By: Melanie Watson
New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan just barely led his team to an 18-17 victory against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in their season opener. In fact, the Jets both lost and won the game during the final 76 seconds.
The loss occurred when Jets safety Dawan Landry missed a tackle that led to a Buccaneers field goal. The win came in the form of a 48-yard Jets field goal made by Nick Folk moments after Bucs LB Lavonte David committed a late-hit penalty. With only two seconds remaining in the game, the Bucs simply did not have enough time to answer back.
Although Rex Ryan escaped with a win, he still managed to make some coaching blunders yet again. He was responsible for two almost costly mistakes including the missed tackle by Landry. Ryan did not ensure that Vincent Jackson of the Bucs was covered on defense despite Jackson having already gained 154 yards on seven catches. And yes, it was Jackson who easily spun out of that previously mentioned attempted tackle.
The second error happened a few plays later when the Jets needed to call timeout and force Tampa Bay to kick with 45 seconds left. Ryan did not call time out until seven seconds later after offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg ran towards him while screaming at him to make the call. The final result worked in Ryan’s favor as they still made the game-winning field goal.
In spite of these mistakes, it should also be noted that Ryan did some great things during the game as well. He showed that he’s still a defensive mastermind as the Jets forced two turnovers, committed three sacks and held the Bucs to 12 first downs. Moreover, he inspired his team to play hard by sharing a copy of ESPN’s Power Rankings which listed the Jets at no. 32 on the list – the worst in the league.
If they want to keep moving up the power rankings, the newly ranked no. 27 Jets will need to figure out a way to defeat the no. 5 New England Patriots. The Jets may not have played like the No. 1 team in the NFL on Sunday but they played well enough to temporarily alleviate a bit of pressure off both themselves and Rex Ryan.