It was only a month ago that many believed New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan was on the firing squad. His team was an undisciplined mess marred early in the season by a quasi QB conspiracy. Now with only one game left on his 2013 season, against their division rival Miami Dolphins, Ryan is now being lauded for his best coaching job of his career in New York. Bullocks you say?
Hard to admit it but he actually has done a very solid job while working with a turned over roster. The simple fact they have been able to claw back to within reach of .500 is an accomplishment in itself. The Jets have gone from embattled Mark Sanchez to rookie Geno Smith who has been benched at times and back to Smith again. The team had no Pro-Bowlers elected to the game this year. Yet for all the early season drama the team has rallied around their HC.
It’s been rumored that first year GM John Idzik, Jr. wants to be able to name his own coach. It now appears that for at least one more season that won’t be his choice. Why does this matter? Today the Dolphins play the Jets with their playoff hopes riding on a victory and the results of two other games. If the Jets win Ryan will have a better chance to stay on in New York while a loss might be the final ammunition for Idzik to convince the team owner it’s time to move on.
The players like playing for Rex Ryan and his brand of in your face over the top football is exactly what fits in the “Big Apple”. Of course winning would also go a long way to meshing the two together but the Jets have not found much success outside of the first two trips to the AFC Championship in Ryan’s first two seasons. The team will likely be pumped to play Miami today. The beneficiary of a 20-9 defeat at home a few short weeks ago, the Jets are playing much better than they were on their losing slide.
The Jets are also a strong running team who have improved and will face a Miami team hell bent on trying to keep opposing runners under 120 yards. The Dolphins defense struggles against the run and have done so all year long. The Jets however are a one dimensional team and have very little to threaten you with in the passing game. Of course Miami fans thought the same thing from a back-up QB and 3rd and 4th team receivers.
Miami will be facing an empowered team with nothing to lose. Last week was similar with the Bills making a statement that they were better than Miami. On the field they proved it. The Jets will try and do the same today but they have a little more than pride to play for. They want their coach to stay and a victory might be the only way that happens.
Today’s game will be interesting to watch. The Dolphins finesse style on both sides of the ball against the smash mouth physical play of the Jets. The two teams could not be more different and it’s a fitting way to end a season that has had more ups and downs than ups. For both teams. A win by Miami and they can end the season on an up-tick and perhaps with a little help continue their season next weekend.