For the second straight season finale, the players that comprise the New York Jets roster "played hard" for embattled Head Coach Rex Ryan, and for the second straight season finale they beat the Dolphins soundly. Now the Jets front office must decide what to do with Ryan, something that is becoming an annual tradition like Christmas, Chanuka and New Year's. Only the jets.
Geno Smith had his best game of the season, if not his career, by picking apart the Dolphins leaky secondary for 358 yards and three touchdowns. He looked good. He connected with Eric Decker on a 74-yard catch-and-run touchdown pass to get the Jets to within three points, 24-21. He even hit Jeff Cumberland on a 23-yard touchdown pass to the corner of the end zone to blow the game wide open at 34-24. Who knew that Smith could actually play well for longer than two minutes?
The ironic image of the day had to be that of Smith and Rex Ryan chest bumping one another after the Jets final touchdown of the day. It was a statement to ownership that the players want Ryan to stay as head coach, in spite of a disastrous 4-12 season. It's ironic considering it has been Smith's poor play, combined with Ryan's stubborn determination not to bench him that may result in Ryan's ultimate departure.
The ball is now in the court of Woody Johnson, again. For the third straight season, Johnson has to decide what he wants to do with his head coach, and if rumors are true the decision will not be popular.
John Idzik is as good as cooked as general manager. His inability to spend money wisely, bolster the secondary, draft properly, and take responsibility for a poorly run team is going to lead to his ouster. However Ryan may not be going anywhere. Although he should be. Word came down earlier today that Ryan could survive Black Monday, and the decision on Ryan's future could be left to the next GM.
We have been down that road before, and the result has been two horrific seasons that have led us to this point. The Jets need to fire Rex Ryan, John Idzik, Terry Bradway, everyone. They all need to go. The Jets have been a total failure -- a 37-24 win in Week 17 does not change that.
As I addressed in an earlier post, Ryan's poor in-game management, his detachment from the quarterback position, the offense, and stubborn behavior has sunk the Jets. Keeping him around for another General Manager is a mistake waiting to happen.
But the ultimate decision now comes down to Johnson. He has two good football guys in Charley Casserly and Ron Wolf advising him. Johnson has settled for the status quo at the end of 2012 and 2013, and nothing has gotten better for Gang Green. The status quo has got to change if this franchise is going to move forward and be successful.
Nice win for Rex to finish the season, but the time has come to buttfumble Ryan out of town.