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New York Jets Eliminated from Playoff Contention: Time to Look Forward to 2014

December 17th, 2013 at 11:54 PM
By Donald Lappe

The New York Jets have officially been eliminated from playoff contention by way of the 61-yard field goal by Justin Tuck of the Baltimore Ravens that gave Baltimore an 18-16 win over the Detroit Lions. At 6-8, the best the Jets can hope to do is tie the currently 8-6 Ravens, which would leave them on the outside looking in due to their earlier loss to Baltimore. The Jets have now missed the playoffs for the third season in a row. As the team begins to look towards 2014, there is hope moving forward.

'Rex Ryan Meltdown v Dennis Green Meltdown : Best One?' photo (c) 2013, Zennie Abraham - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

As the New York Jets finish out the 2013 season with games against the Cleveland Browns and Miami Dolphins, many will begin to look ahead at what the 2014 season will behold. For the Jets and John Idzik, this is an important offseason with major opportunity. The Jets should have a solid draft position depending on the finish to this season and will have plenty of salary cap space with some big contracts coming off the books.

It will begin with Rex Ryan. There will be a ton of talk about whether he should stay or go and expect a lot of calls for Rex to be fired. However, it has been reported that Rex Ryan's contract runs through 2014 and expect the Jets to make 2014 his make-or-break season. Rex Ryan has assembled an excellent defense stocked with young talent. The offense has shown flashes under Marty Mornhinweg this season and despite an astronomical amount of turnovers from rookie quarterback Geno Smith the unit was close to being good enough for the Jets to seriously contend for a playoff spot. With lots of money, a full offseason for Geno Smith and a potential contributor in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft, the holes can be fixed for next season.

Cue the cries for Rex Ryan to be fired. Perspective is necessary.

Rex Ryan is comfortably slotted behind Weeb Ewbank as the second-most successful coach in franchise history. Changing the head coach doesn't just mean change at the top – staff changes, overall scheme changes and more follow. Rex Ryan benefited from risky deals made during the Mike Tannenbaum era during his first two seasons as head coach, then paid the price that past three seasons as a result. Inserting a new head coach into the mix would likely only set the process back, right when things are primed for a turnaround. Stability is a positive.

What to expect in 2014 for the Jets? Some new faces for sure, especially on offense, but the same guy calling the shots on the sideline.

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Tags: Baltimore Ravens, contract, Football, Geno Smith, John Idzik, Justin Tuck, Marty Mornhinweg, Mike Tannenbaum, New York, New York Jets, NFL, Rex Ryan, salary cap, salary cap space, Weeb Ewbank

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