FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Should New York Jets fans be worried about Rex Ryan's game-management skills?
There have been a few hiccups this season, most recently in the final 1:21 of last week's win over the New Orleans Saints. Leading by the final margin, 26-20, the Jets didn't have to run a play; three kneel downs would've milked the remaining time on the clock. Inexplicably, they sent Bilal Powell on two wide runs before calling a timeout and instructing Geno Smith to take a knee.
Imagine if Powell had fumbled. Imagine if the Saints had returned the fumble for a touchdown.
Holy Joe Pisarcik!
"I absolutely butchered it," Ryan said Monday, eight days after the head-scratching strategy. "I know I'm dyslexic and all that, but my math skills are a lot better than that."
Ryan said there was "gray area," yet he knew it was risky because he instructed Smith to follow Powell on his two runs, putting him in position to recover a fumble if disaster occurred.
"I didn't want to pull the old Herm Edwards," said Ryan, referring to Edwards' famous touchdown return on the Pisarcik fumble. "You don't want to be sitting in that chair."
Offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg has to take a hit, too, because he should know better. Ryan wasn't about to throw him under the bus, saying, "Ultimately, it's my responsibility."
Late in the Week 1 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Jets were late with a timeout, letting precious seconds bleed from the clock. In Week 3, Ryan made two ill-advised replay challenges in the third quarter, burning two timeouts and exhausting his challenges. Once again, he dodged the bullet, as the Jets escaped with a win.
Ryan needs to clean up the sideline operation because one of these days ...
ICYMI: It looks like Sunday will be Tone Time. Oft-injured receiver Santonio Holmes, out five weeks with a cranky hamstring, is expected to face the Bills, according to Ryan. ... Tight end Kellen Winslow practices for the first time in more than a month. He and Holmes will be on the field together for the first time since Week 4. Winslow acknowledged he was upset with his playing time when his PED suspension came down. ... Receiver David Nelson can't wait to face the Bills, his former team: "I'm out to prove this week they made a mistake." Unlike others, who take the "it's-just-another-game" route, Nelson was refreshingly honest. ... Ryan took a trip to the Big Easy during the bye week. You'll never guess why.