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200 Miles From the Citi


January 5, 2010 7:15 AM

RAISING THE BAR

Clincher.JPGIt was one of the last things I mentioned in the live blog - after all of the ups and downs of this season (especially all of the downs - way more than a playoff team should be allowed to have), there's no way this season ends in disappointment.

Unfortunately, after seeing Jets versus Bengals part one, I'm now expecting a playoff win in addition to the playoff appearance...but that's more than I should have hoped for this year, and that's my problem if it doesn't happen.

The Jets' problem is that they've set the bar for themselves extremely high - and nothing short of a Super Bowl next season would be disappointing.


I don't think I'm exaggerating...and I don't think I'm saying anything Rex Ryan wouldn't say himself - heck, he'll be disappointed if this team doesn't win the championship this year (which is why I love him).

This year was supposed to be a building year - a new quarterback, new coach, see how you all work together and how the new pieces on defense fit in...see what you have.

The result was a playoff appearance (and counting).

That needs to be built upon...and another playoff appearance isn't good enough.  The team needs to take the next step.

This team needs to become dominant.  They need to win the division next year.  They need to get a bye.  They need to assert themselves as a new team in a new home - not the Jets of old that played in Giants Stadium.

Rex Ryan is like Herman Edwards and Eric Mangini in that he brought the Jets to the playoffs in his first year with the team.  He is unlike them in that they did so with veteran quarterbacks, not first-year rookies.

That sets the bar higher than they ever had it - and the bar for any coach in New York is high to begin with.  He needs to make sure that rookie quarterback keeps leading the team to the playoffs - this needs to be a perennial contender...and become the team to beat.

But I think Rex Ryan knows all of that.  And I think he's more than ready to rise to that challenge.

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