They did. The wrong one.
A day after being embarrassed on national television, the Jets were wondering how everything went so wrong in a 45-3 drubbing on Monday night.
"It was the game of the year," a bloodshot-eyed coach Rex Ryan said Tuesday. "The unfortunate thing is I feel bad for ourselves, obviously, our fans and, really, the NFL. The NFL deserved a better game than that, but we weren't up to the task."
"We got pummeled, we played terrible, but it's one game," Ryan said. "Everything we talked about is still attainable."
Everything, meaning, a Super Bowl trophy -- something Ryan guaranteed during training camp. And, despite the humiliation, Ryan is confident his guys can turn things around.
"We have a quarter of our season left," he said, "so we're far from pressing the panic button."
"This humble pie tastes like a car tire and it goes down like peanut butter," defensive tackle Sione Pouha said after the game. "That's how it feels. Sunday can't come soon enough."
There will be lots to do in the days leading up to that, though. The players will gather as a team Wednesday morning, and Ryan said he'll address them at that point.
"I'll have a specific message," he said, "that I'll share with them first."
You can be sure there won't be many smiles in that room, nor should there be after what went down at Gillette Stadium.
"We really have to do some soul searching and see what we're really about, what type of team we want to be," wide receiver Brad Smith said. "I think we will be all right."
It couldn't get much worse than it did Monday, when there were serious breakdowns on offense, defense and special teams that Bill Belichick's team capitalized on each time.
"This was a good old-fashioned butt-kicking," Sanchez said. "There's no two ways around it. I need to play better, especially down the stretch."
The Jets' defense, which Ryan has said will be ranked No. 1 at the end of the season, was picked apart by Tom Brady drive after drive. The Patriots scored on each of their first four possessions, taking a 21-point lead into halftime. It only got worse in the second half as the Jets appeared unable to stop or tackle anyone, including former teammate Danny Woodhead.
"We stunk up the joint on defense," Ryan said. "We stunk up the joint on offense, and we were probably worse on coaching."
"We should have tried everything but what we did," Ryan said. "We thought we had a great scheme, but the execution was poor. But, again, it's not all on the players. It's on the coaches, too."
"Throw out last night," Ryan said. "We've got to try to rack up as many wins as we can."
Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press