NEW YORK – Pick an adjective, and it's likely the New York Jets used it to describe the lowest point in what had already become a lost season.
Embarrassing. Frustrating. Stunning. Disappointing.
They were all in play after the Jets were routed by the Buffalo Bills 38-3 at Detroit's Ford Field on Monday night. It was much the same Tuesday, when Rex Ryan's bunch sat through the game film and lived through it all over again.
"No surprise to anybody, we totally got outplayed in all facets of that game," Ryan said during a conference call. "We played poorly, to say the least."
A month after getting blown out by the Bills at home 43-23, the Jets (2-9) were confident things would go a lot better this time around. So much so that Ryan declared last week that his team was better in "a zillion ways" from how it performed in the first meeting.
There was also the fact the Bills were blasted by a storm that dumped 7 feet of snow on the Buffalo area, forcing the team to move a home game to Detroit — with players needing snowmobiles to get out of their homes.
None of that mattered when the game started as the Jets looked rusty and uninspired coming off a bye-week break.
"Obviously, No. 1 is disappointment," center Nick Mangold said of the feeling around the facility. "No. 2 is frustration that we weren't able to do our jobs. It's difficult. You hate losing. You hate losing like that."
The Jets will miss the playoffs for the fourth straight year after Ryan led them to consecutive AFC championship games in his first two years as coach. Those days seem long ago for Ryan and the Jets, who could be in store for major changes after the season finale at Miami on Dec. 28.
While Ryan appears safe for the rest of the season, it remains to be seen what owner Woody Johnson will do with the coach or general manager John Idzik. But some fans and media already think it's a foregone conclusion that Ryan will be gone when the season ends.
"I've got to find a way to do a better job," Ryan said. "I'll work hard to give our guys a chance."
The specter of Ryan departing doesn't sit well with many players, who insist it's not the coach's fault that the team has struggled this season.
"I've never lost nine games," an emotional Sheldon Richardson said after the game. "That's not me at all. I didn't get drafted to lose games, period. If it don't hurt nobody like it hurts me, then they shouldn't be on the team with me. I really play with everything I've got. That's it."
Richardson defended Ryan, saying the players have let him down — something some teammates think might have been overstated.
"Sheldon is an emotional guy and in the heat of the battle he might have said some things out of spite," safety Dawan Landry said Tuesday. "It was a tough, hard-fought game. It was just tough last night, but nobody feels that way. We are a team united and we are going to keep fighting."
Ryan insisted the Jets have enough talent to be a good team, despite glaring deficiencies at quarterback and in the secondary, among others.
"I think the biggest thing that we don't have right now is execution," Mangold said. "We've got very talented guys in this locker room, but when we're not all on the same page every play, it's not going to get the job done. We need to get that fixed up."
Michael Vick provided a spark in his first two starts in place of a benched Geno Smith, but the tables were turned on Monday night. Vick was 7 of 19 for 76 yards before being replaced by Smith in the third quarter. Ryan said Vick "got beat up a little bit," with an ankle and wrist bothering him.
The coach hadn't spoken to the quarterbacks yet, and said he'd decide Wednesday who would start next Monday night — although it will likely be Vick. Ryan also added that Vick's health "won't be the final thing that we talk about" in making the decision.
The players insist they aren't giving up, that there's fight left, and Ryan believes his team is still playing hard. The record and results, though, have made this season tough to fathom.
"We're running out of tomorrows," Ryan said.
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