Falling at the final hurdle before the Super Bowl for the second consecutive year did stun the Jets, but it was not long before the New Yorkers, led by bombastic coach Rex Ryan, were back in full swagger mode.
"Our goal for next year ... I got news for you, it won't change, it will never change," Ryan said after Sunday's 24-19 loss to Pittsburgh. "We're going to chase that Super Bowl and we're going to chase it until we get it.
"Then we will chase after it again.
Certainly there was plenty to criticize, appreciate and loathe during an often tumultuous but hugely entertaining NFL season that was equal parts sporting drama, soap opera and tabloid fodder.
The season began with Ryan raising a fuss with Super Bowl predictions for his team during training camp captured on camera for HBO's "Hard Knocks" series.
The regular season ended with Ryan once again taking center stage, this time over an alleged foot fetish after videos and photographs surfaced on the Internet featuring a woman strongly resembling his wife showing her feet in a provocative manner.
On the field, the Jets were fined $100,000 by the NFL for an incident where their fitness coach tripped a Miami Dolphins player on the sideline in a game and a probe later found he had instructed others to form a wall alongside him.
But what grated on football fans most was the cockiness and boastful self-assurance that many saw as arrogance.
While the Jets often talked a better game than they played, they backed up their bravado with a stirring post-season run highlighted by a win over Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts and a shock upset of heavily-favored Tom Brady and the New England Patriots.
"There are probably no harder three games any team in the league has had to face than that," said Ryan, who also lost in the AFC championship game in 2008 while a defensive coach with the Baltimore Ravens.
"That's three years in row for me to be knocked off in this game. I'm going to keep swinging, we're going to get through this thing."
(Writing by Steve Keating in Pittsburgh, Editing by Frank Pingue)