The Rex watch: Week 15

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Updated: December 18, 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 15 opponent:  Carolina Panthers

Takeaways:  With the Ravens last minute victory on Monday night versus the Detroit Lions, the Jets were officially removed from the playoff conversation.  It was mostly just semantics at that point though following New York’s 30-20 loss in Carolina, a defeat that dropped their record to 6-8.

With the exception of a few of the usual breakdowns, the Jets played a pretty competitive game versus the Panthers.  At this moment in their development however, they just don’t have the margin for error that the more talented teams in the league have.  It takes a near perfect game to win, and a good deal of the time they are unable to recover from their gaffes.

With the score knotted at six late in the second quarter, Cam Newton completed a screen pass to DeAngelo Williams that resulted in a 72-yard touchdown.  This was just the latest in what has been an endless stream of big plays allowed by the Jets defense, and the fact that Dee Milliner couldn’t get off his block and at least shove Williams out of bounds was embarrassing.  Milliner came into the league with the reputation as a physical corner, and while I understand his issues in coverage, I assumed he would be able to at minimum make the basic plays and get folks on the ground.    

While that was one blunder, the turning point in the game came in the fourth quarter when the Jets were only trailing 16-13.  They had the ball with a chance to take the lead, but after a porous possession they were forced to kick it away and Ryan Quigley’s punt was blocked by Jason Williams deep in NY territory.  The Jets had been shifting their protection to try and limit the returns of Ted Ginn, leaving no one in the backfield.  The Panthers picked up on this and used it to their advantage, and four plays later Mike Tolbert plowed into the end zone to make it a two-possession game.   Geno Smith was picked off by Captain Munnerlyn (who returned it for a TD) on New York’s next series, and that was the ball game. 

Record:  6-8

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

Who’s next:  12/22 vs Cleveland

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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