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Ahead: Fan-Tastic Finish to Regular Season

Posted by Randy Lange on December 31, 2009 – 5:57 pm

Rex Ryan didn’t issue a call to the fans of Jets Nation this week to fill the Meadowlands one last time for Sunday night’s "win and in" game against the Bengals. He didn’t have to — there will be "a butt in every seat," as Rex said Wednesday.

But the head coach of the Jets still is champing at the bit to feel the heat from the full house in the North Jersey cold (forecast of 16 degrees, minus-2 wind chill).

"I’m excited to see our fans and to play this game in front of our fans," Ryan said at this afternoon’s news conference. "I think it’s going to be a huge advantage for us. We’re preparing, no distractions. If they want to kick it off early, that’s fine with us. Our team is ready to play.

"Our fans want this. I don’t know if they want it as much as our team does, but you really sense how much they want to get to the playoffs."

Safety Kerry Rhodes said the same thing in today’s locker room.

"The fans get on you anyway, but when you’re doing right and winning the game, they’re behind you. I’m a guy who feeds off the fans."

Rhodes also recalls the most recent time the Jets and fans came together in a similar situation, for the win-and-in home game against Oakland in the 2006 regular-season finale. With the crowd roaring louder and louder and twirling their white handout towels faster and faster, the Jets methodically wore down the Raiders, 23-3.

"The crowd was crazy. It was a great atmosphere," Rhodes recalled. "But I’m thinking this week will be even more crazy. I think the fans are really, really excited to see us come out and play and get a win."

The first 70,000 fans will each get a towel Sunday night as well. The white cloth with green lettering reads "WIN AND WE’RE IN!" (Where have we heard that before?)

There will be some holdouts and pessimists who want to blame the Jets for beating the Colts on Sunday, or for struggling in those key games we all know about this season to make this road to the playoffs all the harder, or will want to dabble in that mantra, "Same Old Jets."

That’s OK. We’re all entitled to our opinions. But just remember that those who fall back on SOJ can use that to explain every Jets outcome short of a Super Bowl victory. It’s all right to look backward, but if you look at the present or the future, something good is being put together at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center and the Meadowlands, regardless of the outcome of Sunday’s game, or the game the week after, or the week after that.

"You just can’t worry about the outside critics," said wise head Shaun Ellis. "You just have to tune in as a football team and talk amongst yourselves and collectively bond together during this time. You can get criticized that we back-doored our way in and don’t deserve to be there, things like that. As long as we stay a close-knit group and go out and play our style of football, we should be fine.

"I honestly believe when we get in, we’ll be a dangerous team. We are an all-weather team. We run the ball. We play great defense. We just tone down the mistakes and not turn the ball over and it will be one of those games that comes down to a field goal. We have a great field goal kicker. We have all the weapons. It’s just being confident amongst each other in going out there and getting it done.

Ryan, needless to say, is as confident as Ellis and all his players.

"Our guys have practiced well this week," the coach said. "That’s obviously not selling Cincinnati short. They swept the defending Super Bowl champions, they beat Baltimore twice, they’ve had a great season so far. I like the way they’re building their team. They’re being physical running the ball, the defense is really improved from where they were the last couple of years.

"We know we’re going to be tested. But we’re going to lay it out there and see what happens in front of our fans."

And to all you fans who will be at the game or will be following in front of your favorite TV, radio or Internet site, Happy New Year, stay safe and healthy and make it through the weekend, and we’ll see you at the big game Sunday night.

Injury Watch

Ryan reported that cornerback Darrelle Revis, sent home Wednesday with an illness, was back full-go today, and Revis looked good in the locker room. Also, Thomas Jones and Tony Richardson, who were held out of Wednesday’s drills, were back today as well.

But Ryan said CB Donald Strickland (quadriceps bruise) sat out again today. "It doesn’t look that good right now. That’ll be a stretch, to see if he goes," the coach said. "I know he’s trying like heck to play but I don’t think he will."

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Posted in Randy Lange | 31 Comments »

31 Responses to “Ahead: Fan-Tastic Finish to Regular Season”

  1. By NorCalJet on Dec 31, 2009 | Reply

    At the beggining of the season, I was hoping for 8-8. I figured with the learning curve of a rookie qb and a solid team this goal would be achievable. Well, it was and hopefully a little bit more. 9-7 and a playoff spot sounds even better! Good year no matter the outcome, just KEEP the team together.GO J-E-T-S!!!

  2. By joseph on Dec 31, 2009 | Reply

    i agree fully thank you for the info

  3. By Brandx on Jan 1, 2010 | Reply

    Ive already told my boss im gonna be late on monday… cant wait for the bengal beatdown…. go jets

  4. By Brandx on Jan 1, 2010 | Reply

    Anyone attending the game … feel free to come join the tailgate at 5A. just look for the flags … i gotta feeling this is gonna be a historic sendoff… I’ll be so glad to move out of this apartment and into OUR HOUSE…. time to celebrate Jet fans.. its all coming together

  5. By Justin Mosier on Jan 1, 2010 | Reply

    Dec. 28, 1986 — The Jets recorded their first postseason victory at the Meadowlands, a 35-175 blowout over Kansas City. Randy, The time table article, written by By Jets PR Department, Regular Contributor, was a great article. I always enjoy reading about historic games from my team, the Jets. However, I have a hard time believing that we beat KC on Dec 28, 1986 35-175. 35-15 is the correct score

  6. By Randy Lange on Jan 1, 2010 | Reply

    Justin, you are correct. That has been fixed.

  7. By charliejet on Jan 1, 2010 | Reply

    I too was happy if we would be 8-8 this year with a rookie QB and head coach. This is ecstatic! What an ending – a great experience for Sanchez to build on and Rex as well (as a head coach) the whole team for that matter. Sanchez will get better with time – he seemed low key in the Indy game – signs of maturity and development. GO DEFENSE! Happy and Safe New Year to all.

  8. By Alan on Jan 1, 2010 | Reply

    This off season is going to be scary. We have to re-sign, Brad Smith, Eric Smith,
    Braylon Edwards, Thomas Jones, and Leon Washington. Randy how much cap room do the jets have? Do they have enough to sign them all? do they have enough to sign them plus free agents?

  9. By Ira on Jan 1, 2010 | Reply

    Randy, I have been to many cold weather games at Shea and the Meadowlands. With the windchill this could turn out to be the coldest one. I thought the KC playoff game back in 69 was the coldeest to date. Any info?

  10. By commentman on Jan 1, 2010 | Reply

    Lets hope Strickland will get better by sunday, Revis will probably be feeling better in two days, but he’s always on his A-game, what was wrong with TJ and T-rich?

  11. By Schuyler on Jan 1, 2010 | Reply

    I’m psyched for this game, just counting the minutes till kick off. I’m looking forward to a big win.

  12. By Randy Lange on Jan 1, 2010 | Reply

    Alan, I have no information on our salary cap situation. I leave all such announcements to GM Mike Tannenbaum and his staff.

  13. By Randy Lange on Jan 1, 2010 | Reply

    Ira, my weather records are incomplete before 1983 and off-hand I don’t know what the temps were for the 1969 playoff game. I can say that officially the coldest game of the last 25 years was the 37-0 loss to the Bills in the 1989 season-finale, at which the Meadowlands temperature was 16 and the wind-chill was minus-11.

  14. By Randy Lange on Jan 1, 2010 | Reply

    commentman, nothing was wrong with Thomas Jones and Tony Richardson. Rex Ryan decided last week and again this week to rest both players at Wednesday’s practice and then return them to full practice the next day.

  15. By Jets Fan Since '64 Tom on Jan 1, 2010 | Reply

    Hey Ira and Randy, I was at the ’69 playoff vs. KC (what a heartbreaker — and the first game I ever cursed the old goal-line goal post) and it was cold but not that bad. I remember a game at Shea vs. HOU in ’66 or so at which it was really Green Bay-type cold, but I can’t remember the date or who won. The game when OJ broke 2000 yards was pretty cold, too, but more snowy and slippery.

  16. By scjoe on Jan 1, 2010 | Reply

    Ira, I was also at that 69 playoff game vs KC, what I remember most about that game, besides the Jets losing a low scoring game, was the winds, that is what made it feel so cold. Also, if memory serves me, the Jets had played the previous week in Miami, OUCH!

  17. By ryan on Jan 1, 2010 | Reply

    What is up with not selling alcohol on Sunday? Please reconsider. I beg you.

  18. By Mike Jet Vet on Jan 2, 2010 | Reply

    Alan.. I’m not to sureI hope collective barganing starts in 2011 not 2010 it’ will become a big problem to sign all our players ..That’s why this year is big for us we might not be able to put the team back together after the war begins between management agents & players ..Time is now to make some noise

  19. By joe b on Jan 2, 2010 | Reply

    DRESS WARM. I’m wondering if we are going to see any of those bare chested J E T S guys. Now those guys are the die-hards.

  20. By JSKY14 on Jan 2, 2010 | Reply

    I think that the Jets should look to throw to Clowey more against the Bengals….He’s a burner ad in a one on one match up I wpouold put my money on him 10 out of 10 times. DEEP TO CLOWNEY………NO DOUBT.

  21. By GoOchoCinco on Jan 2, 2010 | Reply

    I’ll be there Sunday with my Bengals jersey to see the my Bengals keep those jets out of the playoffs!!!!!!

  22. By icewater on Jan 2, 2010 | Reply

    its too bad we have to fight for our playoff lives.next year, sanchez wont turn the ball over so much and we’ll be in for sure.had such high hopes for this season and was let down too many times.course im used to that- i’ve been a fan since the “sack exchange” days.

  23. By joe b on Jan 2, 2010 | Reply

    GoOchoCinco Said:Sat, January 2, 2010 – 10:59am ET”I’ll be there Sunday with my Bengals jersey to see the my Bengals keep those jets out of the playoffs!!!!!!” YOU ACTUALLY BOUGHT ONE OF THOSE RIDICULOUS LOOKING JERSEYS? YOU’RE KIDDING, RIGHT !!!!!!!!! THIS IS A JOKE POST, RIGHT !!!!!!!!!! BECAUSE NOBODY ROOTS FOR THE BENGALS, RIGHT !!!!!!!!

  24. By Ray on Jan 2, 2010 | Reply

    Go OchoCinco, good luck to you. I look forward to the matchup between Revis and him as much if not more than I liked the matchups with Moss and TO. MuchoStinko is a great route runner and highly underrated. If Revis can handle him like he has the others that might be the push that gets him over the top for DPOY. I see them playing a very vanilla game in case you have to face us again in a week.

  25. By natijim235 on Jan 2, 2010 | Reply

    Hey joe b – those Bengal’s jerseys will stand out against those boring Jet wear…like the your team. Jets have Giant envy.

  26. By mike on Jan 3, 2010 | Reply

    what do we have to do to get # 73 into the hall of fame where he belongs ?????

  27. By Gary T on Jan 3, 2010 | Reply

    No beer sales? Guess they don’t need that money…just raise the ticket prices some more, stop selling beer for the most important game of the year, gouge us when you do sell beer and wear those stupid Titans uniforms more often and let’s expand games into England and Canada and play more games on major holidays…WAKE UP JETS AND NFL….you are killing the goose that laid the golden egg!

  28. By 36 year fan on Jan 3, 2010 | Reply

    Lots of love to my beloved Jets. Win or lose. But I keep the faith alive.One day we will lift the Vince Lombardi up high. And the Jets will cruise down the canyon of heros.We deserve it.

  29. By joe b on Jan 3, 2010 | Reply

    The things I remember about the 69 Playoff game was the Mike Battle fumble, my hot chocolate turning to ice and the LONG LONG ride home. It was just the beginning of 40 years of frustration. .December 20, 1969
    Kansas City took its next step toward the Super Bowl by beating the Jets, 13-6, in the gusts of Shea Stadium in an AFL interdivisional playoff game. TIME TO END THE FRUSTRATION IS NOW !!!!!

  30. By Colorado Jetsstream on Jan 3, 2010 | Reply

    Been a Jets fan since 66. Was at the KC game (13 years old) and don’t remember the cold. I only remember Otis Taylor’s touchdown which broke my heart. It has been broken many times since. You guys know the list. I will always be there and love this group. Sanchez will be the man in time.

  31. By joe b on Jan 3, 2010 | Reply

    Ocho, Ocho, Oucho!!!!!!!!!!!!natijim235 Those jersey really stood out or is it SHUT OUT “GoOchoCinco they are going like hot cakes on E-bay

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