A look at what's going on around and inside the New York Jets:
1. Idzik's angel: When John Idzik traded for Percy Harvin three weeks ago, the prevailing reaction was: Too little, too late to save the season. Maybe, just maybe, he did it to save himself.
If Harvin continues to flourish, it will show owner Woody Johnson his beleaguered general manager is capable of getting something right. Idzik hasn't hit a home run since April, 2013, when he drafted Sheldon Richardson and traded for Chris Ivory. He is in a serious slump, causing the fan base to turn on him. With his job security waning by the week, Idzik needs a life preserver. Maybe Harvin is it.
Johnson's big decision, according to people who know him, is figuring out whether to make Rex Ryan the scapegoat or to send Ryan and Idzik out the door together. Ryan is a virtual goner. The only thing that can save Idzik is a marked improvement by the team over the final seven games, specifically the key pieces he acquired -- Eric Decker, Chris Johnson, Calvin Pryor, Jace Amaro and Geno Smith (if he ever sees the field again). And, of course, Harvin, the one player who still makes the Jets an interesting watch.
Meanwhile, a sense of resignation has permeated One Jets Drive. Said one source: "We're not naive. We know what's going on here."
2. A retro performance: Harvin (11 catches last week) and Decker (nine) became the first pair of Jets wide receivers to combine for 20 catches in game since Eddie Bell (12) and Don Maynard (nine) in 1970. Wow.
3. Hold those vacation plans: Ryan has been criticized in the past for going easy on the players during the bye week, giving them a six-day break. (The CBA mandates a four-day minimum.) This year, it will be a different story. Word has it he's planning to hold two practices, Tuesday and Wednesday, followed by a four-day respite. At 2-8 or 1-9, it would have sent a bad message to have an extended break.
4. Typical Jets luck: Any team that finishes 1-15 should be entitled to the No. 1 pick in the draft, but that might not be the case for the Jets. Conceivably, they go could 1-15 and end up with the fourth pick.
If the Jets finish in a tie with the Oakland Raiders (0-8), Jacksonville Jaguars (1-8) and Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-7), the Bucs probably would get the top pick because of strength-of-schedule. As of now, the Bucs (.482) have faced the weakest schedule of the four teams, followed by the Jaguars (.536), Jets (.571) and Raiders (.590), according to ESPN Stats & Information. The Jets and Raiders are close enough to where it could flip.
Obviously, the Raiders are the front-runner for the top pick. Not only are they winless, but they have the toughest remaining schedule of the bottom four teams -- .590. If the Raiders and Jets were to finish in a tie for the worst record, the Jets would be in a good position to snag the No. 1 pick.
So, if you're on board with the "Suck for the Duck" campaign (Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota), you root like crazy for the Raiders, Jaguars and Bucs to start winning -- and the Jets to continue losing.
5. Early read on Jameis: You can see this coming a mile away. The quarterback-starved Jets will be on the clock and Florida State's polarizing Jameis Winston will be on the board, tempting them to take the risk. He's so talented, but his off-the-field baggage has to be a concern. An NFC scout's take on Winston: "Good natural football instincts and awareness. He's big, he can run. Throws with really good touch. Very good accuracy. He's got eyes in the back of his head. He's hot and cold, but he wins. It's the maturity part you have to worry about, especially in New York."
6. Wide-receiver whiffs: The Jets pick wide receivers the way the New York Mets used to pick third basemen (pre-David Wright). Of the 11 receivers they have drafted since 2004, only two have panned out -- Jeremy Kerley (2011) and Jerricho Cotchery (2004). They really blew it this year, with Jalen Saunders (cut), Shaq Evans (injured reserve) and Quincy Enunwa (practice squad). It's premature to draw conclusions about Evans and Enunwa, but neither player impressed in training camp. Meanwhile, several other teams are enjoying the fruits of a bountiful receiver crop.
With the Steelers in town, let's focus on Martavis Bryant, who has five touchdown catches in his first three games -- a league record, according to Elias. The Steelers picked him in the fourth round (No. 118), after the Jets took Saunders (104) and Evans (115). So the Jets passed on Bryant, who is 6-foot-4 with sub-4.4 speed, to take the 5-foot-9, 185-pound Saunders because they loved his toughness. Brilliant.
The Steelers have a knack for finding receivers. Coincidentally, they also have drafted 11 since '04, hitting with four of them -- Antonio Brown, Emmanuel Sanders, Mike Wallace and Santonio Holmes. Now it looks like Bryant could be on the list, too.
7. Proud papa: Ryan is genuinely happy for Mike Pettine, a former protege who has revitalized the Cleveland Browns with a 6-3 start. Said Ryan: "That’s awesome. Fantastic. He’s done a heck of a job there. ... I let him know how proud I was (after Thursday night's win). They’ve got it going pretty good." Ryan's playbook seems to be working quite nicely in Cleveland.
8. Flying blind: Interesting observation by former special teams coach Mike Westhoff. A guest on Friday's "Michael Kay Show" on ESPN New York 98.7 FM, Westhoff said Ryan misses having Pettine's experience in the coaches' booth during games. Pettine, the defensive coordinator from 2009 to 2012, served as Ryan's eyes in the sky. The current coordinator, Dennis Thurman, stands with Ryan on the sideline, leaving relatively inexperienced defensive coaches in the booth.
9. Green with envy: Aside from Pettine, a couple of other high-profile ex-Jets have found happiness elsewhere, namely quarterback Mark Sanchez (Philadelphia Eagles) and cornerback Antonio Cromartie (Arizona Cardinals). Sanchez, replacing the injured Nick Foles, will start Monday night, his first start since the Jets' 2012 season finale in Buffalo. He will do well in Chip Kelly's offense, but this notion that Sanchez was somehow wronged by the Jets -- or that they should have found a way to keep him -- is laughable. After five years, it was time to split up. Sanchez needed a fresh start, so did the Jets.
10. What was he thinking? On Aug. 11, when the cornerback injuries started to hit, Idzik said he was "comfortable" with his depth chart, refusing to second-guess his moves (or lack thereof) in free agency.
"We don’t look back with any regrets whatsoever," he said. "In fact, I look at our room right now as a positive."
Bragging about his depth, Idzik that day mentioned Ellis Lankster, Ras-I Dowling, Johnny Patrick and rookie Brandon Dixon -- none of whom remain on the roster. In fact, Dixon is the only one still in the league. The mismanagement of the cornerback position is the biggest reason for the 1-8 record. That's on Idzik.