The Rex watch: Week 13

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Updated: December 2, 2013

With external pressure at an all-time high and internal pressure simmering due to the arrival of new GM John Idzik, New York Jets coach Rex Ryan is essentially coaching for his job this year.  What will it take for him to survive the axe?  Barring a Woody Johnson intervention on his behalf, probably somewhere in the neighborhood of seven or eight wins along with a clear indication that the rebuilding job is going as planned.  With this as a backdrop, I will monitor the progress of my Jets on a weekly basis and try and gauge the prospects of Rex keeping his job.       

Week 13 opponent:  Miami Dolphins

Takeaways:  The Jets’ playoff chances and Rex Ryan’s future as the head coach of this franchise took a bit of a hit Sunday following a lifeless performance at home versus the Miami Dolphins.  New York’s defense allowed a number of big plays while the offense was unable to generate any of their own, and the resulting 23-3 defeat has left fans like me wondering what happened to the team that played so terrific earlier in the season against the likes of the Patriots and Saints. 

Inept is too kind of a word to describe the Jets’ offense, as they barely had possession of the ball in the first half in generating only two first downs and 39 total yards.  Geno Smith remained in a daze, missing wide open receivers and looking flustered in the pocket.  His complete regression has been tough to watch and has coincided with the team’s downfall in recent weeks.  He completed only 4 of 10 passes for 29 yards before being relegated to the bench in favor of Matt Simms.  Simms tried to provide the team with a jolt of energy, but a fumble on a handoff exchange with Bilal Powell early in the second half killed the momentum they had started to generate, and a few plays later they were down 13-0.  

A turning point in the game came right before halftime, as following a goal-line stand by the defense the Jets had a legitimate chance of going into the intermission tied at 0-0.  Coming out of their own end zone, Geno Smith had David Nelson wide open on a third down conversion that would’ve allowed the Jets to burn a good chunk of the clock.  Instead, Geno missed Nelson by at least five feet and New York was forced to punt.  Miami received good field position on the ensuing punt and got in easy field goal range, and a few plays later they picked off Geno and were able to kick another one right before the half ended.  Just like that the Jets were down 6-0, and the way their offense has performed the last three weeks it might as well have been 28-0. 

From that point on it was a mixture of poor tackling by the defense and continued awfulness by the offense.  Miami dominated the game in every facet, and surprisingly their beleaguered offensive line got the better of New York’s vaunted defensive line.     

It will be interesting to see where the Jets go from here at the QB position.  With a playoff berth almost out of reach, they might roll the dice with Geno and see if the does anything of note in the remaining four games of the season.  Voices around the league keep repeating that they don’t think the future QB of the team is on the roster at the moment, and I imagine John Idzik will keep evaluating the position from now up until next year’s draft. 

As for Rex, he needs a win next week in the worst way.  The vultures were at bay for most of the year, but the fact that he let his team get trounced in three consecutive games doesn’t bode well for his future.  He should have his team improving at this point in the season, but instead they are fading.  If the offense isn’t able to find a way to start generating points, the end of this season could get even uglier. 

Record:  5-7

Rex Watch:  Likely remaining wins needed to keep job –   8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

Who’s next:  12/08 vs. Oakland

Dennis Chalk is a lifelong fan of the Jets and Mets, a true glutton for punishment.  He hopes to live long enough to see at least one of his teams have a championship season.   

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