MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP) — Rex Ryan is coming back next year. The Miami Dolphins are sitting out another postseason.
The New York Jets eliminated the Dolphins from playoff contention with a 20-7 victory Sunday, then celebrated the news that their coach will return in 2014.
Ryan was told before the game by owner Woody Johnson. The coach's status had been in doubt because the Jets (8-8) missed the playoffs for the third year in a row.
For Miami (8-8), the postseason drought is even longer — five years. Two weeks ago the Dolphins were front-runners in the race for the last AFC wild-card berth, but they lost their final two games to non-playoff teams, including a shutout at last-place Buffalo.
Here are five things we learned as the AFC East rivals head into the offseason:
RYAN RETAINED: A roar reverberated in the Jets' postgame locker room when Johnson told the team Ryan would be back next season.
"It felt as if you won the Super Bowl," quarterback Geno Smith said. "Having our head coach back, a guy we enjoy playing for, it's great."
Ryan was given the news before the game. He's 42-38 in the regular season with the Jets, and his future had been in question even though he's popular with players, has a 4-2 postseason record and has a year left on his contract.
"We've missed the playoffs three straight years, and that bothers me, no question," Ryan said.
General manager John Idzik, who is completing his first year with the Jets, denied any strain in his relationship with Ryan.
"We were together from the beginning," Idzik said. "I know there's speculation throughout the season otherwise, but we always worked together. He's been tremendous to work for and work with. He's a leader, a motivator. He's a teacher. He's a great coach, too."
MIAMI'S UPS AND DOWNS: The Dolphins' roller-coaster season included a four-game losing streak, a bullying scandal that drew national scrutiny, and a December surge that briefly left Miami in control of its playoff destiny — but turned out to be a tease.
"It wasn't dull, I can tell you that," defensive end Cameron Wake said. "But 8-8, that's average. And I don't look around this locker room and see average. Inconsistency has been our issue, and here it is again showing its ugly head today."
The Dolphins beat four playoff teams — New England, Cincinnati, Indianapolis and San Diego — but lost twice to Buffalo and once to Tampa Bay.