Eric Mangini's claim to fame will likely be his appearance on The Sopranos, because his coaching career is littered with December collapses on par with the Dallas Cowboys.
The Jets were on a clear path to the playoffs less than a month ago, and simply couldn't buy a win in December to make the playoffs.
The Jets started the season 8-3 under quarterback Brett Favre, but went 1-4 in their final five games and did not reach the postseason for the second straight year despite a massive offseason spending spree.The team went 4-12 last year, and this year was better, but the team simply couldn't perform in December. Much of the fault rests with Mangini, but some also rests with Brett Favre, who couldn't throw during the final month of the season.
The 37-year-old Mangini was 23-26 in three seasons in his first head coaching job. He had another year remaining on his contract.
The Jets were in first place in the AFC East before fading in the stretch, with Favre failing to rally the team that obtained him in a trade before the season. Favre had just two touchdown passes and nine interceptions in the last five games.
"For the current New York Jets organization, we've made the decision to move on,'' owner Woody Johnson said at a news conference Monday morning. ``It's a judgment call.
"I don't think it was one thing,'' he continued. "We had to go in a different direction. There's nothing specific. It's just a call we made. Hopefully, it's correct.''
Johnson said the final decision was made Sunday night but that the process had been going on a long time.
Favre's arm, which had guided the Green Bay Packers to Super Bowl wins and three MVPs, simply couldn't hold together for the full season.
Chad Pennington, the former Jets quarterback who was sent packing as this season began, had the last laugh as his Miami Dolphins went from 1-15 last season to being the AFC champs. It seems that his arm was more than sufficient to win the big games.