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Rex Ryan on Jets' season: 'It's been a big failure'

Head coach Rex Ryan of the Jets looks

Head coach Rex Ryan of the Jets looks on during the second quarter against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium on Oct. 16, 2014 in Foxboro, Mass. Credit: Getty Images / Jared Wickerham

This is how bad it has become for Rex Ryan: The Jets became the first NFL team to lose a game despite a 40-minute time of possession (40:54), 200 rushing yards (218) and no turnovers, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

The stat goes back to 1977, when time of possession first started being tracked, and it also highlights the dramatic downward trend the Jets are on.

Ryan's overall coaching record is 43-44, but after going 20-12 in his first two seasons and reaching the AFC Championship Game each time, he's 23-32 the past four seasons -- including 1-6 in 2014.

Each week, the Jets find another way to lose. And Thursday night's 27-25 road loss to the Patriots was, perhaps, their most crushing defeat.

Rather than contemplating how to make the playoffs, they need to figure out how to win a game.

"It's been a big failure," Ryan said during a conference call Friday.

"And the season is not over. But you don't want to be 1-6. If you'd ask me, I was thinking we'd be the other way.

"We expect to win every game. Obviously, we're not finding ways to win, and that's what it is. We've done some good things; we just haven't done it for 60 minutes."

With the offseason upgrades they made on offense, the Jets -- at least on paper -- appeared to be a better team. But the additions of Eric Decker, Chris Johnson, Michael Vick and draft pick Jace Amaro have done little to offset the lack of top-tier talent in their secondary.

More than a week ago, Ryan stated the obvious about his coaching future when he said, "If we don't get this thing on the right track, I don't think for a minute I'll be here. I know I won't."

Since then, his players have fought hard against future Hall of Famers Peyton Manning and Tom Brady in a five-day span. But both times it was Ryan's team that was left frustrated.

Ryan's own frustration reached a tipping point after the loss to the Patriots. He punched a wall before addressing the media. His responses at the postgame news conference were dripping with sarcasm and agitation.

"I hate losing," he said Friday. "And the reason I'm so angry is I know how much effort the team puts into it, how much effort the coaches put in, but more importantly, how much effort the players put into this. I mean, they're hurting, they're putting everything into it, and they deserve a better fate.

"Obviously, you've got to earn your way, you've got to earn victories and all that. But I know these men. They deserve a better fate. And I think that's what's so upsetting. I would do anything in my power, whatever it would be, if I could find a way for this team to win -- not for my own benefit, but for these guys. 'Cause they deserve it."

Self-inflicted wounds have become a recurring theme in the Jets' nightmarish season.

Against the Patriots, they got good play from quarterback Geno Smith, who returned after a brief injury scare (left knee) to lead a comeback attempt. Smith didn't throw an interception for the first time this season and running back Chris Ivory had a breakout game.

But penalties (particularly in the red zone) and inexplicable defensive breakdowns have been this team's calling card.

Despite the coverage breakdowns, Ryan praised his defense for holding its own against Brady & Co. He also denied that lack of talent is the biggest reason the unit is struggling.

"To think that we're just going to shut people out to 100 yards passing or something like that, it's not realistic when you look at the talent of the six teams," Ryan said, referring to their recent opponents. "It has nothing to do with the talent we have. It has to do with the talent that we're up against."Though it was obvious in training camp that general manager John Idzik had a secondary that lacked above-average talent despite $21 million in available salary-cap space, Ryan indirectly defended his boss on Friday.

"We like our talent. Obviously, you don't like the injuries that we've had," he said, referring to cornerbacks Dee Milliner (Achilles) and Dexter McDougle (ACL), who are out for the season. "When you lose . . . two guys you're really counting on, you have a guy go AWOL [Dimitri Patterson] on you, it's hard to anticipate. You lose three corners that you really thought could contribute for you.

" . . . Obviously, that's going to weaken you in some areas. We feel good about our players, regardless of who we have."

Last season, his players won three of their final four games to save his job. But with each passing game, it's looking more unlikely that Ryan will return in 2015.

"First off, I'm not focused on what's down the road. I'm focused on the right now," Ryan said. "I can't expect my team to be focused that way if I'm looking down the road.

"You're right, this is a win business . . . But this is about the team and it's always been a team and that's the priority. The priority has never been my future. And that's just the way it is. Each day we try to go out and get a little bit better, and I think if we continue to do that, because believe me, we have done that, and if we continue to do that, I believe better days are ahead of us."

New York Sports