5 New York Jets Players, Coaches Who Could Save Jobs with Playoff Berth

Chris RolingFeatured ColumnistDecember 10, 2012

5 New York Jets Players, Coaches Who Could Save Jobs with Playoff Berth

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    The New York Jets have been a circus so far in the 2012 season under head coach Rex Ryan thanks to the quarterback controversy between Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow, but the team remains in the 2012 NFL playoff hunt. 

    If the Jets somehow slip into the playoffs, a few members of the organization on the hot seat will suddenly find it cooling rapidly. 

    New York is currently sitting at 6-7 and on the outside looking in when it comes to the postseason, but crazier things have happened. The Jets have won two straight and in the process have manged to re-insert themselves into the postseason chatter. 

    With three games left to go, the Jets should be playing at a high level as a playoff berth could save jobs. Let's look at a few players and coaches who could benefit most from a playoff berth this season. 

Rex Ryan

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    Rex Ryan has taken most of the heat for the New York Jets this season, and rightfully so. He has to know his job is on the line this year, but he continues to stick with the ineffective Mark Sanchez at quarterback. 

    Ryan has other options such as Tim Tebow and Greg McElroy, yet he continues to remain foolishly loyal to Sanchez. 

    Outside of the quarterback issue, Ryan's billing as a defensive "guru" has seemingly been unjustified as he's failed to put together a top unit this season. The Jets give up 24 points per game and a horrific 137 rushing yards per game. 

    There's not an impressive aspect about the Jets in any regard, but something has to be said about the Jets being in playoff contention. It won't extend his leash much, but a playoff berth would save Ryan's job for the time being. 

Mark Sanchez

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    Mark Sanchez is the definition of mediocrity at the quarterback position in the NFL, but he's playing just well enough to have the Jets in the playoff hunt. 

    Sanchez is just barely completing over 50 percent of his passes this year, which isn't a new trend for the four-year pro. He's thrown for 2,547 yards, 12 touchdowns and 13 interceptions, giving him a miserable 72 quarterback rating. 

    In his most recent outing, Sanchez wasn't even a factor as he completed 12-of-19 attempts for a measly 111 yards. 

    Even with Sanchez under center, the Jets are competing. Like Rex Ryan, a playoff berth would likely give Sanchez one last chance to prove himself next season. 

Shonn Greene

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    Similar to Mark Sanchez, Shonn Greene has been one of the more ineffective players at his position. Don't look now, but Greene is suddenly turning things around with the postseason approaching. 

    Greene's season totals thus far aren't pretty. He carried the rock 230 times for 883 yards and six touchdowns, which lands him with a mediocre 3.8 yards per carry average. 

    However, the past few weeks have seen Greene turn it on. In Week 13 against the Arizona Cardinals, Greene rushed for 104 yards and followed that up last week against the Jacksonville Jaguars with a 77-yard, one-touchdown performance. 

    If Greene can manage to continue to play well on the road to the postseason, he'll have a job in New York next year. It will likely be as part of a committee, but it's better than what he was headed for a few weeks ago. 

Dustin Keller

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    As Mark Sanchez's safety valve at the tight end position, Dustin Keller hasn't had a very productive season. 

    To be fair, Keller has been battling injuries all year long, but his lack of consistency has taken away an important part of the Jets offense. 

    Keller has only caught 28 passes this season, which has notched him 317 yards and two touchdowns, one of those scores coming with a game against the New England Patriots already decided.

    The saving grace for Keller at this point is a trip to the postseason. He'll have plenty of time to get fully healthy this offseason, but at this point only a trip to the playoffs can preserve his job for the immediate future. 

Bart Scott

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    Bart Scott has been the outspoken leader of the Jets defense for quite sometime now, but it appears as if that may be coming to an end unless New York can sneak into the postseason. 

    Scott has been losing a grip on his playing time to rookie Demario Davis as he's lost a step and has become a liability in coverage. Still, next to David Harris, Scott has managed to be productive enough to hold the starting job. 

    While the Jets defense has struggled mightily against the run, much of that can be blamed elsewhere. The defensive line in front of Scott isn't exactly world-beating, and the lack of a pass rush is leaving him vulnerable. 

    A few weeks ago, Scott looked like an easy cut this offseason. He's stepped up the past few weeks, and a playoff berth would make him a tough out this offseason.