with right now.
"We’ve got a reason to hold our heads up. We had a great season, just yesterday wasn't our day."