Embattled Ryan, NY Jets rally past Dolphins 37-24

STEVEN WINE (AP Sports Writer)
The Associated Press
New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith (7) looks to pass during the first half of an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins, Sunday, Dec. 28, 2014, in Miami Gardens, Fla. The Jets defeated the Dolphins 37-24. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith (7) looks to pass during the first half of an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins, Sunday, Dec. 28, 2014, in Miami Gardens, Fla. The Jets defeated the Dolphins 37-24. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP) -- New York Jets players grabbed a sideline beverage bucket as final seconds of the season ticked off, and their comeback victory earned coach Rex Ryan a good drenching.

The win probably won't get Ryan another year with the Jets, however.

The embattled coach and beleaguered quarterback Geno Smith led the Jets to a 37-24 victory over Miami on Sunday, but they still finished 4-12, their worst record since 2007. With the Jets sitting out the postseason for the fourth consecutive year, owner Woody Johnson is widely expected to fire Ryan, and perhaps general manager John Idzik.

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''This is a great team - just we haven't had a great record,'' Ryan said. ''But as far as how you build a team, it's there.''

He's unlikely to get a chance to finish the job, with change coming as soon as Monday.

The Dolphins will also have a busy offseason, with an 8-8 record keeping them out of the playoffs for a sixth consecutive year. Here are things to know about how the two also-rans finished:

WILL REX GET THE AX?: Ryan is 46-50 in six seasons but remains popular with his players, as his soaked shirt, sweater and pants showed.

''We love coach Ryan,'' Smith said. ''I'd love to play for him my entire career.''

Ryan continually tried to deflect postgame questions about his future, saying Johnson will talk to him ''at the appropriate time.'' They met briefly after the game.

''I said, 'Hey, boss, I'm going to give the whole team a game ball. Sorry.' And that's exactly what we did. He's good with it,'' Ryan said.

QUIET WALLACE: Dolphins owner Stephen Ross has said Joe Philbin will be back for a fourth season in 2015, and the coach will have disharmony to address after benching $15 million receiver Mike Wallace for the entire second half.

Wallace was disciplined after he argued with coaches at halftime. Following the game, he had teammate Brandon Gibson speak for him, which created a bizarre scene as they stood side by side at their lockers.

Why was Gibson doing the talking?

''I just don't want my dog to say anything wrong,'' Gibson said. ''Differences in opinion led to Mike not playing in the second half, so that's what we're going to say about coaches. ... Things that were communicated probably were misunderstood.''

BREAKOUT GAME: Smith had his best game in a rocky season, throwing for a career-high 358 yards and three touchdowns.

New York came in ranked last in the NFL in passing, but Smith went 20 of 25 and had a passer rating of 158.3 - the only perfect rating this year by a quarterback throwing at least seven passes, according to STATS.

Even so, the game might have been Smith's final start for the Jets. They're expected to seek quarterback help in the draft or free agency.

''I have complete confidence in myself,'' Smith said, ''but consistency is the thing that I'm searching for and I'm getting better with.''

Eric Decker caught 10 passes from Smith for a career-high 221 yards, including a 74-yard touchdown, the longest play by the Jets this year.

LONGEST DASH: Lamar Miller gave Miami a 10-point lead with a 97-yard touchdown run, the longest play from scrimmage in team history.

Miller ran up the middle, broke into the clear and wasn't hit until he was crossing the goal line.

''I just tried to use my speed and try to make a big play for this team,'' he said. ''It's a blessing to break a long run to end the season with a long run. If we would have won, it would have been great.''

The touchdown was the longest run ever allowed by the Jets, and the longest play from scrimmage in the NFL this season.

HE'D RATHER WIN: Ryan Tannehill became the first Miami player since Dan Marino in 1994 to throw for 4,000 yards. Tannehill also finished with 392 completions this season to break Marino's 1994 franchise record.

But he endured seven sacks, and his career record dropped to 23-25.

''I hate losing,'' Tannehill said. ''I put in a lot of effort, a lot of time, a lot of blood, sweat and tears. Everyone in this locker room does as well. Any time you don't come out and finish the way you want to, it hurts.''


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