Ryan desperate to stop slump
Rex Ryan is tired of walking off the field angry and without a victory.
The New York Jets coach has gone through three-game skids before. Five of them, in fact, including two during his first year in 2009 – en route to the AFC championship game. His team turned things around back then, but Ryan knows things need to change in a hurry this time around.
The Jets (3-6) last won on Oct. 14 against Indianapolis – more than a month ago. Seems even longer, though, to Ryan.
“Forever, that’s how long it feels,” Ryan said Friday. “Each week, you go in there, you feel confident and then we haven’t got it done. It’s frustrating and all that. Obviously, we expect a win each week. You put everything you have into it and when you fall short, it’s terrible.”
New York is in last place in the AFC East and could see its fading playoff hopes take a serious hit if the Jets lose to the Rams (3-5-1), who haven’t won since beating Arizona on Oct. 4. After facing the Rams, the Jets play the division-leading Patriots on Thanksgiving night.
“We have to get a win,” Ryan said. “We need a win desperately. Not just, we need a win like every other team. No, we need one. We’re desperate for a win. Clearly, if you have goals, as any team would have goals to make the playoffs and all that stuff, then we have no choice. We have to win.
“There’s no tomorrow. We need to win.”
This is the Jets’ worst start since they opened 1-8 in 2007 under Eric Mangini, en route to a 4-12 season. A victory Sunday, though, would put New York at 4-6 – just as the Jets were in 2009 before winning five of their last six and squeaking into the playoffs and going on an impressive postseason run that ended in the AFC title game in Indianapolis.
“We’ve been down that road before,” Ryan said. “That’s what we’re hoping for right now, that after this week, get that fourth win, get to 4-6 and let’s see what happens.”
None of the Jets’ remaining five opponents after the Rams and Patriots – Arizona (4-5), Jacksonville (1-8), Tennessee (4-6), San Diego (4-5) and Buffalo (4-6) – currently have winning records. And that is what is motivating the Jets to put it all together in St. Louis to give them at least a chance at salvaging their season.
Harbaugh back to work
San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh is back at work a day after undergoing a minor procedure for an irregular heartbeat.
The reigning NFL Coach of the Year returned to the field to lead San Francisco through Friday’s walk-through session, with a full practice scheduled for the afternoon.
Harbaugh, who turns 49 on Dec. 23, was away from the team Thursday for his procedure at Stanford Hospital.
The Chicago Bears (7-2) say QB Jay Cutler will miss Monday’s game at San Francisco (6-2-1) because of a concussion. Jason Campbell is expected to start in his place. … Philadelphia Eagles (3-6) QB Michael Vick will miss Sunday’s game vs. the Washington Redskins (3-6) due to the effects of a concussion. Rookie Nick Foles, who practiced with the Eagles’ first team all week, will get his first NFL start.… Injured Dallas Cowboys (4-5) RB DeMarco Murray is doubtful to return from a four-game absence Sunday against the Cleveland Browns (2-7). … Jacksonville DT Terrance Knighton, Kansas City LB Tamba Hali and New England LB Brandon Spikes were fined $25,000 each by the NFL for hits in recent games. Oakland LB Aaron Curry was given two fines: $15,750 for striking Baltimore RB Ray Rice late, and $7,875 for unnecessary roughness on a special-teams play. … Referee Tony Corrente has been fined one game check, approximately $9,000, by the NFL for uttering some obscenities with his microphone on during a Nov. 4 game in Indianapolis.
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