Cool Your Jets

   Rex Ryan is a genius. Only a mastermind of the gridiron could orchestrate such a brilliant battle tactic like the one this football coach is currently implementing. It evokes memories of such brilliant war strategists as Napoleon, General Custer, and that Trojan ruler . . . I think his name was Peter O’Toole. These were leaders who knew only glory and victory throughout their lives, and Rex Ryan is borrowing a page from history to lead his New York Jets to the Promised Land.

    That is why he has instructed his Gang Green army not to score a touchdown, on either offense or defense, for the past two weeks. They have completely abandoned their running game, even though they are a running team. Their quarterback has lost his rhythm entirely and the receivers have traded in their hands for bricks.

    As a result, the Jets, who once boastfully stood alone atop the A.F.C. East with a 9-2 record, have now lost two games in a row, and suddenly, with three games left to play in the regular season, the team that many critics had picked to make it to the Super Bowl is now facing the prospect of missing the playoffs entirely.

    That’s just where old Rex wants ’em.

    While the division rival New England Patriots on Sunday became the N.F.L.’s first team to clinch a postseason berth after winning their fifth straight game, the Jets were flogged on their home turf by the Miami Dolphins by a score of 10-6. This thrilling loss came on the heels of a nationally broadcast massacre the previous Monday night in the form of a 45-3 loss at the hands of none other than golden boy Tom Brady and his Patriots.

    Let the critics speak, for they know nothing of the art of war.

    While Rex has cooled his Jets, the rest of the league will push forth toward the playoffs like a frothy-mouthed juggernaut. And while not only the Patriots but also the Pittsburgh Steelers, San Diego Chargers, New Orleans Saints, Atlanta Falcons, and Philadelphia Eagles all seem to be hitting their strides just at the right time, the Jets will be an afterthought, a team that peaked too early, if it ever peaked at all.

    What Ryan is doing is mimicking the great warriors of history while also borrowing a survival tactic from nature. Imagine the Jets are a poisonous frog, waiting under a damp leaf for some carnivorous predator (like a Chicago Bear) to step on it. Sure, the impact might kill the frog, but think about all of that poisonous frog goo the bear would have on its paw. Bears hate that. Plus, it could lead to infection, most likely due to gangrene. Gang Green . . . are you starting to see the genius at work here?

    Rex the Great literally took his plan a step further in the second half against the Dolphins Sunday when Sal Alosi, New York’s 33-year-old strength and conditioning coach, intentionally tripped Miami’s Nolan Carroll after the rookie cornerback stepped out of bounds during punt coverage. This is also known as the Jersey Shore special teams formation, or, in more casual circles, the “How You Doin’?”

    Brilliant. So now the league not only will view the Jets as underachieving trash-talkers, but the stigma of cheaters will be slapped onto their helmets as well.

    You see what Rex is doing to the psyche of the rest of the N.F.L. now? Can you hear the panic in the voices of opposing coaches as they prepare to play Gang Green? Have the Jets rolled over dead? Did they really forget how to play this game? What’s wrong with Mark Sanchez? Why can’t Braylon Edwards run his routes? Why don’t they hand the ball off to L.T.? Is an old guy wearing a turtleneck and holding a clipboard going to emerge from the sidelines and rupture my player’s A.C.L.?

    Hahahahaa! You fools! Rex Ryan has already beaten you! How can you win a fight when you don’t even know what your enemy is? Are they the New York Jets? Are they Gang Green? Poisonous frogs? Or are they Emperor Rex Ryan’s Warrior Enigmas? Wouldn’t you like to know. Guess you’ll have to wait until next Sunday.

    All is fair in love, war, and the National Football League.