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rubenfeld

Ryan’s trust in Pettine has been one of the most critical — and overlooked — elements of the Jets’ resurgence after a midseason swoon threatened to banish them to irrelevance. The Jets (6-7) must win out and get some help to make the postseason, but they still have a heartbeat thanks, in large part, to a defense that has moved from 19th to eighth in the rankings in the past two weeks. Those who try to marginalize the statistical leap by noting the inferior competition (Cardinals and Jaguars) in recent games conveniently ignore that the Jets had the toughest schedule in the NFL through the first 12 weeks. News flash: There are soft parts of every team’s schedule. The Jets just happened to have a front-loaded degree of difficulty.