Originally written on Football Nation  |  Last updated 10/15/14

FLORHAM PARK, NJ - MAY 02: Head coach Rex Ryan of the New York Jets speaks to the media during minicamp on May 2, 2009 at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center in Florham Park, New Jersey. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
In his third season as head coach of the New York Jets, Rex Ryan saw his team take a step back, failing to reach the playoffs for the first time during his tenure. How did the Jets respond during the offseason? They added one of the most polarizing figures in the NFL today: Tim Tebow. Just having Tebow on the sidelines is reason enough for fans to show up on most Sundays, but New York’s biggest game this season will take place on Thursday.Following a bye in Week 9, the Jets will face a five-game stretch that could make or break the 2012 campaign.Four of New York’s five opponents (Week 10 - Seattle, Week 11 - St. Louis, Week 13 - Arizona and Week 14 - Jacksonville) did not make the playoffs in 2011. In fact, the Cardinals were the only team with at least a .500 winning percentage. Wedged between the stretch of mediocrity is a Thanksgiving Night match-up with the defending AFC Champion New England Patriots.There are plenty of reasons why this has to be the top game on the schedule for...
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