The New York Mets and Jets entered their respective seasons wearing the dysfunctional label, and ended them with other similarities, including the decisions to keep their on-field leaders.
The Jets’ choice to keep the embattled Rex Ryan mirrored that of the Mets to keep Terry Collins. Both took terrible, underachieving teams and exceeded expectations. For awhile this summer, .500 was not out of the question until Matt Harvey’s season-ending elbow injury.
For most of their season, the Jets, pegged by many to not win more than four or five games, finished at .500 with today’s victory at Miami, and it wasn’t until recently their playoff aspirations were snuffed out.
The primary reasons for keeping Collins was because the Mets made greater than expected improvement despite numerous personnel deficiencies and because the team continually played hard for him.
The Mets’ most significant personnel weakness is offense, which is also the Jets’ Achilles Heel.
Going with a rookie quarterback, a weak offensive line, and nothing significant in the backfield or at receiver, the Jets did just enough to win half their games.
In the end, the Mets decided the team improved to the point where it didn’t want to endure another rebuilding program.
Realistically, the Jets – especially defensively – played hard for Ryan, who coached with lame-duck status a new quarterback, under a new defensive coordinator and new general manager.
The Jets could have packed it in, but despite being undermanned offensively, played with integrity to give the team something to build on.
Just like with the Mets.
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