The New York Jets enter Sunday’s game against the Cleveland Browns with nothing to play for but pride. However, Sunday has a much deeper meaning for many parts of the Jets organization.
The Jets enter Sunday with a (6-8) record and no chance of advancing to the post season for the third straight season. Sunday could be the last time Rex Ryan steps out onto the turf at MetLife Stadium as the head coach of the New York Jets. The question is will the Jets players fight for Rex Ryan and go out and compete for him, or is the team sick and tired of their head coach? Is management fed up with a consistently bad offense that Ryan produces every year? Are the veteran players that are the foundation of this organization ready for a change?
Sunday these questions will be answered for Jet fans. The Jets will close their last home game of the 2013 regular season against a very winnable opponent in the Cleveland Browns.
The Browns bring some challenges for the Jets defense. Gang greens secondary has been terrible at times letting up big explosive plays down the field, and Cleveland’s Josh Gordon has been the best receiver in football the last couple of weeks. Antonio Cromartie will have to play well for the Jets to slow down the Browns passing attack. The Jets defense which has been the staple of Rex Ryan’s tenure with the Jets will have to be the difference Sunday in what can be Ryan’s make or break game. The Browns will be without stud tight end Jordan Cameron due to a concussion. Cameron leads the team in receptions with 75. The Browns have scored 26 points or more in their past three games.
The Jets offense will face a very physical defense for the second week in a row. The key for the Jets is to run the ball and not have Geno Smith have to make plays against a tough Cleveland secondary. The Jets receivers will see a lot of bump and run from the Browns and will have to win at the line of scrimmage to give Smith a chance to get rid of the ball quickly. Joe Haden is questionable for Sunday’s game and it would be a big lift for the Jets if Haden isn’t able to go.
Sunday is a big day for Geno Smith. Smith needs to leave the Jet fans and the front office with a good taste in their mouth these last two weeks before heading into the off season. Rookie contracts do not tie teams into their quarterbacks for very long and the Jets may choose to draft a quarterback or sign one this off season. Smith needs to protect the football most importantly and make better decisions.
This will be a tough game for the Jets. I think the Jets will fight hard for Rex Ryan, and want him back next season. The only thing is, they need to win to make believers out of the front office. If the team still stands behind him they will pull one out at home to end the season and it will be because Ryan’s defense made the play to win the game.