These are desperate times for Rex Ryan

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These are desperate times for Rex Ryan

Rex Ryan hasnt been himself lately.

And thats because Rex Ryan knows that hes in trouble.

Reason 1: On the field, the Jets are 4-6 through 11 weeks. They've lost five of their last seven games. And at this point, were more likely to see leaked footage of Tim Tebow ripping bong hits with Justin Bieber than we are the Green and White in the playoffs.

If and when they fall short, it will be Ryans second consecutive year without a postseason berth, and in a city like New York, that alone leaves a coach with one delicious foot in the unemployment line.

Reason 2: In Ryans case, on-field failure is just the beginning. While he may not be entirely responsible for the Jets circus, hes done a miserable job of managing it. He's pretty much lost control. As a result, the J-E-T-S are more dysfunctional than Thanksgiving at Dez Bryant's house, and need another season under Ryan like Antonio Cromartie needs a box of defective condoms.

Of course, this is the NFL, so you never know. In recent years, we've seen less capable coaches survive more desperate circumstances than what Ryan's up against in New York. But there's no doubt that this season is lining up to be his last with the Jets. He sees the writing on the wall. And leading up to Thursday's showdown with the Pats, we're seeing a far more subdued Ryan than we have in the past.

"Were behind where we have to be and we can only focus on ourselves," Ryan told the Daily News on Monday. "Im not worried about tweaking New England."

To be honest, I don't like seeing Ryan this way. It's a little depressing. I miss the old Rex. Loudmouth Rex. Liar Rex. Bawdy Rex. If history's taught us anything, it's that a Rex divided against itself cannot stand. And this season, we're witnessing the collapse of Rex Ryan as we knew him.

In fact, things are so bad that he's reportedly already started thinking about his post-Jets career. And in a Standing Room Only exclusive, I've learned that Ryan yesterday afternoon, in an ultimate act of desperation actually reached out to his nemesis, Bill Belichick.

According to multiple sources, here's what transpired:

(Phone rings in Bill Belichick's office)
BILL BELICHICK: (hits the speaker) "Yup."

SECRETARY: "Coach, I've got Rex Ryan for you on line 1."

BELICHICK: "That right? Ha. OK, send him through."

SECRETARY: "Right away, sir. You're on with him now . . ."

BELICHICK: "You son of bitch, Jovi. I told you that's never going to work."

REX RYAN: (silence)
BELICHICK: "Seriously. What's up? I'm on a short week here."

RYAN: ". . . Hey there, coach."

BELICHICK: (silence)

RYAN: "It's Rex. I know this is unconventional, but I don't know where else to turn."

BELICHICK: "Umm . . . OK. Don't really have a lot of time here, but, uh, what's up? I was actually thinking about your father this morning. Was real, solid football coach. One of the absolute best at preparing his players to compete."

RYAN: "Well, I appreciate you saying that. I'll definitely send him your regards. Anyway, the reason I called . . . You know, I realize that things haven't always been great between us. But I hope you understand that anything I ever said or did was only a product of how much I respect you.

BELICHICK: (silence)

RYAN: "You still there, coach?"

BELICHICK: "Listen, Rex. I don't know what the & you're getting at, but cut to the chase."

RYAN: "There's no chase, coach. I just, you know, want to make sure that you understand where I'm coming from. I'll just come out and say: I'm &-ing obsessed with you, Bill. You're all I've ever strived to be. And moving forward, you know, if there was ever a time when maybe I was out of work and maybe you needed a little help coaching your defense . . . I, ummm, just wouldn't want our shaky past to mess up a potential future. Know what I mean?"

BELICHICK: "Yeah, I know what you mean. We done yet?"

RYAN: "Sure thing, Coach. Thanks for your time. But I think the better question to ask yourself is: Could it be that we're just getting started?"

BELICHICK: "I'll see you on Thursday. And don't ever &-ing call me again."

Rich can be reached at rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

Rookie Dak Prescott solid again, Cowboys beat Bears, 31-17

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Rookie Dak Prescott solid again, Cowboys beat Bears, 31-17

ARLINGTON, Texas - Maybe the Cowboys will be OK without quarterback Tony Romo this time. The future of the Dallas running game with Ezekiel Elliott looks pretty good, too.

Dak Prescott led scoring drives on all four Dallas possessions in the first half before throwing his first career touchdown pass in fellow rookie Elliott's first 100-yard game, and the Cowboys beat the Chicago Bears 31-17 on Sunday night to snap an eight-game home losing streak.

With his second straight win, Prescott doubled the number of victories the Cowboys (2-1) had in 14 games without the injured Romo over three seasons before the fourth-round pick showed up.

Prescott's first TD pass was a 17-yarder to Dez Bryant for a 31-10 lead in the fourth quarter, and he's up to 99 throws without an interception to start his career. Philadelphia's Carson Wentz has 102, and those are the two highest career-opening totals for a rookie in NFL history.

"Dak's handled every opportunity he's had right from the start really, really well," coach Jason Garrett said. "No different tonight."

Brian Hoyer had trouble moving the Chicago offense early with Jay Cutler sidelined by a sprained right thumb as the Bears fell behind 24-3 at halftime and dropped to 0-3 for the second time in two seasons under coach John Fox.

Making his 27th career start for his fourth different team, Hoyer was 30 of 49 for 317 yards - a good portion of that with the game out of each late in the fourth quarter - and threw for two scores to Zach Miller.

"We haven't played a complete game," Fox said. "This week was the reverse of what we've had. We played very poorly in the first half."

Elliott finished with 140 yards on 30 carries, including a 14-yard run when he hurdled safety Chris Prosinski. The Cowboys kept giving him the ball while trying to work the clock with a two-touchdown lead in the fourth quarter a week after he was benched because of two fumbles in a win over Washington.

"Made a lot of good runs tonight, a lot tough runs, a lot of NFL runs," Garrett said. "He's physically tough. He's mentally tough."

It didn't even bother Prescott that Pro Bowl left tackle Tyron Smith missed just the second game of his six-year career after his back tightened up during the week.

Prescott was 19 of 24 for 248 yards in Dallas' first home win since last year's opener, which was a week before the first of two broken left collarbones that kept Romo out of 12 games last season.

Romo is expected to miss about another month after breaking a bone in his back in the preseason.

Prescott had one of three rushing touchdowns for the Cowboys, who have seven this season after getting eight all of last year, when they finished 4-12.

Because the Bears fell behind again, they couldn't do much with the running game. They had just 15 carries for 73 yards and lost leading rusher Jeremy Langford to an ankle injury in the second half.

Jets lose, Patriots guaranteed 1st place in AFC East when Brady returns

Jets lose, Patriots guaranteed 1st place in AFC East when Brady returns

When Tom Brady returns to the Patriots following his four-game suspension, his team will be in sole possession of first place in the AFC East.

That became the reality as soon as the Jets fell to the Chiefs in Kansas City on Sunday, 24-3. The Jets committed eight turnovers in the loss to fall to 1-2. 

The Bills and Dolphins each won their first games of the season on Sunday, taking down the Cardinals and Browns, respectively. 

With the Patriots record at 3-0 following their win over the Texans on Thursday night, and with all three of their AFC East rivals sitting on just one win thus far, even if Bill Belichick's club was to fall to Rex Ryan and the Bills in Week 4, it would still be alone atop the division.

MORE PATRIOTS

Surely the Patriots would like to have a zero in the loss column when Brady returns. Regardless, to be in first place when Brady's Deflategate punishment is finished -- and having achieved that mark with two different starting quarterbacks -- has to be a point of pride for the organization . . . and a source of agita for those who doled out the punishment.