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On a team bitten by injuries and devoid of proven talent, how have the New York Jets managed to still be in contention for a playoff spot?
A lot of people have argued that Rex Ryan should be fired after the season, no matter what. Others have argued that a new General Manager should decide if Rex should keep his job or not. Here's a devil's advocate argument in favor of keeping Rex Ryan.
The 2012 New York Jets have been derided by most "experts" and fans as being almost completely devoid of proven talent. I'm not talking about raw, talented players like Stephen Hill, but of proven playmakers like Santonio Holmes and Darrelle Revis. In addition, injuries have bitten the team of what few playmakers they have, such as Holmes, Revis. Dependable starters such as Sione Pouha, Dustin Keller, and Bart Scott have been sapped by injuries as well.
This team has no viable franchise quarterback, no premiere running back. Currently, two of the top three wide receivers are injured, and we're starting a sixth round draft pick at left guard and UDFAs at right guard and right tackle.
So, this team has very little proven talent, and seemingly half the team is injured. So how, in the name of all that is Tebow, are the Jets 6-7 and just one spot back in the playoff race?
I propose that the reason this team is still fighting for a playoff berth, having won three of the last four games, is due to our head coach, Rex Ryan. Last year, when the team started to struggle, it quickly fell apart. Rex admitted that he "lost the pulse of the team." This year, despite its struggles and the numerous beatdowns inflicted upon the team (San Francisco, New England), the team seems relatively united (as long as your name isn't Tim Tebow). The team has stayed together and continued to fight, despite the impossibly hard schedule that they started the season with. With no official team captains, it seems to me that the team is being dragged to a decent season by Rex's motivational skills and his scheming ability to keep a top-level defense, even without its best player.
Now, some of it is, as John B. described, that the Jets have become a "bully" team. Beating up on the terrible teams and losing to the good ones. But truly bad teams, like the Jacksonville Jaguars, can't even do that. So clearly we're not that awful. But with our lack of talent and incredible number of injuries, we should be. I have no evidence, nothing dispositive that it is singularly because of Rex that we are currently making a fight of the season other than my gut feelings. So I pose it to you. How has a team so bad managed to potentially salvage the season, and possibly, POSSIBLY, make the playoffs, if not for Rex's coaching?