AFC East: Ryan Unhappy With Late Comebacks

The Jets are winning games, but that's not good enough for New York head coach Rex Ryan. Why is Ryan upset now?

Ryan tired of necessity for late heroics

   For Jets coach Rex Ryan, the glass was a little more than half-full after his team's latest fourth-quarter escape Sunday.

   However, he also seems to realize his team cannot keep repeating the process indefinitely.

   After the Jets rallied in the fourth quarter for the second consecutive game, this time for a 34-19 win over lackluster Washington, Ryan said, "It tells us that we have to get better because we don't want it to always come down to fighting in the final quarter. It does however, tell you about the character and the guts of this football team and how we believe in each other and get the job done."

   After a 17-play, 74-yard touchdown drive in the first quarter, the Jets managed only two field goals until their fourth-quarter offensive outburst, when they scored three touchdowns in a span of 3:02.

   "We need a better sense of urgency and a better tempo," Mark Sanchez said. "That starts with the quarterback, so I need to get better at that, but I am proud of the way the guys finished."

   The Jets have made a habit of playing down to their level of competition. At 7-5, New York is in a virtual four-way tie with Cincinnati, Tennessee and Oakland for the second AFC wild-card playoff spot. The Jets host Kansas City (5-7) on Sunday at MetLife Stadium.

   "They've been kind of like us, a little inconsistent," Sanchez said of the Chiefs.

   Actually, they've been decimated by injuries, most notably the one to starting quarterback Matt Cassel, who is on injured reserve after hand surgery. Replacement Tyler Palko has gotten the Chiefs into the end zone only once in three games, and it took a 38-yard Hail Mary pass to Dexter McCluster on the final play of the first half to finally get Kansas City a touchdown. That proved to be enough for a 10-3 victory over equally punchless Chicago.

   Kansas City broke a four-game skid with the win, and although Palko briefly was relieved by Kyle Orton, the starting job probably still is Palko's. Orton suffered an unspecified injury to his right index finger, and his status going forward is uncertain.

   Whoever starts under center, the Jets certainly won't take the Chiefs lightly.

   "We understand what we're playing for," right guard Brandon Moore said. "We're playing to get a playoff berth."

   TRENDING: The Jets brought their Wildcat offense out of mothballs, and it gained 26 yards on seven plays, including a 9-yard scoring run by Shonn Greene after a direct snap. Greene, Jeremy Kerley and LaDainian Tomlinson each had at least one play receiving a direct snap, which should give future opponents something to think about.

   BY THE NUMBERS: 4 -- Consecutive games in which the Jets have lost a fumble on special teams. In the second quarter Sunday, Jeremy Kerley muffed Sav Rocca's punt, and Washington's Perry Riley recovered at the New York 18-yard line. That's the sixth turnover on returns for the Jets this season. Coach Rex Ryan indicated after the game that sure-handed Jim Leonhard likely will be the primary punt returner going forward.

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