I know that it's really easy to scapegoat coaches for the problems of the team. I also know that Ryan's boastful banter and inability to keep the Jets locker room in order is a big problem, both because the players don't always seem focused and because it seems like the media circus never ends. But I came away from this game marveling at how great of a job he was doing schematically. Top-to-bottom right now, without Darrelle Revis and Santonio Holmes, the Jets might have one of the five least-talented teams in the league. They don't have a single above-average skill player, they don't have a single quality pass rusher, and outside of Antonio Cromartie, their secondary is pretty weak. Yet they're still 4-6, within hailing distance of the playoffs in a down AFC.
Although he had more instantaneous success, Ryan reminds me of Gary Kubiak in a way. For years, Kubiak managed to build quality offenses without much investment on the offensive side of the ball. Heck, even when he was saddled with David Carr, he realized Carr's limitations fast enough to have him lead the league in completion percentage. The fact of the matter was that the defense was coordinated by bad coaches and there were concrete problems in the secondary that were never addressed.
Even despite all the chaos on the defensive side of the ball without Revis, the Jets have the ninth-ranked defense by DVOA going into next week's games. While Ryan definitely has his warts, that's a pretty masterful performance under the circumstances. There are massive problems in New York still: Sanchez has stagnated and his contract is fully guaranteed for next season, Shonn Greene has not panned out, and the Tim Tebow/Tony Sparano Wildcat facade has been all but useless this season. (More on that in a bit.) These are all problems that call for real investment on offense: hiring a renowned offensive mind and spending heavily on new weapons to fix things. Hiring Wade Phillips and signing Johnathan Joseph and Danieal Manning did wonders for the Texans. It's implausible to think that the Jets will be able to solve all their problems in one offseason like Houston did, but firing Ryan would probably create more problems than solutions.