Ryan's Jets were overachievers in 2013

Pegged as the laughing stock of the NFL heading into the 2013 NFL season, the New York Jets surpassed the expectations of many despite missing the playoffs for the third consecutive season.

The New York Jets were overachievers this season, finishing the season at 8-8, while many thought they would be the worst team in the league. The Jets were faced with a quarterback controversy that ultimately led to starting a rookie quarterback, the loss of their pro bowl cornerback and a head coach on the hot seat. Through it all, they manage to reach .500 and just missed the playoffs.

Gang Green found pleasure in closing their division rival Dolphins' playoff chances Sunday. Ending the season on a high note was especially essential for head coach Rex Ryan and rookie quarterback Geno Smith. Questions at to whether Ryan should keep his job circled the Jets all season long. That question was answered after Sunday's victory, when owner Woody Johnson announced Ryan would lead the Jets in 2014 and there was an outpouring of support from his coaches and players. One of Ryan's biggest supporters was Smith.

Smith put on a stellar performance Sunday in front of his home crowd. Smith's parents live literally across the street from SunLife stadium. He grew up in nearby Miramar, Fla., and had over 50 family and friends in attendance. Smith was a dual threat Sunday, torching the Fins for 44 rushing yards and a touchdown. Smith started all 16 games this season and despite his seesaw play, the way he finished the season may have solidified him as New York's quarterback of the future.

One thing that was consistent this year was the play of defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson. Wilkerson led the charge of another good Ryan-led defense. Wilkerson recorded 10.5 sacks, 64 tackles and was named the Jets MVP by his teammates. With a season like that it amazes many that Wilkerson wasn't voted to the pro bowl initial, instead was named a first alternate.

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