Monday, December 16, 2013
Rex Ryan shows Jets AFC playoff scenario
By Matt Ehalt
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Come 11:30 p.m. Monday night, it may not matter. The New York Jets could be eliminated from playoff contention by that time if the Baltimore Ravens win in Detroit.
Yet, even with the odds not in the Jets' favor, that didn't prevent Rex Ryan from showing his team the playoff scenario needed for the Jets to sneak back into the dance.
"A lot of things got to happen. Are we aware that Detroit needs to beat Baltimore for us to be alive? We're aware of it. There's no doubt," Ryan said. "I don't care how small the chance of getting in, I think this league has proved that you just got to get in. I don't know what the percent is, one percent chance of getting in, then by gosh we're going for it."
The Jets' scenario is a long shot, but easy to follow: For the Jets to get in, they must win out while Baltimore and Miami lose out, and Pittsburgh and San Diego both lose one game. The Jets can help themselves as they play Miami in the final week, but otherwise they're helpless beyond their own results. They could have aided themselves earlier this year, but losses to Pittsburgh, Baltimore and Miami are coming back to haunt them.
"Reality is there's still a shot, no matter how small it is," Jets center Nick Mangold said. "None of that matters if we don't do our end of the bargain. That's where the focus is and that's where it needs to be."
Ryan's willingness to show his team the playoff scenarios is a deviance from his normal routine of taking it one game at a time. Ryan has preached focusing on the week ahead, famously not naming Geno Smith as his starting quarterback for the remainder of the season despite the rookie's early-season success. Now, with the season on the line and his future with the Jets perhaps up in the air, he's looking to the future.
"We'll see tonight. There might be a zero percent chance if tonight doesn't go right," Ryan said. "Our guys certainly are aware of it and I'm sure we'll all be cheering for Detroit."