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Rex Ryan has 'pulled it all together' for Jets, GM says

Have you figured out the 2013 New York Jets yet?


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If so, please let us know. A week after getting bombed in a 49-9 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals, the Jets outplayed the New Orleans Saints for four quarters in a 26-20 win at MetLife Stadium. The Jets are 5-0 in odd weeks and 0-4 in even ones. Geno Smith has vacillated between Namath and Nagle. Logic was shown the door in a forceful manner weeks ago.

But don't let the season's schizophrenic nature obscure the larger point: The Jets are playoff contenders -- and Rex Ryan deserves a lot of credit for that.

General manager John Idzik made a rare public appearance Monday to tell reporters Ryan has done "very well" and has "pulled it all together" for the 5-4 Jets. He wouldn't offer the coach any endorsement beyond that, however.

"Living in the moment," Idzik said, when asked about Ryan's future with the Jets.

Idzik inherited Ryan upon being named GM in January. It widely was assumed that the talent-deficient Jets would crater this season, allowing Idzik to discard Ryan and choose his own coach to lead a rebuilding franchise.

But things haven't worked out that way. The defense has progressed at a faster rate than expected -- particularly along a deeply talented front line. The offense remains a work in progress, though the emergence of running back Chris Ivory has the Jets closing in on the team's "Ground and Pound" philosophy of old.

It's the same philosophy Ryan leaned on as a first-year coach in 2009, when he hid rookie quarterback Mark Sanchez behind a great defense and potent running game and advanced to the AFC Championship Game.

Can Ryan do the same thing with Geno and this Jets team? The odds are against it, but this has been an odd season all around.

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