Before Sundays game against the Cleveland Browns, Fox Sports Jay Glazer reported that Rex Ryan told his New York Jet football team that despite that he may be fired at the end of the year, he wanted the team to go out and fight with him the last two weeks of the season.
The Jets did just that, battling back from a 10-0 deficit to beat the Browns at home 24-13. The New York Jets played a very good game for Rex Ryan on Sunday, and outplayed the Browns in all three phases of the game. Any questions of whether the team wanted Ryan to come next year was answered Sunday. Many player stepped up and made a difference on Sunday but two of the Jets rookies made the biggest difference.
Rookie corner back Dee Milliner had his best game of his young career. Milliner locked up Josh Gordon for most of the game and had his first interception of his career. Milliner led the team with 8 tackles on Sunday. The Jets sacked Jason Campbell three times and recorded just their third multi-interception game of the season. Ed Reed had his second interception in three games, giving him 63 interceptions in his career.
The most impressive player on the field Sunday was without a doubt rookie quarterback Geno Smith. Smith played his best game a pro on Sunday, a week after a solid performance in Carolina. Smith was 20-of-36 for 214 yards and two touchdown passes both to David Nelson. More importantly, Smith did not turn the ball over Sunday and was not sacked once all game. Smith showed that when he has time their isn’t a throw on the field he can’t make. Smith added 48-yards rushing on 10 carries and a rushing touchdown.
Smith played his first complete game as a professional on Sunday. He was making the right decisions, checking down when he needed to and making throws where the football was not in a position to get intercepted. He got rid of the ball quickly and accurately to avoid being sacked. I think Smith running the football gives the Jets an extra dimension to their offense and it has to be something Smith is willing to do throughout his career.
Chris Ivory ran for over a 100-yards and Jeremy Kerley led the team with 5 catches for 70 yards. The Jets had 422 total yards offense against a very good Browns defense. The team was impressed by Geno Smith and his maturity Sunday and feel that he is becoming a better professional each day.
The win doesn’t lock up Rex Ryan’s head coaching job but it is one more reason to argue that Ryan deserves to return next season. The Jets came out and played hard for Ryan and played their most complete game of the season.
“We were picked to be the worst team in the NFL,” Jets linebacker Calvin Pace said. “It says a lot about this team’s character and the way we rallied under Rex. I guarantee you everyone loves playing for Rex.”