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What do the Jets have in store for an encore to last Sunday’s stunning upset victory over the heavily favored Rams on the road when they play the Browns on Sunday in their home finale?
The Jets’ inspired 23-20 win over the Rams elicited a wide range of emotions from their fans, the majority of whom expressed angst over them losing control of the No. 1-overall draft pick and a chance to draft Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence.
While some Jets fans reveled in the rare feel-good moment of victory, the vast majority cynically viewed the win as one of the worst moments in franchise history because it potentially altered their history for the worse for the next decade without Lawrence.
The good news for the Jets is this: Even if they beat the 10-4 Browns and go to New England next week and beat the Patriots to finish 3-13, they cannot worsen their draft status beyond the current No. 2 position.
Problem is: The Jets fans were counting on the 0-16 finish and the No. 1 draft pick.
Now that that’s likely a goner — barring the Jaguars winning one of their final two games — the Jets must look forward.
Mercifully, one game remains for them after Sunday. And then, changes, they are a comin’ — many of them, beginning with the head coach.
Despite his close relationship with Jets CEO Christopher Johnson, Adam Gase has two more games to coach before he’s let go after two disappointing seasons. It’s difficult to imagine Johnson allowing his personal feelings about Gase to override the temperature of his fan base, which can best be described as raging hot and fed up.
So, bringing back Gase, even if he somehow leads the Jets to fool’s-gold wins in the final three games, is not an option for Johnson.
Next up for the CEO is this: Altering the way he conducts his football business.
Translation: Let his football man make the football decisions.
Johnson hired Joe Douglas as his general manager a year and a half ago and gave him a six-year contract.
He now needs to let Douglas pick the next head coach. No outside firm with three or four names needs to be brought in to consult. No former general manager types (Bill Polian, Charley Casserly, etc.) needs to be involved.
Douglas is a football lifer. He has connections around the league, beginning but not ending with the Ravens, who happen to be one of the model franchises in the league.
I have great respect for Johnson, who despite rantings of the justifiably angry Jets fans, burns to win for them.
I only offer this advice to Johnson when it’s time to start the interview process for the next coach: Step aside and get out of Douglas’ way.
Johnson needs to let the football man he hired and gave six years to make the most important football decision on the table for his franchise right now.
Johnson needs to step back and realize the flaws to the chain of command his brother, Woody, employed when he fired general manager Mike Tannenbaum, retained Rex Ryan and then force-fed general manager John Idzik on Ryan, and then later played “Love Connection’’ matchmaker with Todd Bowles and Mike Maccagnan.
That has proven not to work.
Yankees fans of a certain age may remember when George Steinbrenner, a serial meddler, was urged to let his “baseball people’’ make baseball decisions. When he did, Steinbrenner watched the likes of Gene Michael and Bob Watson build him a dynasty.
Jets fans aren’t greedy. They don’t need a dynasty. Just compete, baby. That’s all they ask. That begins with Christopher Johnson telling Joe Douglas: “Go find me the best head coach out there.’’
“Generally speaking, you want alignment,’’ Tannenbaum told The Post this past week. “In my situation, that’s when things worked really well where the head coach and GM feel like there’s a partnership and an accountability where ‘We’re going to grow together, we’re going to succeed together and if things don’t work out then we’re going to be held accountable together.’
“It’s about pairing people together and letting them grow and knowing that there’s going to be bumps in the road, but hopefully seeing progress. You can see [first-year head coach] Joe Judge and see real progress with the Giants. I think that’s real important and that’s something that starts with the GM, but above that where Chris Johnson says, ‘You guys are paired together. Build a program.’
“That will give them hopefully the best chance to be successful.’’
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