Rex Ryan might not be a name that is on the hot seat list at the conclusion of this NFL season whether the Jets make the playoffs or not. However, the way this season finishes might have a huge impact if things continue to deteriorate next year.
In his first two seasons, Rex Ryan and the Jets came dangerously close to backing up his extraordinary claims of Super Bowl or bust. Although now, those words ring hollow and we see only part of the caricature that has become Rex Ryan and his braggadocios ways.
There is still a lot that can happen this season and a stunning run to end the season and make the playoffs will keep Ryan secure in his post as Jets head coach for years to come.
If things go wrong though and the Jets miss the playoffs then next year will begin with speculation as to whether the "Rex Ryan's brashness" has worn off and the lack of offensive progress becomes a permanent Achilles' heel for the Jets.
In many ways, despite being an unquestioned defensive genius, Ryan hitched his wagons as a head coach to Mark Sanchez at QB. At the moment that decision is looking like the wrong one unless Sanchez grows up a lot down the stretch.
Sanchez no longer has a tough running game to make his life easier and many games are going to be won and lost on his arm.
Rex Ryan has stood by his quarterback so far, but controversy at the premier position never bodes well for the head coach.
Looking into the future is always a tough task when it comes to the NFL, but if things go bad for the New York Jets next year and Rex Ryan again fails to deliver on his promises, what happens to conclude the 2011 season might mean a lot.
It is infinitely harder to fire a coach that has three playoff berths in four years than it might be to can a coach that is 50/50 in making the playoffs and fails to meet the expectations that he sets for himself.
If the Jets swoon runs into next season and the offense takes another step back, Rex Ryan might not have the same kind of job security that many believe that he has now.
Things change fast in the NFL, and the Jets need to hope that their Super Bowl chances do the same down the stretch or there could be changes ahead in the coming years.