On the eve of the season opener, New York Jets coach Rex Ryan gave his team a visual presentation that set a tone. He showed the ESPN.com Power Rankings for Week 1, which placed the Jets at No. 32. They took it as an insult and used it as motivation.
Two months later, the Jets still talk about those Power Rankings, mocking them.
Can you blame them? At 5-4, the Jets are one of the biggest surprises in the NFL, a legitimate wild-card contender in the AFC. Except for the front seven, there's not an abundance of talent on the roster, but Ryan and his staff have terrifically managed the highs and lows that come with having five rookies in the starting lineup, including the quarterback. Only one of their remaining opponents has a winning record, so the Jets should be in it for the duration.
On to the grades ...