Run the table? Keep dreaming
November, 26, 2012
By Rich Cimini | ESPNNewYork.com
David Welker/Getty ImagesRex Ryan isn't about to make any playoff guarantees.FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- The Jets haven't won two straight games since early in December 2011, so the idea of them winning their final five games -- even against a soft schedule -- appears farfetched.
But that didn't stop Rex Ryan from discussing it.
"Heck, yeah, that's your goal," Ryan said Monday. "Absolutely, that's what you're trying to do."
But the brash coach stopped short of making any predictions.
"I'm not going to [say], 'Ryan guarantees playoffs,' or something like that," he said. "We have to get better and it has to start right now, obviously. You can't look down the road. Of course, you'd like to run the table. I guess it's human nature to say, 'Hey, I see what's on our schedule, we have to win all five games, we have to do this, we have to do that.' We have to win this game. I think that's where the entire focus is."
In saying, "this game," Ryan was referring to Sunday against the Cards (4-7). After that, the Jets play the Jaguars (2-9), Titans (4-7), Chargers (4-7) and Bills (4-7), all teams that could be looking for new head coaches after the season.
Of course, those teams are looking at the Jets (4-7), thinking the same thing. Considering the way they embarrassed themselves Thursday night against the Patriots, it would be wrong for the Jets to mutter the word "playoffs."
Asked point-blank if they can make the playoffs, two team leaders dodged the question.
"I think we can fight and win ballgames," S LaRon Landry said.
CB Antonio Cromartie said, "I don't even know what I believe right now, the way we've been playing."
RB/KR Joe McKnight invoked both P words: playoffs and pride. Usually, it's one or the other.
"We're still playing for something," he said. "We're playing for pride and the playoffs. We've got five games to go. We need some things to happen, but [Ryan] told us to keep playing. The season isn't over and we need to win five games."
In Monday's team meeting, Ryan told the players not to dwell on the past. For that reason, some were reluctant to rehash the 49-19 loss to the Patriots. But he also doesn't want them to look beyond Arizona.
"If you look ahead, you're going to kill yourself," DT Mike DeVito said. "That's the worst thing you can do."